Author Archives: Fletch Murray

Inbound Links: Making a Chihuahua website look like a big dog to Google

Building Links
Make Your Website Look Like a Big Dog
The topic of today is expanding your “web presence” on the internet.  You’ve probably heard about “inbound links” but how do they improve your relevancy to Google? How do you apply this idea?  Well, dogs have been using something very similar for centuries. Although it’s a crude example, it will serve.

Dogs pee to mark their territory with their “name.” The more trees they mark, the bigger their “presence”. Let’s say the dog’s named Gizmo.  Every tree Gizmo pees on, makes Gizmo’s “presence” bigger.  He moves from being Little Gizmo to being Big Gizmo (even if he’s a chihuahua.) Eventually, after enough trees, he becomes King Gizmo despite his small size.

Having just a website is simliar to having marked just one tree. Answerbag says that in a 2008 report by Google, it estimates the internet is growing by several billion pages a day. At this time Google has indexed more than a trillion unique web page URL’s.   What do we learn from this? Your web presence of one tree isn’t going to be enough. And every business owner needs a link building strategy for their enterprise social media campaign.

Link Building Strategies

That’s the bad news. The good news is you can actively make your website more findable and relevant to a small or large number of hot prospects.  You just have to locate the trees. One of the online trees you can target are other relevant blogs and social networks. By finding these blogs and socially enabled sites, engaging in relevant conversation and leaving a trail back to your site in the form of your name and your website address (URL), you can make your mark.

Google checks all the trees and makes a cross-indexed list of their locations. So when somebody wants a chihuahua, Google checks the list of trees and says, “King Gizmo is your dog.”

Having an effective marketing plan online must, must, must include building links to your site. While it’s not hard to build links yourself, sometimes finding the right trees (blogs and comments on social media networks) can be challenging. And not all inbound links are given the same value by Google. So being able to evaluate the quality of the potential link before you create it can be useful. To do that you may need some advanced software or the help of a knowledgable inbound marketing consultant that understands long tail keyword research and inbound links.

Are Direct Response TV Ads a Less Expensive Investment Than Postcards?

wooly chases cavemanThe earliest form of Direct Mail Campaigns was when a caveman would enlighten his fellow cavemen that an economic opportunity was coming their way. This was rapidly followed by print advertisements as a less risky alternative.

Postcards still work for many advertisers, but has the cost of TV commercial production dropped enough to make it as inexpensive as color postcards?

The answer is ‘Yes’. For the moment. Don’t ask during voting season, as the cost of TV air time dramatically increases!

But today, a top quality commercial from a real creative department, script, actors, studio, lights, camera, action can reach more people at less cost than postcards. (see below)

postcards vs tv postcards

What’s the catch?  Here are the facts:

FACT #1 – You can drop the cost of shooting and editing the commercial by 85% by using the Canon 5D or 7D, the cameras used to shoot the entire Season 6 finale of “House, M.D.”.

– The cost of airtime has dropped. Between political campaign seasons, the price of airtime drops back to “normal” and sometimes bargain levels. That’s happening right now.FACT #3 – To print and mail 6″ by 8″ color postcards to 44,000 households at least three times costs $66,969.   (printing, mailing list rental, postage)FACT #4 – For the same $66,969 you can reach 44,000 households twelve times with a 60-second commercial.FACT #5 – For $36,600 you can reach 44,000 households twelve times with a 30-second TV spot.

FACT #6 – Postcards have only color, still pictures and words to motivate the customer to act. They’re the silent salesperson. A frozen message.

FACT #7 – A TV commercial has color, music, voice, pictures, words, and emotional tones to really tantalize, demonstrate the problem, the solution and give them a real call to action to motivate the customer to act.

CONCLUSION: If your market development strategy doesn’t include TV, maybe it should. The facts are in your favor.

ADDED BENEFITS: You can use the TV commercials (spots) for your web marketing.

as_seen_on_TVBeing able to say “As seen on TV” on your website, adds tremendous stature, legitimacy and relevance to your web presence. It inspires confidence and trust.
If your sales department isn’t set up for a large spike of calls that occurs in the first ten minutes after your commercial airs, it’s important to set up the following:

call center

  • a live, American call center (100 calls/minute)
  • an automated, email, incentive fulfillment system
  • an automated email system to send leads to your sales team.
  • It’s an automatic, one-stop solution to lead handling.
  • COST – Between $8 – 14k depending on your requirements.

Many business owners have probably figured that TV advertising was well out their grasp cost-wise, so may not have bothered even researching it. But if the cost of a comprehensive postcard campaign is within their reach, TV can be an excellent and cost-effective part of an effective marketing plan.

Business Expansion is a Team Sport

I am often asked how it’s possible that The Association’s marketing campaigns are so successful. While I would love to take credit for the results we get for our clients, it is a team effort. In fact, a really, really big part of the success of any campaign is the client themselves. After all, we can only help a business owner who is committed to the success of the campaign and the success of his or her company.

The Association: Creative Film, Video and New Media Solutions

From past experience, the main goal of most business owners is to expand their business, ideally without also expanding the headache of having a business (of any size). While we can’t guarantee there won’t be any headaches, there are ways to painlessly increase leads, which of course would lead to more sales = expansion.

Accordingly, The Association team created a Business Expansion Program.  The first step is to conduct an extensive Business Development Survey in order to focus on the problem areas that need to be addressed in order to achieve a more ideal situation. This survey is a proprietary list of questions developed over 24 years in business.  We know what to ask. And we really listen.

Gearing For Expansion
Armed with your information, we set up an Expansion Program that is tailored to achieve the results that you want for your business. Quite often this includes addressing key business elements that would prevent the success of a marketing campaign that would bring in more leads. What good would more leads be if the company fell apart under the stress of more leads?

Generally, the next step is usually market research data collection, which tell us what we need to design a Market Development Strategy to reach your audiences and get them to take action. With this data, our creative team comes up with solutions which not only fits your budget but also pays back your investment.

Businesses are individual and unique, and require solutions tailored to those needs. While all of our tools might be applicable for most companies, the application of these tools often requires a nuanced understanding and careful observation of the existing scene, from outside the business.  And a cookie cutter solution isn’t enough.

Whatever you are trying to accomplish, find a success partner who has any skills you may lack, who is interested in helping you succeed, and who can be part of your winning team. To start, this might be as simple as getting an intern proficient in new computer skills, or as advanced as hiring a direct response advertising agency.  Good luck!

Marketing From the Heart: Creating a Brand Your Audience Will Love

Marketing from the Heart

Your visual identity and its emotional impact is a seldom-understood concept in the world of consumer analysis and marketing. However, your brand is a commodity with real value!

Market research specialist Tracy E. Locke is a brand developer and professional writer who is available for private workshops at The Association. These workshops help to to assist business professionals with implementing an effective marketing plan using the same successful methods The Association has used for larger corporate clients.

“I enjoyed it, I thought Tracy was wonderful. I really enjoyed her spirit… that heart
centered place she came from, that focus, I think is really key to where I’m coming from
in my business.”  Philip Horowitz- Phlip ‘N Nick Corporation

You can invest in developing a brand that is the basis of effective promotion and the heartfelt focus of your business.  In fact, you ARE the brand of your own business if you are the only person in the company. Don’t neglect to develop that brand by assuming it will develop all by itself. By seeking out a trained professional who can draw that brand out, and create a brand equity you can use for years, you can achieve success in business faster.