5 STEPS TO FACEBOOK MARKETING SUCCESS

The bottom line to successful facebook marketing for emerging businesses, churches or charities has to do with two basic objectives: 1) build your fan base, and 2) convert your fan base into customers.  Here are five steps you can use to Facebook successfully.

For the creative businessperson, the fact that Facebook now allows companies to have public pages presents a big opportunity for effective internet marketing and small business marketing strategies to emerge. 

Your task is to apply these steps below, and then stick with it overall. This is a bit of a long run play. While some companies may cash in quick, remember, by marketing in Facebook, you are choosing to market in the #1 SOCIAL NETWORK on the internet. Did you grasp that? It's the top social network.  With over 500 million users, most people are on FB to swap photos of their kids, talk about the movies, find old classmates, share cool experiences, and other social endeavors. Even so, there are certain aspects to Facebook that are highly attractive to marketers and certain online marketing tools that you can take to lead to success in this enormous online channel!

1)    Obtain a Facebook Page for Your Company

Acquiring your company Facebook Page allows you to lock of this important piece of real estate now, while you develop your strategic Facebook marketing plan after. Do this asap. Especially if your company name is common. Here's where you go to start that process. Otherwise, visit facebook.com and look near the bottom where it says Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business. Once someone else gets your name first, you could be stuck with the backup version, which is less ideal, and it may not be the one you prefer.  Realize that these pages are valuable becasue they are public, so you don’t have to be logged into the Facebook channel to find them or interact with them. That means Facebookers, non-Facebookers and the search engines can access your page online. That's where the internet marketing ideas begin...

2)    Develop Your Facebook Strategy

You have to determine what, exactly, you want to accomplish using your Facebook Page, which will help you determine what you are going to do.  If increasing your Fan Count is your initial goal, as it usually is, you could accomplish that by running a Contest or Sweepstakes or Giveaway.  These have been very successful on Facebook for companies of all sizes. To learn more about these, Google: Contests on Facebook, or go here. Of course, the best contests are heavily promoted wihtin FB and without FB, so recognize you have to use every asset you have in your arsenal to promote your contests in order to see them utilized and helping you to build your fan base.

One client Pathmaker has been honored to help in this regard is the New Living Translation fan page found here. In Feb of 2010 they had 500 fans on FB, but now after three contests / giveaways and ongoing organic growth they are running at a much stouter level of 24,500 fans plus, and growing.

What you may fail to realize is that when you run contests n Facebook, not only do you build your fan page "likes", but typically, when done right, you also build your email lists. So in the NLT case above, in addition to page fan growth, they have also enjoyed growing their email database by over 20,000 names.

Another strategy for Facebook is to integrate what you are promoting in your business in general to your Facebook page.  For example, if you are planning on stocking an entire section of your Sporting Goods Store with fishing equipment to correspond with the upcoming Fishing Season, you might run a Contest to name the area (Anglers Corner, Getting Hooked, Rod and Reel).  Also, part of the entry could include the entrant explaining why they think we need to pass the Love of Fishing to future generations.  Now your FB contest corresponds directly into what you are doing online and offline! Cross promotions can occur.

Another strategy is to provide an ongoing channel of open communication with your constituents. Use FB to talk with your fans and listen to what they have to say about your company and its products or services. Dialogue

3)    Talk to People About Your Exciting Things

When you communicate with your fans on Facebook, talk to them with passion and fervor.  Share your enthusiasm for your company and what you do. You can’t expect others to get excited about what you are doing unless you are!  Your goal is to transmit enthusiasm and the Facebook channel is an excellent way to do that!  In general, while the Best Practice rules for Facebook company page messaging are still emerging, it seems to be that a routine of 2-3 posts per week is currently acceptable. Make sure to monitor your posting for feedback and reactions and get into dialogues with your fans. The key here is to be engaged in a ongoing conversation with your fans and supporters. Be genuine. Be real. Be available. Be active and interactive.

4)    Build Your Fan Base to Larger Levels

As you undoubtedly know, when you post something on Facebook, it is spread onto your Fans News Feeds and to their Friends News Feeds and so on.  So, obviously, everything you can do to increase your Fan Base is going to greatly affect your outbound messaging impact. As you post more messages, more people are going to see you showing up in FB.

Some ways you can do this:

1. Socialize any email communication you do. See an example here of a client email template Pathmaker just updated to optimize the social networking aspect of their outbound communication. Since you may be already doing email, facilitate the sharing aspect of your messages on Facebook, and other social networks, with methods like these.
Notice the header and footer ingredients of this email template. This client is wanting their email recipients to "Like" them on Facebook and share their Newsletters with their friends and family. Since their email list is much larger currently than their Facebook fans, they are using email to push their FB fan page up.

2.  Promote your company Facebook page in the media. If you are a broadcast enterprise, promote you FB page on radio or TV. Or promote it in any print ads you place, or even on your company business cards. Think of all the old school methods you have within your power to cross promote your FB page, and you will see your fan growth improve.

3. Cross promote your FB page online, on your company wesite and blogs. See an example of this at our Pathmaker website where we promote FB up top and down at the bottom.

4. Take out Facebook Ads to promote your company Page within the Facebook community. To learn about that go here.

…And a Bonus Thought Regarding Facebook

5)    Provide Your Fans With Opportunities to Become Customers

You will notice that your Facebook Page is going to bring you success in a sequential manner:  You will first get Likes, and then Likes and email addresses and finally Likes, E-mail Addresses and Sales.  Remember, first you build your base, and then you endeavor to turn your fan base into customers.  It is that final step that will make your Facebook efforts a successful business channel, that's contributing to the bottom line for your company.

Ways to do this? Consider posting Facebook only special offers, coupons, discounts, deals or terms. Let your fans know you recognize their support and want to reward them for being good customers. In this way you slowly begin to convert your fans into customers, and enjoy the benefits of watching Facebook successfully contribute to your bottom line.

Randall Mains is the Co-Owner of Pathmaker Marketing, LLC - a Phoenix, Arizona internet marketing agency helping emerging businesses, churches and charities reach their online marketing goals and objectives.
 


The bottom line to successful search engine optimization services consists of the following six steps to effective internet marketing in search.

6 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING

    Since the inception of the Internet, one of its most popular uses has been Search.  As a result, Search Engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have became prevalent and Search Engine Marketing has become a viable way for businesses to market themselves online.  But due to fact that you usually have extensive competition when participating in Search Engine Marketing, the successful company needs to know, and adhere, to all of the following practical steps, in order to be successful in search and related internet marketing ideas.

1)    Conduct Comprehensive Keyword Research

Preparatory to undertaking your Search Engine Marketing Program you must devote the time, money and energy to conducting comprehensive Keyword Research. Start with the Google Keyword Tool which is free to utilize.  You may go through mulptiple rounds of research to really find all the terms that relate to your company, but don't worry.  A really good set of keyword research may turn up nearly 1500 search terms that work for you...maybe even more. One client we did Keyword Research for had nearly 50,000 applicable terms at the end of their keyword research project.  Once you have completed your Keyword Research, prioritize the search terms into winnable keywords for your company, meaning those you have a probable chance of winning a Page One ranking. 

Obviously, determining winnability is a vital step, so we use three strategic indicators to help us weed down our list into those that we might potentially win a page one ranking on in Google, Yahoo or Bing.  1st is any term under 2500 a month in Google Global Search Volume. 2nd is any term costing under $2.25 per Google PPC. And 3rd is any term ranking under 45% per the SEOmoz Difficulty Ranking.

2)    Search Engine Optimize Your Website

To enhance your chance for success in any organic page rankings, you need to optimize your website pages for two or three of the winnable terms you chose.  In general, figure that each page is going to be optimized for 2-3 terms. This process will increase your Page Rankings in Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL and Ask, thus bringing qualified potential visitors to your website site. There are multiple tools to help you SEO your website, so Google Top 10 SEO Software Tools or go here to start your SEO research project for online mareting tools.

3)    Launch Google Pay Per Click

Google PPC (aka AdWords) is a wonderful form of online marketing, as you only have to pay when someone actually clicks on your ad and goes to your site. What I like most about Pay Per Click is it allows you to run live tests on multiple search terms to discover which terms are getting you leads, sales or conversions!  Once you have ascertained this information, these are the terms you will want to pursue in the other four areas of search engine marketing: SEO, blogging, linking, and social networking.  

4)    Begin Keyword Blogging

As much as possible, you want to blog about the terms you are trying to win!  There are, typically, a wide number of variations on a keyword theme, which will allow you to write about the terms from slightly different perspectives.  The key here is to develop depth of content in your Keyword Marketing, so that when you are targeting keywords you are blogging in detail about your subjects, and developing your expertise on the subject.

5)    Start Social Media Marketing in Facebook, then Twitter

The first step here is to acquire your Company “Real Estate” as soon as possible.  Get your company acounts in Facebook and Twitter first. If you can, also Claim your company listings in Google, Yahoo and Bing.  Once that land grab is accomplished, the next step is to develop your social media strategy. Think of yourself as an ambassador for your company in Facebook and Twitter. You need to abide by the appropriate "rules" of the various channels you opt to concentrate on as you look for ways to represent your company to those markets.  

6)    Perform Ongoing Link Building

While concentrating on your Keyword Terms and Phrases, you need to approach Back Linking with a four-pronged attack:

a.    Develop Volume Links back to your company website.
b.    Develop Deep Links to subpages of your site.
c.    Pursue Authoritative Links if possible—If you are a Sporting Goods Store and get backlinks from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, FIELD & STREAM and DUCKS UNLIMITED you will have Authoritative Links!
d.    Establish Local Links within Local Niche and Business Directories

To validate the success of this link building undertaking, you will want to monitor results at least monthly if not weekly!  Links will bring you traffic to your site and improve your standings in the search engine results.  Be sure to alt-tag your terms whenever possible.

For other small business marketing strategies, visit my blog covering a variety of methods for business marketing and promotion online, or call my arizona internet marketing agency at 623-322-3334 for help by the phone.  Ask for Randall Mains


If you attended the pre-mixer workshop at the CBN mixer in Phoenix this April, you heard me present "The Bottom Line for Success Online."  If you weren't at the workshop, feel free to download that helpful 10-page White Paper from my website

Since the internet is my area of expertise, I'll affirm this fact: You must start planting seeds on the web today if you want to enjoy success for your company online tomorrow. Professional fundraisers know this fundamentally, but many small business owners have yet to grasp its significance.

I consider this so important for local businesses, churches, and charities, that I want to offer your company two very practical steps to jumpstart your efforts in this regard.

First, at no charge to you (meaning for free), Pathmaker Marketing will set up your personal and company profiles in Google -- a great initial step for local search engine marketing strategies -- and establish Google Analytics on your company website, so you'll get valuable weekly traffic stats for targeting keywords.

Second, I'm offering you a 50% discount off our Top 100 Local Directory Placements, designed to get your company listed in the Top 100 local, business, blog, video and map directories. That normally costs $995 ($10 a listing) but it's yours now at 50% off for just $495 ($5 per listing)! This effective internet marketing step is a fundamental building block  to establishing a proper Internet foundation.

Or you can get our Top 40 Local Directory Placements on sale for just $195 ($5 a listing).  At this low price, you can jump start your local business or church marketing 101 for cheap.

Either way, I'm going to extend these two special offers to you until 6pm, Friday, May 6th.  (If the deadline has passed when you read this post, call me up, and ask if I'll honor the deal anyway over the phone).  

I'm willing to help you plant your seeds today for effective internet marketing, so you'll reap the rewards tomorrow.

Call me today to get started: 623.322.3334
Or Skype me at pathmaker.marketing
Randall Mains, Co-Owner


            At the request of my Pastor I created a 20 Step program for Marketing our Church on the Internet. To make it as inclusive as possible, I recruited the assistance of Randall Mains, CEO of Pathmaker Marketing LLC. Realizing that the results of our efforts would be beneficial to a number of churches, charities or small companies, I decided to do a 20 part series and place it on the Internet so as many people as possible could benefit!

            I trust that as you read my posts regarding launching your blog, doing comprehensivek keyword research, and SEO-ing your website, that you have come to realize that the Internet really can work for not for profit organizations, and that the Internet is also a pretty good church outreach idea. A church blog is a major part of this, as it as it allows you to be targeting keywords

           The next thing I want to discuss with you is how link building serves well as a church, charity, or small business marketing strategy. After all, church marketing 101 teaches us that a church is, in fact, a small business and therefore the Internet business marketing promotions that work for companies work equally well for churches.


            Have you ever noticed that invariably some of the most important things we need to do are also the most time consuming and the most boring? That is exactly the situation with your website and link building! While an excellent way to strengthen your website's rankings in the search engines, the process of link building back links is often laborious at best. 

            “Why,” you may be wondering, “is link building relevant to our church, charity or small business?” 

Actually, there are two significant reasons that you should plan on making link building a part of your core Internet marketing plan. The first is somewhat obvious - - the more listings you have with backlinks to your website, the more opportunities exist for people to find your website in various locations online, thus bringing you qualified visitors. With a dynamite website, each time someone visits your website you have the chance of having them become a visitor to your church, charity or company.

            The second reason deals with the fact that a well-developed and properly implemented link building campaign will increase your page rankings within Google search results. This, of course, is clearly to your advantage, so link building should be an on-going part of your search engine marketing program (to be discussed in a subsequent post), thus allowing your website to be that much more available online.

Your next thought may very well be, “How do we develop a link building battle plan? Well, there are a number of techniques that you can use. First, get your company placed in as many relevant directories as possible - - national, local, and niche.” The purpose of this, of course, it to then have your listing in these communities, and get it linked back to your website, driving traffic in your direction from those sourcs.

            Work diligently to ensure that you get linked in relevant areasTo be listed in places just because they are available may be a waste of time and, in some cases, may even be counter-productive. As in any form of marketing, you need to identify your target market and pursue them with your link building efforts and dollars


            Next, establish links on relevant blogs, community sites, and forumsThese are excellent places to establish your church or charity as a leader in your community for providing services that individuals may be looking for, as you will have the opportunity to interact and dialogue with those individuals who visit the sites, thus making their arrival at your church that much easier. 

            With social media being the latest buzz, it shouldn’t surprise you that you should be incorporating links from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter into your link building rogram as wellIn as much as your Facebook account reaches out to untold thousands, the ability to link back from there to your website should prove to be a major hub in your Internet marketing program as well.

            You may have found that there is more to link building than you ever imagined! I trust that you have also discovered what a viable tool this is in your over-all Internet marketing strategy!

Search Engine Optimize Your Website      
                        
            At the request of my Pastor I created a 20 Step program for Marketing our Church on the Internet. To make it as inclusive as possible, I recruited the assistance of Randall Mains of Pathmaker Marketing LLC. Realizing that the results of our efforts would be beneficial to a number of Churches, I decided to do a 20 part series and place it on the Internet so as many people/churches as possible can be Blessed by it!

            To date we have discussed launching a blogging process and doing keyword research. Today, I want to discuss search engine optimization - both what it is and why it is important to you as part of your church marketing program. As we discussed last time, the paradigm shifts in our society mandates that churches utilize small business marketing strategies, and an effective website is an excellent church outreach Idea!

            In a nutshell, SEO is used to receive Page One rankings on Google, Bing and Yahoo which facilitates more people to “click through” and find your website and all that you have to offer. As many people think they know a lot about SEO, there are three myths that I would like to dispel at this point in regard to the topic:

            MYTH #1: As long as you Google your Church Name and come up “#1” you are in fact, search engine optimized.

            The reality is that the major search engines treat your church name as a  "gimme.” As a result, this means that in the realm of search engine optimization, this gives you virtually zero clout! In fact, if you don’t get page one ranking when you type in your church name you have a real problem!

            MYTH #2: Search engine optimization can be achieved quickly!!!

            Actually, nothing could be further from the truth!! It is a long, slow, and sometimes tedious task that leads you to the finish line in this race! There are, as you will learn, several steps involved, each time consuming in their own right. BUT the results are well worth the effort! As you schedule your SEO Program, you will want to allot at least six months to accomplish the task!

            MYTH #3: You can accomplish SEO for Free!

            The confusion in this realm is the fact that visitors come to your site for free, but the competitive nature of SEO mandates that you either hire professionals to achieve the rankings you desire, or that you plan on investing huge amounts of time and energy to accomplish SEO to your satisfaction!

            The myths aside, SEO can be a tremendous boon to the success of your church. If you, through your SEO efforts, you can attain a #1 ranking on a Google search you will get a lot of click through traffic! This may lead to visitors  who will, of course, greatly “enhance the chance” of your church growing!

           Understanding that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of words related to a church, your goal is to make sure that yours shows up for as many of these words as possible when a potential parishioner is searching them, and that is where your keyword research that we discussed in Part II comes into play!

           While the Internet is evolving daily, SEARCH ENGINES is one of the two items that tends to remain constant. Being well positioned allows people to discover exactly what it is that your church has to offer. To better understand this concept, consider the Internet a Super Highway with millions of people zooming along it every day. Your SEO program serves as a  billboard, advising them of what awaits if they will take the “proper exit” and wind up at your place! Unless they can find you, however, they will always be “potential parishioners ” and never “your parishioners!” If you aren’t showing up in searches, you don’t have a Billboard!  The first step is to conduct a keyword research project, which will allow you to find the rigth terms in order to have a website that is optimized!

           As you can see, targeting keywords can lead to more visitors, which strengthens your church outreach. I know this may all seem overwhelming, and would suggest that if you have any questions that you e-mail Randall Mains at randall@pathmakermarketing.net, as he is more of an expert in this realm than even I am.

            The look on his face assured me that Jim was more than just surprised, he was mortified! Everyone in the place was giving us their undivided attention - - many of their faces reflecting sympathy; most reflecting curiosity, and at least one was reflecting empathy! Jim, a good friend who runs an independent Sporting Goods store, had become somewhat of a protégé of mine regarding internet marketing ideas. Affiliated with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing, I have had an opportunity to acquire a fair amount of knowledge regarding small business marketing strategies and internet business marketing promotion online and have shared this with Jim on several occasions. Every once in a while Jim runs into a snafu, and, of course, immediately searches me out for an explanation or assistance in the matter.

            “Well, Jim, tell me what happened,” I opened.

            Settling onto the stool next to mine, and indicating to the counterman that he needed a cold soda right away, he paused for a minute as he organized his thoughts. Typically we would move to a booth, but interest was running so high on this one I decided we should stay put and let as many people as possible, or wanted to at least, gather around and listen to our discussion.   Taking a long pull on his beverage, Jim began his report.

            “Well, remember how you convinced me to let Annie help the rest of the employees establish blogs and add a post or two a week?”

            Nodding affirmatively, I reflected back on that conversation. Annie is Jim’s teenage daughter, and when she recommended the blogging program I advised him that blogging is, in fact, an effective internet marketing tool. I explained that Pathmaker actually has clients who use us as a blogging aervice, developing their blogs and ghostwriting their various posts. It took a while to convince him that businesses should actually allow their employees an opportunity to blog “on the clock,” as long as it is “business related,” but he was enjoying a fair amount of success as he had made several large sales based on the fact that his employees have a tremendous amount of expertise in what they sell and share that expertise in their posts. 

            “Well, we have been doing that, and then this morning I got a notice form WordPress that they had shut down my site!”

            “Did they tell you why?” an interested party to the left of me asked.

            “All they said was that I was in violation of Terms of Service. Floyder, can they do that?

            Jim had, like so many others, found out about WordPress’ dark side the hard way. Unfortunately, they typically don’t tell you what, exactly, the violation is/was, nor do they give you an opportunity to rectify the problem. 

            “Well, Jim, obviously they can do it because they did,” I advised him as gently as I could.

            “Do you have any idea why they would shut me down,” he asked, the confusion in his eyes making him almost pathetic looking.

            “Well, actually there are a number of reasons that they might take action against someone. For example they can shut you down over RSS fed content, or content they don’t approve of. And, …

            “Wait,” Jim said, interrupting me. “What is ‘RSS content’?”

            “RSS - Really Simple Syndication. It is usually a situation where blog content is fed to Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social networking.”

            Jim pondered that for a minute, and then reminded me I was about to add something else.

            “If you read their information on the internet,” I began again, speaking slowly so everyone gathered around us could follow, “there is a paragraph that says ‘we kill spam dead.’ It discusses the fact that it will keep spammers from leaving comments on your blog, and that it will shut down ‘spam blogs’ that might try to sneak onto WordPress.com. Perhaps they considered yours a “spam blog.”

            Jim sat there, slowly shaking his head back and forth. Heaving a couple of huge sighs, he looked at me and asked the inevitable question,

            “Now what do I do?”

            “I would suggest that you go onto another Host Server, one where you pay like GoDaddy or MyDomain. The cost is minimal, and you won’t have to worry about this happening again. What you do,” I went on, “is simply install WordPress on your own server, and then you can't get your content removed by WordPress any longer.”

            “What if you haven’t already been shut down, any way you can avoid it from happening to you?” the same voice from my left asked.

            “Sure,” I assured him, “transfer your account to a pay server before they get the chance to shut you down. You can migrate your material from one to the other, so it won’t be too much of a hassle at all.

            Jim was now shaking his head - first up and down, then side to side, then up and down and then side to side and so on. I watched for a moment, wondering just how long he was going to keep it up. Finally, realizing that he was, apparently, “locked in” I broke the silence and stopped his head bobbing routine!

            “What’s wrong, Jim?”

            “Floyder,” he said with somewhat of a sheepish grin, “what I can’t figure out is how they would even know that we had fried Spam for dinner the other night.”

            Jim is, without a doubt, precious!


THAT’S MORE WORDS THAN IN A SMALL DICTIONARY!

            Jim was dumbfounded to the point of being speechless. He just sat there looking at me, trying to determine if I was telling him the truth or not. We were sharing a cola and some small talk, when he asked if I knew anything about keyword marketing. He knew I did, but used the question to get us on the topic. Jim often sought my advice because of my relationship with Randall Mains of PATHMAKER MARKETING. One of the services that Pathmaker offers as part of their small business marketing strategies is Keyword Marketing. He offers it as an online marketing tool, and helps clients accomplish that which they seek by using Pathmaker as their search engine optimization agency. SEO is, of course, a sound search engine marketing idea, and one that Jim, apparently, was hoping to incorporate in the marketing plan for his independent Sporting Goods Store.

            Anyway, we had jawed about it for a while when he asked me how many keywords might be associated with his business, and nearly dropped his teeth when I told him it could be upwards of a 10,000 or more. That’s where we were now - - him trying to fathom what I had just told him.

            “Floyder,” he finally began slowly, “you can’t possibly be serious, “ he was finally able to manage.

            “Actually, Jim, I am. If you do this the right way you have to be totally comprehensive.    Let me share a specific example with you, and then we will apply the principle to your business. PATHMAKER recently had a client in Canada that runs a large car dealership. The process started with over 50,000 keywords. From there we narrowed it down to 1500 - - and then to 300 terms which we used for targeting keywords. This allowed them to shoot to the top of the list when people did an internet search.”

            “You mean,” Jim began, again slowly!, “that I should have more than just my name and the store’s name as keywords.”

            And therein lies the problem, I thought. So many people are unaware of the fact that search engine optimization is a science, and not just a crapshoot. 

            “You really think you could come up with that many words?” Jim asked, the gleam that was starting to form in his eye making the question almost a challenge.

            “Jim,” how many types of fishing lures do you either have, or have access to - - this is to include every color of every type and any other variations on the theme.”

            “Good Lord, Floyder, there’s thousands and thousands of them - - you know that!”

            It began right at his hairline, and slowly worked its way down his entire countenance - - realization was starting to settle in on Jim! I knew I had better intervene before he became so over-whelmed by this concept that he suffered from apoplexy!

            “It’s okay, Jim, you don’t have to actually include all of those in your list. What I would suggest is that you feature a few of the better ones for each type of fish - - trout, bass, and so on. And that brings up another point,” I added, hoping this new concept wouldn’t create a brain overload. “You may want to revamp your Keyword List for each Sporting Season as it occurs. I would do this,” I quickly added, keeping him as calm as I could, “by starting with the next upcoming season and then concentrating on each season as it comes along. That way, you won’t incur the cost for the total program all at one time.”

            “How do I now what words to consider,” Jim asked, handling all of this better than I thought. 

            “Well, you hire Pathmaker and we do the research and legwork. You will have constant input, of course, but we would take care of the list building.”

            For the first time in quite a while Jim’s face looked almost placid. Then, as I watched quietly, that gleam started to creep back in his eye.

            “Let’s try,” he exclaimed excitedly. 

            “Try what?” I asked warily.

            “Listing 10,000 words. Come on, Floyder, we can do it!!”

            I knew I was in for a long night - - either making the list or talking Jim out of trying!



THAT’S MORE WORDS THAN IN A SMALL DICTIONARY!

            Jim was dumbfounded to the point of being speechless. He just sat there looking at me, trying to determine if I was telling him the truth or not. We were sharing a cola and some small talk, when he asked if I knew anything about Keyword Searches. He knew I did, but used the question to get us on the topic. Jim often sought my advice because of my relationship with Randall Mains, owner/director of PATHMAKER MARKETING. One of the services that PATHMAKER offers as part of their Small Business Marketing Strategies is Keyword Marketing. He offers it as an Online Marketing Tool, and helps clients accomplish that which they seek by using Pathmaker as their Search Engine Optimization Agency. SEO is, of course, a sound Internet Marketing Idea, and one that Jim, apparently, was hoping to incorporate in the Marketing Plan for his independent Sporting Goods Store.
 

            Anyway, we had jawed about it for a while when he asked me how many keywords might be associated with his business, and nearly dropped his teeth when I told him it could be upwards of a 100,000 or more. That’s where we were now - - him trying to fathom what I had just told him.
 

            “Floyder,” he finally began slowly, “you can’t possibly be serious, “ he was finally able to manage.


            “Actually, Jim, I am. If you do this the right way you have to be totally comprehensive.    Let me share a specific example with you, and then we will apply the principle to your business. PATHMAKER recently had a client in Canada that runs a large car dealership. The process started with over 50,000 keywords. From there we narrowed it down to 1500 - - and then to 300 words. This allowed them to shoot to the top of the list when people did an Internet search.”
 

            “You mean,” Jim began, again slowly, “that I should have more than just my name and the store’s name as keywords.”
 

            And therein lies the problem, I thought. So many people are unaware of the fact that Search Engine Optimization is a science, and not just a crapshoot.
 

            “You really think you could come up with that many words?” Jim asked, the gleam that was starting to form in his eye making the question almost a challenge.
 

            “Jim,” how many types of fishing lures do you either have, or have access to - - this is to include every color of every type and any other variations on the theme.”
 

            “Good Lord, Floyder, there’s thousands and thousands of them - - you know that!”
 

            It began right at his hairline, and slowly worked its way down his entire countenance - - realization was starting to settle in on Jim! I knew I had better intervene before he became so over-whelmed by this concept that he suffered from apoplexy!
 

            “It’s okay, Jim, you don’t have to actually include all of those in your list. What I would suggest is that you feature a few of the better ones for each type of fish - - trout, bass, and so on. And that brings up another point,” I added, hoping this new concept wouldn’t create a brain overload. “You may want to revamp your Keyword List for each Sporting Season as it occurs. I would do this,” I quickly added, keeping him as calm as I could, “by starting with the next upcoming season and then concentrating on each season as it comes along. That way, you won’t incur the cost for the total program all at one time.”
 

            “How do I know what words to consider,” Jim asked, handling all of this better than I thought. 
 

            “Well, you hire Pathmaker and we do the research and legwork. You will have constant input, of course, but we would take care of the list building.”
 

            For the first time in quite a while Jim’s face looked almost placid. Then, as I watched quietly, that gleam started to creep back in his eye.
 

            “Let’s try,” he exclaimed excitedly.
 

            “Try what?” I asked warily.
 

            “Listing 100,000 words. Come on, Floyder, we can do it!”
 

            I knew I was in for a long night - - either making the list or talking Jim out of trying!

 


IT ISN’T CAUSED BY POISON IVY!!

 

            “Floyder,” Jim began with a look in his eye that told me while his body was present his mind was somewhere else. “I can’t decide, so I would like your opinion - - wood or plastic?”

            It was obvious that Jim and I were about to have another one of our discussions where only he knows what we are talking about in the beginning. After a few well chosen and asked questions I can usually figure out what it is he is talking about, but sometimes he gets a little frustrated before I can get there! And, I have discovered, it isn’t just me - - pretty much everyone has this challenge with Jim! Anyway, I figured before I gave my opinion I probably should figure out what he was talking about.

            “Wood or plastic what?” I asked.

            “Why, back scratchers of course,” he replied, intimating by the tone of his voice that I should have known exactly what he was talking about. 

            “Do you mean which one do I like best?” I asked, still trying to figure out where this was going.

            “Well, I guess. I mean, like you and Randall said at the seminar at the Rotary Club meeting, we should always try to scratch our clients biggest itch, so I thought I would send them a back scratcher since I can’t possibly be there to actually do the scratching myself.”

            Obviously only Jim’s body was present at the seminar, too! What he was alluding to was the fact that Randall Mains, owner/operator of Pathmaker Marketing, had done a presentation on Internet Marketing Ideas and effective Online Marketing Tools. In his presentation he had mentioned that the most Effective Internet Marketing takes place when the business owner concentrates on his clients by “scratching their biggest itch,” Jim, who owns an independent sporting goods store, is always on the outlook for Small Business Marketing Strategies, but, as in this instance, he frequently gets his wires crossed in regard to what he is learning. Having more than a little success with the Internet Business Marketing Programs Randall and I have helped him with, he is always willing to follow our advice to the letter - - even when he has no idea what we were actually talking about.

            “Jim, that was Randall’s way of saying you need to find your client’s biggest need and then fill it for them.”

            He just looked at me like a kid who has discovered that a cow can’t really jump over the moon. As he shook his head back and forth a bit, I noticed that his eyes were back in focus, and that we probably were going to be getting somewhere now.

            “So, you really don’t scratch their back or anything”

            “No,” I assured him.

            “Ohhhhhhh,” he replied contemplatively. “Well, how do I know what their biggest need is?

            “Probably the best way to find out is to simply ask them,” I advised him truthfully.

            “You mean I have to call up everyone on my list?” he asked, incredulity heavy in his voice.

            “No. Since you have a pretty good size e-mail list, you can either use “Survey Monkey,” or put together a short questionnaire yourself.”

            “Can Pathmaker help me with this, or do I have to do it all myself?” he asked, the panged look on his face non-verbally pleading that we help him.

            “Sure, we can help.”

            “Great! So all I have to do is run the questionnaire and I’ll know what kind of things to offer forever!” he exclaimed triumphantly.

            “Well, that’s not quite true,” I informed him. Continuing before he could ask, I explained my comment. “Look, Jim, your business has several specific seasons that you deal with - - hunting, fishing, softball and so forth. And, in fishing that breaks down to summer and winter, as the needs for ice fishing are different. You should, I think, send out an e-mail at least every two months and see what people are looking for to make their sporting endeavors more enjoyable and productive.”

            “Ahhhhhh,” Jim said, his nod indicating he understood what I was talking about. “Boy, the people whose business isn’t seasonal sure have it a lot easier, since they only have to survey their clients the one time,” he commented.

            “That’s not quite right either,” I informed him. “With the number of paradigm shifts that are taking place in our society today, everyone needs to keep a finger on the pulse beat of their clients' needs.”

            Jim again nodded in agreement, and prepared to change the topic. He did, however, have one more question.

            “Floyder, what’s your biggest itch?”

            I realized that Jim was right about one thing - - he would need Pathmaker’s help with his questionnaire!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      I marvel at how often clients come to us at Pathmaker Marketing and do not have a firm grasp of exactly what they want us to accomplish for them.  This seems to be as true for those companies who are seeking a small business marketing strategy as those charities who are interested in non-profit fund raising. 
     For whether they are looking for an online marketing tool, church outreach ideas or search engine optimization services, their goals are often murky and poorly defined.  An example would be those who put together an internet ad without having defined how to evaluate the results of the advertisement, or measure its success.
     First, as you develop your online ad you need to know what, exactly, you are expecting it to accomplish for you. 
     There are basically a few strategic things that you can hope to receive from your internet marketing endeavor - - a list addition, a lead or a sale.  Typically, your product or service will determine which you should expect.  For example, if you are selling your services as an Architect for Church Expansion, you will undoubtedly pursue leads, not sales. 
     On the other hand, if you are selling a $49.95 product titled “6 Steps to 1,000 Perfect Sermons,” the end result is more apt to be a sale than a lead. 
     Once you fully understand your objective you can better measure the results. Making this determination will allow you to decide whether or not your advertising program was a success.
     Second, as you determine your objectives you will find that they may be different depending on whether you are prospecting for new customers or selling to your current ones.  Example: is the list email you are using an “internal” or “external” list.  For an internal list, one where you are contacting current/past customers, you may decide that for a thousand dollar investment you will want to realize $10,000 worth of sales.  It might be more, it might be less - - you should be able to determine this because you will already have a track record with those individuals. 
     However, with an “external” list, a list of potentially new clients, you may be pleased even if you don’t break even!  For the same thousand dollar investment, a return of only $750.00 might be acceptable because you are acquiring new names/clients for future upselling to your internal list.  These individuals will have ongoing upsell potential and a “life time value,” which may be very significant.
     It is vitally imperative that you define your objectives, for without doing so you cannot determine if your campaign was successful or not!  Too, you may want to set up a “scale” of probably/possible success.  If your “goal” is to glean $10,000 on a $1,000 investment, and you only glean $8,500, you might decide that the program was, albeit short of your expectations, still a success.  As with any goal, not reaching the ultimate goal does not mean you failed.
     It is possible that you may need help in defining and refining your objective, and we at Pathmaker would be more than happy to assist you in this.  However, before you invest in an internet advertising be sure you know what you expect it to do for you!
     Give us a call if you need more help to find ways to win on the web.


            I heard him. And, I understood what he said. I did not, however, have any idea what he was talking about. Unfortunately, this seems to quite often be the case when Jim and I get together. He is a wonderful person, and a true and loyal friend. But sometimes he is just a tad out of step with the rest of the world. I used to think it was just with me, but I have discovered that it’s with everyone. The problem is, I have surmised, that typically Jim only shares half of what he is thinking at any given time. So, while it usually only takes a minute, it is wise to get the whole story from him before responding.

            “Jim,” I began slowly, making sure he would stay with me, “should what be digital or analog?’

            “Why, the watches!”

            We were almost there, but I still wasn’t sure what he was talking about.

            “Watches? What Watches?’

            “You know. You told me to be sure to add a free watch, and I just want to know which kind to buy.”

             A-ha! Now I knew what he was talking about. The day before I explained to him that Randall Mains and I had been talking about the importance of “adding a free watch” when doing an Online Ad. Randall shares this concept with his clients as an excellent Online Marketing Tool. It is but one of the many Internet Marketing Ideas that Pathmaker advises their clients to incorporate, and since Jim knows that I often work with Randall, he frequently picks my brain in regard to Small Business Marketing Strategies. Jim and I had been discussing Business Marketing Promotion Online, and I had mentioned that it is often wise to give a “free watch.”

            “Jim, the ‘free watch’ doesn’t really have to be a watch,” I said with a smile.

            I immediately knew I had lost him. He gave me a look as empty as his glass, so I ordered another round of colas and began to explain.

            “Jim, people often need extra motivation to buy something - - even when it is something they want or need. The ‘free watch’ concept is to provide them with a free gift that will push them over the top, if you would, to purchase that which they are considering.”

            “Ohhhhhhhhhh. What else can you use, and how do you know what to choose.”

            “Well, I’ll answer the second part of that question first. When choosing your free gift, make sure that it doesn’t eat up all of the profit you will realize when making your sale. A good rule of thumb is the gift might cost you five to ten percent of the profit realized.

            “Now, the gift should relate directly to what you are selling and your target market. For example, if you are going to feature a new fishing rod in your ad, you would not want your gift to be a free Bible Study, for example.”

            “I see. So, my free gift should be something sportsman would be interested in?”

            Jim was following the conversation extremely well!! As the owner of an independent sporting goods store, sportsmen were, in fact, his target market.

            “Yes, but you should try to make it more specific to the exact target market you are hoping to reach. In our example about the fishing rod, it would be better to give a free fishing lure than a free duck call. While fishermen and duck hunters are both sportsmen, the fishermen don’t have to be duck hunters, so the free duck call might not push them over the top.

            “So, the free gift is always an item?”

            “No, not necessarily. A really good ‘free watch” is to offer free Shipping and Handling. Also, ‘how to’ manuals are excellent free gifts.”

            “Hmmmm. With the fishing rod, a manual on how to tie your own flies would be better than one giving five easy steps to building a duck blind?”

            “By Jove ”, I thought, “I believe he has it!”

            “Any other questions?” I asked, wanting to make sure he had a full grasp of what I had shared.

            “Just one. Should they have straps or bands?”

            Sometimes Jim has a one-track mind with a narrow gauge!!!!

 
Pathmaker Marketing exists to find you ways to win on the web. Give us a call in Phoenix at 623-322-3334 if you'd like our help with Internet Marketing Ideas that can help your business grow.


            Jim looked like a little lost pup when he walked into the place. To define him as looking “pathetic” would have been a little too extreme, but the man sure looked like he could use a friend. As you probably already know, I am his friend, so I steered him towards a booth and got him seated.

            “Floyder,” he began without any prompting, “are you sure sending out e-mails is a good Internet Marketing idea?”

            The question kind of caught me off guard - - not because he thought I would know the answer, but that he would even voice it. My association with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing has allowed me to become familiar with a number of Online Marketing Tools, including the use of Social Internet Marketing, and especially email fundraising. Jim has been using his e-mail list what I thought was quite effectively, and I was therefore surprised that he was questioning its validity now.

            “Yes, Jim,” I assured him, “using your e-mail list is the most viable Small Business Marketing Strategy. Why do you ask?”

            “Floyder, I just had three people unsubscribe from my list because they said they were getting too many ‘junk’ e-mails from me. I don’t want to offend anyone because of my mailings.”

            Pulling out my calculator, I asked Jim a question I already knew the answer to, “How large is your list?”

            “About 10,000. Why?”

            “Well, if three people unsubscribed, that means you lost .03%, or .0003 of your list. Jim, if you don’t send out any e-mails at all you would lose 250 names through natural attrition rate (aka bounces), because the typical email list will lose 30% of its names per year to bounces, not unsubscriptions. You see,” I went on, “an e-mail list is like a muscle - - if you don’t use it, it will suffer from atrophy. In other words,” I added, “you either use it while you got it or lose it altogether over time.”

            “You mean people don’t get upset when they get a lot of e-mails?” he asked, true curiosity heavy in his voice.

            “Well, they could of course, but it depends on a couple of things. First of all, how often are you contacting them, and what, exactly, are you sending them?”

            “I have been sending out an e-mail about twice a month, and, usually, I am sending out notifications about items I’m running a sale on.”

            “Both of those sound reasonable,” I mused. Then, hit with an epiphany, I asked Jim another question.

            “Jim, when did you send out your last mailing?

            “Day before yesterday. Why?

            “Other than the three unsubscribers, have you had any other responses?

            “Yeah - - I had twenty three people buy the sale item on line, and another nine have come in so far and bought the product in person.”

            “So,” I said, picking up my handy dandy calculator, “in only two days you have already realized a sales closure rate of .32%. That means, Jim, that your success rate is 107,000 times greater than your unsubscribe rate - - and that’s after only two days!!”

            A big smile began to creep across his face. It started in his eyes, and then snuck down to grab the corners of his mouth to stretch that into the unmistakable evidence of the pleasure he was now feeling.

            “So losing those three people wasn’t that big of a deal?” he asked, even though it was obvious he knew it wasn’t.

            “Not at all. Jim, how many new names are you adding to your list a week?”

            “Probably forty or fifty”

            “Even if you lose three subscribers every two weeks, and 250 bounces per month, you’re still staying steady.”

            The smile got even bigger, and I noticed that “pathetic” was now a long way from the way he looked!

For more help with your email fundraising or email marketing efforts, go here or call 1-623-322-3334.
 


            I couldn’t tell if Jim was perplexed, confused or both. He had a somewhat dour look on his face, and was, obviously, not his typical jovial self. He was just sitting at the counter, heaving gigantic sighs, and I decided I had better get over to him and see how I could help. He had called earlier and requested that I meet him as soon as possible, but hadn’t indicated why.  He greeted me with what was as close to a smile as he could muster when I approached, and waited until we had situated ourselves in a booth before he explained what was wrong.

            “Floyder,” he began, heaving another one of those large sighs, “I think I have been hornswaggled, and by my own church!”

            I studied the man before me for just a minute. Jim is a good man, and usually when he wants to speak to me it is about Small Business Marketing Strategies, especially in the realm of Internet Marketing Ideas. Because of my affiliation with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing,

he often visits with me about ideas he has for his Sporting Goods Store, but it was apparent that today’s meeting wasn’t business related. I know many of the people who attend Jim’s church, including his pastor, and was more than a little surprised that they would do anything to harm him.

            “What happened?” I asked, real concern in my voice.

            “Well, we were at a meeting last night to discuss fund raising for the church. We were kicking a few things around, and before I knew it I had been chosen to chair the committee. Floyder, I don’t know anything about fund raising.”

            I smiled to myself, realizing that things really weren’t all that bad. 

            “Well, maybe I can help you a little.”

            “Really, you think you can talk them into giving the chairmanship to someone else?

            “No, but Pathmaker Marketing does serve as a Non-Profit Consultant. We have experience with Non Profit Fundraisers, and even Non Profit Marketing. Are you trying to raise funds for anything in particular?”

            He took a few minutes and gave me a thumbnail sketch of what they were hoping to accomplish. Some of the projects had definite timelines, while others were more on-going in nature. When he finished, he asked me what I thought he could do. I mentioned a few programs that we had used, and told him that he would probably be better off contacting Randall in regard to this, as he has far more experience than I.

            “I don’t know if we can afford Pathmaker Marketing or not,” he shared.

            “Well, give him a call or e-mail him at randall@pathmakermarketing.net. I have always found that it is better to verify that I can’t afford something than to assume I can’t. After all, the worst thing that will happen is he won’t be able to help you.”

            Nodding his agreement, Jim began to smile. He now had the possibility of a “high tech” battle plan, at least, and would be able to look good the next time the committee met. We visited a while longer, brainstorming the typical fundraisers churches use, but knowing that the real money for Non Profit Fundraising is found by utilizing the Internet!


“FLOYDER, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH 365 BIBLES?”

 

            It was a legitimate question. In fact, I suppose one could wonder what anyone would do with 365 Bibles. Not only did I not have an answer to Jim’s question, I had no idea what he was talking about!

            You remember Jim - - my friend who is typically a day late and a dollar short when it comes to Small Business Marketing Strategies for the Internet. He is always on the lookout for Online Marketing Tools, but seems to misinterpret most everything he tries. He has had some luck in promoting his Sporting Goods Store, especially with Social Networking. Due to my relationship with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing, he usually shares his ideas with me to get my take on it. This also usually results in my clarifying the points he is a little short of understanding. Today, however, it seemed that he had something other than Internet Marketing Ideas on his mind.

            “365 Bibles?” I asked, recognizing the lack of intelligence in my question. 

            “Yeah. You know that contest that you and Pathmaker were working on for the New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible?”

            Nodding my affirmation, I listened as he continued. 

            “Well, I went to http://biblecontest.newlivingtranslation.com/contestrulesandconditionss2.php and entered the contest - - and I won!!!”

            “You mean you won the trip for four to the Holy Land?” I asked, the excitement in my voice causing enough commotion that everyone else in the place began to start paying us a little attention.

            “No, I was too late for the first contest. I am,” he went on, “entered for the Grand Prize for the current contest - - the trip for two to the crystal clear waters of Oahu’s North Shore. No, that’s not what I won - - what I won was one of the Daily Bible Give Aways. Saaaaay, I’m not going to be disqualified because I know someone who works with Pathmaker, am I?”

            I assured him he wasn’t, and then asked, “Why did you ask about 365 Bibles?”

            “Well, I won a daily Bible, and there are 365 days in a year, so I guess that means I won 365 Bibles.”

            I took a deep breath and decided I would have to explain to him how the contest works.

            “Jim, the Daily Bible Give Away doesn’t mean that the winners get a Bible daily, it means that each and every day of the contest someone is chosen and they win a Bible.”

            I watched Jim for a moment, always intrigued by the metamorphosis his face under goes when the truth about a situation sinks in. This time was as enjoyable as ever. He was a little deflated, but rallied quickly.

            “You know, Floyder, I checked that New Living Translation Study Bible out, and it is really pretty neat. After reading it, I seemed to understand God’s word a little better than I usually do. Winning one was a pretty sweet deal.”

            He began to beam again, preparing for his parting salvo.

            “Besides, Floyder, what would I do with 365 Bibles!?!”

 

 

 

 



The New Living Translation Study Bible Sweepstakes

 

            If you aren’t already participating in The New Living Translation Study Bible Sweepstakes you need to correct that situation immediately! Designed by Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing, the Sweepstakes is an excellent example of one of their Small Business Marketing Strategies for utilizing Online Marketing Tools. Benefiting both the participants and the sponsor, the Sweepstakes was designed to help allow the sponsor to achieve certain milestones, and reward the participants as those milestones are met.

            The Sweepstakes started on March 16, 2010 with multiple milestones in place:

                        First Milestone: 1,700 Fans on the NLT Fan Page

                                    The prize for this level was a 32G iPod Touch and a Life Application   
                        Study Bible, with a retail value of $300.00. The rapidity with which this  
                        milestone was reached is nearly unbelievable, as within twenty-four hours, 
                        on March 17th, the 1,700 Fans goal was reached.

                        Second Milestone: 3,500 Fans on the NLT Fan Page

                                    A Kindle DX and a Life Application Study Bible was the prize when 
                        this level was attained, and it didn’t take long to realize the goal! On March 
                        27th, a mere ten days later, this prize, worth $489.00, was awarded.

                        Third Milestone: 5,500 Fans on the NLT Fan Page

                                    It only took a week to add the additional 2000 Fans needed to    
                        reach the Third Milestone. The prize awarded on April 3rd was an Apple iPad 
                        16G and a Life Application Study Bible, valued at $499.00.

                        Fourth Milestone: 9,000 Fans on the NLT Fan Page

                                    To date, the prize for reaching this level, an Apple iPad 32G and a 
                        Life Application Study Bible worth $599.00, has not been awarded, as the 
                        needed number of Fans has still not been reached. 
As well as the four gifts/prizes listed, there is also a Grand Prize - - an Apple iPad 64G and a Life Application Study Bible, which has a value of $829.00.

            The fact that neither of the last two prizes has been awarded is why you need to, with great dispatch!, enter the Sweepstakes and the Contest associated with. Just click through on the following address and follow directions: http://www.facebook.com/NewLivingTranslation. You will also want to enter their Contest and Daily Bible Giveaway by visiting the following site and, again, follow directions: http://biblecontest.newlivingtranslation.com/contestrulesandconditionss2.php. The Grand Prize for the Contest is a trip for two to the Crystal Clear waters of Oahu’s North Shore!   Good luck in both, and enjoy the New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible.

           

 

 

 

 

 


            “Floyder, I am ready!!!”

            Not only did Jim’s proclamation get my attention, it got the attention of everyone in the place. And, like me, they could all see that Jim was, in fact, ready. The question was - - ready for what? He was attired in some of the most unique garb I have ever seen anyone wear. His outfit looked like a cross between a Haz-Mat suit and something retrieved from the prop storage unit of a really bad Science Fiction movie. Where he actually did acquire all of the various parts of his outfit was a mystery, but not as confusing as why he had chosen to dress that way - - and then announce to me that he was ready. By now everyone had actually gathered around us, and I figured we should find out what was going on.

            “Jim,” I asked, “what are you prepared for?

            “The contest. I heard you and Randall talking about a contest where you have to sweep steaks. I have been around enough raw meat to know that it can get more than a little nasty, so I thought I had better get an outfit that would protect me from all the yuckiness.”

            If you have read many of my other blogs you already know about Jim. Owner of an independent Sporting Goods Store, he is, to the best of his ability, trying to go “Hi Tech” with his Marketing. And, as a result, he sometimes gets his wires crossed in regard to the different programs being offered. That, obviously, is what had happened this time. Jim had joined Randall Mains, Director of Pathmaker Marketing, and I the other day late in a conversation we were having regarding the various aspects of a project we are working on for a client. Pathmaker’s area of expertise is coming up with Internet Marketing Ideas, which ranges from Keyword Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Services to Premier Blogging Services and everything in between. For this particular client, the “contest program” that we are employing includes the base contest, a sweepstakes, and a giveaway. Jim, having heard only bits and pieces of what was being said, surmised that there was a contest where the winner would be the one who could best sweep steaks. I smiled at Jim as I explained to him, and all of those present, what Randall and I had actually been talking about.

            The loud groan from the crowd indicated that everyone present was hoping to watch the steak sweeping actually take place. Everyone but Jim drifted away, and once we were alone he just gave me a somewhat sheepish grin. I smiled back, knowing that to him a steak-sweeping contest might actually be a valid Small Business Marketing Strategy. As I thought about it, I could almost accept that it could be an Internet Business Marketing Promotion if you reached the right Target Market with an E-mail blast. 

            “Floyder,” Jim said, breaking my train of thought, “is the contest program working?”

            I assured him that it was. So well, in fact, that this was actually the second contest we are doing for the client. That seemed to satisfy him, and, bidding me adieu, he sauntered out of the restaurant to parts unknown. I, on the other hand, could only wonder if he would have, in fact, won the steak-sweeping contest!

To preview our real NLT Facebook Sweepstakes, Bible Contest and Giveaway, visit the linked copy in this string of text through April 30, 2010. You could enter to win one of our daily NLT Bibles or the Grand Prize of a trip to Hawaii.


            It’s a good thing that my friend Jim is my friend, or we would probably come to fisticuffs every time we talk about the Internet. I have been working with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing for some time now, and as a result Jim seems to have taken it upon himself to stay abreast of my new industry. Since we discussed his endeavors with his Blog on fishing, he has begun to use it as an Online Marketing Tool, and he has actually had some success with it. He has another friend, apparently, who is also sharing Small Business Marketing Strategies with him, and either Jim isn’t listening closely enough to what is being said, or the other person doesn’t really understand what they are talking about, as Jim frequently comes to me with his facts slightly askew. Let me give you another example.

            Jim called me on the phone the other night and asked if we could get together and talk about this great Internet Marketing idea he had regarding the Search Engine Optimization Services that Pathmaker offers. The excitement was so evident in his voice that I agreed to meet with him the very next morning. I had no more than sat down and ordered a glass of OJ than he fairly flew into the restaurant and proclaimed,

“I am going to get 4200 leads this time, Floyder!”

            Everyone in the place was enjoying his enthusiasm, so rather than trying to thwart it I steered him over to a booth that was at least somewhat isolated so we wouldn’t interrupt too many people, and listened to what he had to say. He repeated, even more excitedly than the night before, that he was going to be getting 4200 leads with his next venture excursion into Online Marketing. When I asked him how he knew he would be getting 4200 he simply said, “Well, that’s how many were in a Roman Legion.”

            It stopped me, I’ll have to admit. Even knowing Jim the way I do, I couldn’t quite bridge the gap between Small Business Marketing on the Internet and the Roman Army. Sensing my perplexity, Jim quickly said,

“Floyder, I’m setting up a Legion program, and since there were 4200 soldiers in a legion I figured I will get 4200 leads.” 
            I couldn’t help it - - I was still baffled. Heaving a big sigh, I confessed my ignorance of his latest endeavor and asked him what a “Legion Program’ is.  Now it was his turn to heave a big sigh. He shared with me that this is where you proceed by Targeting Keywords to send people to your Landing Page, and then those people can contact you about your product. See, he finished up, it’s a legion program.  I shook my head slowly back and forth, as it dawned on me that he was referring to a “lead gen,” or lead generating, program. Now, this is an excellent way to use Internet Marketing, and many of Pathmaker Marketing’s clients use such a program to glean leads as often as they try to actually make a sale. Nodding that I now understand what he meant, I corrected Jim’s conception of what he was embarking on.

            He wasn’t devastated, but he did become a little glum. It was apparent that he had his heart set on those 4200 leads, and the fact that it wasn’t as guaranteed as he thought it was took a lot of the air out of his sails! H perked up, though, when I assured him that it was possible he would still get the 4200 leads, and maybe even more. Almost back to his earlier jovial self, Jim headed to his shop and I decided to tell you all about his “Legion Program!”


In this fifth of five blog posts, I'm providing you with 10 Internet Marketing Ideas that will help you be successful online.  Some are practical, some are philosophical, but they are all intended to help you be more successful with your small business marketing strategies. Here are numbers nine and ten, plus a bonus eleventh key to effective internet marketing:

9.    TIMING CAN BE EVERYTHING - To effectively Market certain products we need to have a real grasp of our Target Market.  You will, for example, be able to sell Christmas Program Packages to Pastors - but not in January!!  Typically, they begin their search for Christmas materials shortly after the Fourth of July.  Proper “timing” may also help determine what gives you the greatest sales success at any given time may be.  If you are not familiar with the seasonality factors in your products or business, then determine them.  Proper timing for your offers can bring in substantial results!

10.    TALK WITH YOUR AD VENDOR - Your vendor may not know your line of business as well as you do, but they are seeing advertising results across many clients and industries that you do not have access to, and they will be able to identify trends that are working and universal strategies or tactics that are being effective for other clients of theirs.  Talk with them. Pick their brains. Get the input and feedback on your campaign.  Ask questions.  They may be able to give you those extra tidbits of helpful advice that gets your campaign over the top.

11.    DON'T BE A JOHNNY COME LATELY - Avoid last minute stuff. Many mistakes get made because you are rushing to meet a deadline and everything is coming together at the very last possible moment.  Avoid that pattern.  It leads to errors and oversights.  You need to get your strategies ironed out in advance, and then develop your designs, then budget time for reflection.  Give yourself a day or two in the schedule to reflect on what you've done and how it could be improved. Sometimes we're so caught up in the details we can't keep a perspective on the big picture. You prevent this tunnel vision by ensuring you have that one extra day or two to reflect on your work and make sure it really hits the mark, and has all the components it needs to be a successful online advertising campaign for your company.

For further internet marketing ideas, or tips for fundraising professionals, visit Pathmaker Marketing, or call Randall Mains direct at 623-322-3334.


In this fourth of five blog posts, I'm providing you with 10 Internet Marketing Ideas that will help you be successful online.  Some are practical, some are philosophical, but they are all intended to help you be more successful with your small business marketing strategies. Here are numbers seven and eight:

7.    TEST - TEST - TEST  - The only way to determine what is going to work for you over time is to throw a lot of stuff against the wall and see what sticks.  The odds of first time success are low, but the lack of immediate success should not be discouraging to you.  Consider this - - of all the thousands and thousands of men who have played Major League Baseball, only 102 hit a homerun during their first plate appearance.  Of those 102, only three hit a grand slam!  Some of the men who didn’t hit a homerun in their first plate appearance include Henry Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, and Barry Bonds!!  Willie Mays went 0 for 12 at the beginning of his career, but did hit a homerun his 13th time at bat!  Thomas Edison tried hundreds and hundreds of times to perfect the light bulb.  When asked if he was discouraged by all of his failures, Edison reportedly replied, “Young man I have not failed at all.  I have successfully concluded that none of the elements I have tried so far will work!”  An important point to remember here is that not everything that works for one business will work for another.  As a result, you will need to do your own testing, and not rely just on the results of what others may discover about their product/service/business. Try numerous approaches to see which angle or channel may work for you.

8.    STICK WITH WHAT STICKS! - The goal of “testing” is to throw mud against the wall to see what sticks, and then to stay with what sticks.  We often have such a propensity to be on the “cutting edge” of Marketing that we neglect to step back and decipher exactly what is working versus what is “cutting edge” testing.  While Twitter and Facebook are growing trends for marketers, and often get enormous press, “tweeting” may not be making any money yet for many advertisers.  As you hear about “what’s new,” don’t forget about “what’s old.”  E-mail, with its proven track record, has become a bankable commodity, and that, after all, is what marketing is all about - putting money in the bank!  Find out what works for your business. Stay with what works. Try out the other things using recommendation #7: test, test, test.

For further internet marketing ideas, or tips for fundraising professionals, visit Pathmaker Marketing, or call Randall Mains direct at 623-322-3334.


In this third of five blog posts, I'm providing you with 10 Internet Marketing Ideas that will help you be successful online.  Some are practical, some are philosophical, but they are all intended to help you be more successful with your small business marketing strategies. Here are numbers five and six:

5.    CALCULATE YOUR LIFETIME VALUE STATS - In this sales instance above, you need to factor in “Lifetime Value” of each customer that you make.  “Lifetime Value” alludes to the fact that your first time customer may conduct more than just one business transaction with you over time.  The “real money” may not be in the initial sale from them, but rather in upgrades, upsells or repeat business for other products or services that you have to offer.  With Lifetime Value being considered, a 100% return in sales on your ad prospecting dollar might be considered an excellent investment given the long term rate of return.  That being said, you need to calculate your lifetime value metrics to know how many “sales” or leads you need to make to allow you to make your advertising work. For some businesses, it's 85% of your ad prospecting dollar, for others it's 100%, for some others 150%.

6.    GRASP THE LANDING PAGE CONCEPT- The objective of e-mails and banners is to get qualified potential customers to visit your Landing Page.  Once that happens, the burden of responsibility shifts to your website. It's at the Landing Page that visitors are converted to leads or sales.  The key here is very simple - if your Landing Page is “broken” don’t blame the Advertiser!  Your goal, is to create a Landing Page that works hard to convert qualified traffic into company assets...it needs to motivate the visitor to follow through on what got them there in the first place. Think of your advertising as making the sale, and your landing page as closing the sale. The #1 most important thing you can do for your advertising plan is make sure your landing page(s) work.

For further internet marketing ideas, or tips for fundraising professionals, visit Pathmaker Marketing, or call Randall Mains direct at 623-322-3334.

 

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