Category Archives for "online marketing"

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3 Essential Marketing Lessons from Major League Baseball 2015 Season

Right-handed baseball batterBaseball is the second most popular sport in the United States, second only to football. But it didn’t get that way overnight. Great players, a season format that promotes suspense and great marketing has helped Major League Baseball maintain and expand viewership through generations.

But how does this help your business?

While the Major Leagues might seem so large it doesn’t apply to a small business, there are still marketing lessons you can learn from the MLB.

1. Leadership

In 2015 Rob Manfred was elected as the new MLB Commissioner. Manfred has worked within the MLB since 1987, but when he took over in January, he was faced with an archaic system that had not optimized itself for the current age.

As a newly elected leader, Manfred had the bravery to question how baseball’s viewership had changed in a fast-paced, digital age where people’s interests and attentions flit among subjects, concerns and thoughts.

As a leader in your business, constantly ask these difficult questions: “How are our customers or clients changing, and are we adaptive enough?” And then take action. Manfred didn’t simply ask difficult questions — changes are already on the way.

He has promoted inning changes in less than three minutes and has vocalized concerns about pitchers who loiter on the mound and slow down the game. He has even supported the use of warnings and fines to the worst perpetrators.

These are great examples of how leaders can address issues with swift action. Manfred saw a problem with the MLB’s product and implemented changes to rectify it.

2. Serve Your Customers Better

He has also employed outreach agencies for a more diverse demographic fandom, such as LatinWorks, which has constructed the MLB’s largest-ever Hispanic-centered marketing campaign. In this campaign, Manfred has identified a market that he knows can grow.

Do the same for your small business. Identify the markets and demographics you haven’t reached. What steps can your business take to expand and include this new market? For the MLB, this may mean ads in Spanish and highlights of great Hispanic players.

Video can grab the eye far more easily than still frames. For a locally owned pub, for instance, you could target college students by designating Wednesday or Thursday nights as College Night — drink discounts for those with a student ID.

While these might be two very different examples, they both identify a market and then grow the business in that specified direction.

3. Social Media

Only 18 percent of millennials follow baseball media, states Hannah Kurtz, the Digital Coordinator at Maven Communications, on LinkedIn. That’s the same percentage of people over 65. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the MLB is aware it needs new customers to maintain viewership.

Consumers, but millennials especially, increasingly get their media from mobile devices and the Internet. Social media is where many young people spend their free time.

The MLB has utilized Twitter for real-time news updates that reach a younger audience. Furthermore, many teams give discount codes for tickets and sweepstakes on their Twitter accounts, which promotes engagement and loyalty.

As a small business, you can use social media in a similar way.

Provide exclusive content and contests for those who take interest via the web.

Get more from innovation in your marketing campaigns.

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Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
marketing mishaps and how to fix

3 Common Online Marketing Mishaps And How to Bounce Back

Everyone makes mistakes.

And as a marketer, it’s inevitable that one will happen on the job. When those marketing blunders do occur, make sure you bounce back strong and learn valuable lessons about preventing them in the future.

Here are three strategies for recovering from three common mishaps.

1. Social Media Slips

Using trending hashtags can allow more people to see your brand’s message. However, you must choose your hashtags wisely.

For example, Entenmann’s posted a tweet reading “Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!” On that same day #notguilty was trending because of the Casey Anthony trial. Just minutes later the baked goods company tweeted an apology noting that they should have checked the trending hashtag first.

They followed up with, “Our #notguilty tweet was insensitive, albeit completely unintentional. We are sincerely sorry.”

How to Bounce Back:

In Entenmann’s case, a little research could have gone a long way. Before you tweet, get a second opinion from one of your colleagues.

And, if you do decide to go hashtag surfing with a trending hashtag in one of your posts, do your research about how that hashtag is being used elsewhere.

2. Data Breaches

Over the past few years data breaches have made headlines and have been the subject of nightly news reports. Large, well-established companies like Target, P.F. Chang’s, Albertsons, Neiman Marcus, Sony, Home Depot, and UPS were all victims of data breaches in 2014, Forbes reports.

According to Triple Pundint, fallout from the Target breach cost the retail giant $61 million. The money was spent on software updates, credit monitoring, customer reimbursement, and legal fees. But that’s not the only area where Target took a hit.

The Washington Post reported that the Target data breach completely destroyed consumer trust, leading to a 50 percent drop in the fourth fiscal quarter. Furthermore, a survey issued by Retail’s Reality found that 45 percent of consumers do not believe that retailers do enough to keep their personal information safe.

How to Bounce Back:

Whether the data breach is caused by malicious hackers or is the result of human error, a company must work to keep their loyal consumers informed. Many consumers were disappointed in the way that Target handled the breach because the retailer issued a statement three weeks after the breach was first identified. Addressing the security issue must come first, but it’s important to consider your customer’s best interest.

Companies must also inform customers how to identify suspicious activity on their account. According to LifeLock, in addition to company safeguards, consumers can protect their identities and keep their personal information safe by only providing their social security number when it’s absolutely necessary and creating strong passwords.

3. Email Marketing Mishaps

In 2011, and employee from The New York Times sent an email to 8 million subscribers with a message that was intended for 300 former members that had recently canceled their subscription. The email asked the people who recently canceled to reconsider, and offered a 50 percent discount as an incentive.

If this email campaign was executed properly, it would have been a great way to earn back subscribers. Instead, some subscribers assumed it was spam, others thought it was the work of hackers, and most unfortunate, loyal readers were enraged and sounded off about the discount.

Employees responded quickly and told their subscribers that it was simply human error.

How to Bounce Back:

This email marketing nightmare could have been avoided by double-checking the recipient list. If you’ve experienced an email marketing mishap, take note of The New York Times‘ approach. Offer an apology to your customers, and continue to provide quality service.

In this case, the best thing to do is move on. Just remember, for your next email campaign, check your list twice before you hit “send.”

Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
millennials-your-business-future

How To Begin Shifting All Facets of Business Toward Millennials

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 92 million people in the Millennial generation, making it the largest cohort of today, accounting for $200 billion in annual buying power. The people born between 1980 and 2000 have a unique perspective on the world, radically different from previous generations, and any wise business will adjust to cater to its demand.
millennials and shifting your business strategies and focus

Responsive And Adaptive Websites

Being the first generation to grow up exposed to always-on digital media, Millennials are the tech generation. This demographic is more likely to play video games, watch TV online and conduct most of their daily conversations via text message. In a typical day, the average Millennial will use a computer, smartphone and tablet, sometimes simultaneously, which means you need to be targeting digital platforms if you want to get attention from Millennial customers. A business’s website needs to be designed or redesigned to be mobile friendly and perhaps eve in app form.

Responsive websites will change their look and functionality depending on the type of device the consumer is using. What may be designed as three columns on a desktop will be one column on a smartphone. Adaptive layouts collect data on the user, often stored as cookies, a change the look and functionality depending on the user’s responses. An adaptive website would drive male customers to pages that are generally considered male interests. A Millennial’s innate knowledge of web design expects this level of online interaction.

Take To The Cloud

Like the Internet, the youngest adult generation is going twenty-four hours, seven day a week. Another important company shift to capture the Millennial market is to move from a local, 9-to-5 workday to one that is global and always ON. Your business may need to use a cloud-based contact center to expand its customer service without adding a ton in overhead costs. This system will allow your business the ability to reach out to customers through digital media and have them communicate back via email, text or voice-controlled automated phone calls. Using this, the consumer has some form of customer care available any time of the day or night.

Make Marketing Social

According to Maker Studios Chief Content Officer Erin McPherson, Millennials do not dislike brands, but rather, they dislike advertisements based on inauthenticity. Because of the technology available to them, notably Netflix and other streaming services, they do not need to suffer ingenuous marketing. The new business’s marketing strategy should focus more on relationship marketing, offering genuine connections with consumers. Instead of devoting marketing funds to commercials that will fall on deaf ears, build a social media presence that will keep the customer coming back to engage. Write all of your Facebook posts in the first person, talk directly to the Millennial and create a relationship that is real.

Most Millennials will trust a blog, review, or Facebook comment over an advertisement. Social media is how Millennials determine authenticity. They ask friends and connections to weigh-in on products or services. Since the average Millennial has more than 300 Facebook friends, the review network is expansive. The Millennial-focused business will tap into this network with their own, trustworthy social media commentary.

Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.

What Can You Learn From The Best Digital Marketers of 2013?

It’s official! In a world of pervasive online media, relying on traditional marketing techniques is destined to fail.

Successful companies continue to innovate with unique Internet marketing campaigns that captivate viewers and translate into a broader market base. Looking to the top companies of 2013 provides a glimpse into the types of Internet marketing strategies that pay big dividends.

Oreo

Oreo doesn’t necessarily jump to the forefront of your mind when considering tech-savvy companies. But clever marketing execs at the company made headlines during the 2013 Super Bowl for a witty marketing campaign. When the lights went out for 30 minutes at the Superdome during the third quarter, Oreo turned to Twitter. The company released a tweet stating “Power Out? No Problem.”top trends and results from digital marketers in 2013

With an image of a single Oreo with a dark background and the caption, “You can still dunk in the dark,” Oreo’s quick-thinking tweet was retweeted approximately 15,000 times.

According to Wired magazine, Oreo had a 15 person team in charge of social media during the game, allowing them to react quickly to changing circumstances. The take-home message? Always be ready to capitalize on the trends of the moment. Keeping track of trending topics on Twitter is a smart way to identify ways to connect with customers (for example, #SuperBowlBlackOut was the number one trending hashtag worldwide during the Super Bowl).

Keep in mind that Internet trends are brief, often lasting just a few days, so quick thinking is essential.

DirecTV

In 2013, DirecTV made great strides, with its stock rising 25.01% over the previous year. Online marketing is an important part of its overall strategy to grow its user base. For example, DirecTV has reached out to bars and restaurants to make itself the most desirable television content provider on the market.

The company’s exclusive DirecTV MVP Marketing Program offers free promotional tools to businesses with a sports package subscription.

One of the smartest perks of this program is DirecTV’s “Sports Bar Finder” mobile app. This popular app lists great sports bars in the user’s area, but only those that subscribe to DirecTV are listed. Companies seeking to emulate DirecTV’s success should think about perks that they can offer big clients. Providing exclusive access to important apps or promotional tools that allow a major client to grow his own business is a savvy marketing choice.

Plus, it’s a win-win for your company and your clients.

Kohls Cares

Kohls department store continues to struggle to stay competitive, with only 2.2% growth in sales in 2012, according to Forbes. However, the company upped its social media strategy in 2013, creating a successful Internet campaign based around its philanthropic efforts. Dubbed “Kohls Cares,” a Facebook campaign offered people 20 votes to cast for their favorite schools. The 20 winning schools received $500,000 each, for a total of a $10 million giveaway.

This successful campaign earned Kohls 1.5 million “Likes” on Facebook.

For companies seeking to emulate Kohls’ success, a public philanthropic effort isn’t enough. Kohls focused its campaign on an issue (education) important to its key demographic — busy moms.

A successful philanthropic Internet campaign should connect with your customer base on the issues that matter most. For example, if you run a local home improvement store, perhaps you could generate a campaign focused on donations to Habitat for Humanity.

Tying the success of the campaign to customer input is also important. Create a daily voting strategy or tie the amount donated to the number of “Likes” or retweets for maximum marketing impact.

photo credit: GloriaGarcía | cc

Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.

9 Ideas For Building Traffic To Your Website From Pinterest

Pinterest has grown to be a major social networking site that has the potential to greatly increase the traffic to any website. That’s why it is important, especially for new and pioneering businesses, to incorporate this social networking site to their online marketing strategy.

Although using Pinterest itself is already an effective habit, knowing and applying these nine ideas for building traffic to your website is something that will accelerate your success.

pinterest_logo_red-large1. Generate Original Ideas

Posting original content within Pinterest is going to be the key to your success, so make sure you always have new and great ideas. You have the option of repinning, but becoming truly influential means also posting your own ideas. The key is to express your message effectively and making it interesting at the same time. Posting effective and enticing content regularly will earn you a loyal following.

2. Get Great Visuals

Visuals are key because there needs to be something worth pinning and re-pinning in the first place. Enticing the eyes of your users is the most effective way to get their attention. This is where finding awesome contributing photographers and illustrators to work for you come to play. It’s also good to mix up your content by pinning videos on your board.

3. Add Pin-It Buttons to Your Site

The easiest way to get your site content shared is to install a widget on your site. Don’t underestimate the power a Pin-it button has in getting your content out there. Before you add one, you need to determine whether adding such a button is beneficial for you. If your site has a number of different widgets, it might be better to remove one first and replace it with the Pin-It button so you don’t clog up your site.

4. Pin Up Blog Posts

Like any social media site, you shouldn’t go overboard when posting your own content. You should always focus on providing good content for your users that they can share with their followers and friends. Make sure the topic of your blog post matches the board you’re pinning it up to. Ensure that the image you’re using is of high quality because it is the first thing users will see.

5. Link Your Pinterest Page to Everything Else

Linking your profile to your business website, your other social networking sites, and pages filled with related content gives you the opportunity to gain as much exposure as possible. With them all linked together, viewers of your Pinterest profile will have access to any website you want them to look at, which increases your chances of sales. Doing this will benefit you because after acquiring a decent size following, your other sites are all put in the spotlight for your followers to view.

6. Cozy Up to Big Brands by Showing off Your Content

Most big, well-known brands suck at Pinterest. They may have a solid following, but they’re still trying to figure it out. You may not know it, but you can help them. If you’re consistently sharing awesome visuals that lead to quality content on a topic that’s relevant to their audience, they will re-pin your stuff over and over again. In turn, you will get exposed to their audience and grab some of them to follow you too.

7. Organize Your Pinboards

Believe it or not, users may not want to follow every topic or category you cover. Let them pick and choose, don’t have too many of them. If a user has to scroll to see more boards, they likely won’t. Focus on well-curated boards with defined categories so you could make things easier for your followers to choose.

8. Name Your Pinboards Wisely

Don’t over-complicate your pinboard names with clever names. Pinterest users make a split-second decision to follow you or not follow you and never return. Going too generic isn’t advantageous as well. Naming your pinboards somewhere between generic and overly creative is something important you must learn overtime.

9. Spread Out Your Pinning Across All Boards

It’s not good to focus all your attention on only one board. It may overwhelm those following that single board and turn off those following the other boards. Even if it’s a board you can’t find much content for, it’s better to update it every so often than to leave it dormant. Take the time to update your boards at least once a week to keep things fresh for your followers.

Pinterest takes some time to get used to, but once you have enough followers, seeing the numbers drastically increase is a great reward. Provided that you keep posting good content, your followers will start recommending you and repinning your content. This allows more people to stumble upon your profile and see your posts for themselves. It is a great cycle that just needs to be fueled by top quality content, so make sure you don’t leave it out of your online marketing strategy.

Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.

How Captive Audience Marketing Still Works For Advertisers

In 2010, Time Magazine wrote an article about schools selling advertising space in their hallways to companies that wanted to market to children and teenagers.

The subject matter was harmless — banner ads spanning lockers trying to sell branded notebooks and school supplies — but parents of children who attended the schools had problems with the districts essentially commercializing what’s intended to be a place of education.Cinema audience

The practice is called “captive audience advertising.”

In the case of the schools, the children really had no other choice than to walk up and down those halls every morning, seeing the ads each day.

They were the captive audience.

Today’s best and most common example would be movie theaters.

Playing ads before the movie starts is a classic example of captive audience marketing.

Unless you plan to stare at the floor or lose your seat by hiding in the bathroom, you have no way to avoid them.

The Reputation

Right now, it’s not good. For the past several years captive audience advertising has been labeled as intrusive and ineffective.

A 2004 Wired Magazine article said the method of marketing was essentially dead, and can you blame them?

Just look at the name — captive audience marketing — that term implies force, something consumers don’t take kindly to.

Advertising Redefined

Though it’s much less obvious, captive audience marketing is still used today. Let’s use the service industry for example. Many bars and pubs have TVs spread across the walls, playing any and all sports each night.

But if you look closely, some of those TVs might not be playing live TV at all. Some of them have dedicated in-house ads running food and drink specials, music events and other happenings to keep you coming back.

Chances are, you noticed them but didn’t even realize you were being targeted. It’s not subliminal advertising (because parts of that are illegal) but it is a sort of passive advertising.

It’s also incredibly cheap. According to www.DirectTvDeal.com, a starting satellite package for your bar or restaurant can be $30 per month.

On top of the cost of televisions, that’s a quick rate of return if your customers keep coming back to take advantage of your specials.

Apply It To Your Marketing Campaigns

So now that you know what captive audience advertising is, isn’t, and more importantly, what it should be, there are some pretty simple steps to apply it to your own marketing campaign.

  • Sell small. No one bought a car because they saw the ad in a movie theater. Sell smaller products — food specials, free trials, special events, etc. The amount of customers you bring in will outweigh selling big to a small number.
  • Be subtle. Passive advertising isn’t flashy and doesn’t force its way in (remember what we said earlier). Your customers shouldn’t feel like they’re being advertised to like a 30-second commercial before a YouTube video.
  • Give them options. Hulu’s advertising before videos gives you the chance to let them know if the ad shown was relevant to you. Press yes and it will show more of the same. Press no and it will try to adjust its ads to fit your style.

When done right, this method of advertising is both affordable and effective. Best of all, it’s not intrusive like the Time article implies.

Do this in your own business and you’ll like the results.

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Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.

Business Growth Strategy #1: Consider Self-Promotion vs Doing

When I (me) meet business professionals around the nation, it doesn’t take long before the conversation turns to what they do, how they do it, how long they’ve been in business, how many clients they serve, etc.

And, I hear about out-dated, over-used slogans and statements about “why/how” they are different than the rest. Boring, most of the time. Especially in the professional services businesses like chiropractors, doctors, cosmetic surgeons, financial planners, lawyers, CPA’s, veterinarians.

I guess it’s what’s expected. All the ads and messages are the same.

Just go look at a Yellow Pages section of business. Tiresome.

However, there is an elite group of business professionals who take a different stance and approach.

They are the Houdini tribe people.
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Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.