Another Social Media Advertising Channel
Web-based services for consumers are entering their monetization phases. Pinterest and Instagram have introduced advertising. Pinterest said its ads will begin in September but started testing them back in January 2014. Pinterest (of course) says the ads will be “tasteful and transparent” and won’t come in display banner or pop-up form, but rather will be called “promoted pins”. Users will see them in their feeds and in the search category. They’ll be the same as regular pins, but will say “promoted”. This is the same strategy that (Facebook-owned) Instagram uses.
Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are available for local businesses. Some speculate that it’s a foretelling sign of the search giant’s e-commerce intentions. When users search for products on Google they will encounter localized, product-centered advertisements on the search results from local merchants. If they click, users will arrive at “local storefronts” (Google) where they can browse store inventory. Gogole is also innovating some of its other levels, the release of Hummingbird and the introduction of hashtag search.
Small Business Owners Bow Down to Amazon
2013 was the year that consumer shopping, research and social habits went fully digital. eMarketer reported online sales grew more than four times the rate of 3.4% that the National Retail Federation forecasted. Not all companies were successful though. The ones that invested in better user experience fared much better. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s this company called Amazon that’s sucking up a lot of the e-commerce today. Obviously small business owners really struggle competing with Amazon, Wal-Mart,etc and that’s not likely to change any time soon. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean that consumers are going to consider buying from you not matter how good that “SEO” company you use claims they are. By the way, 45% of small business owners say this is their biggest concern.
Improving Click Through Rates on Your E-Commerce Site
Let’s talk click through rate (CTR) and pay per click (PPC). Use basic judgment, think about what type of advertisements appeal to you.
- Be Unique – Web surfer’s will glance at your ad in the search results page. (Don’t say SERP. It sounds stupid.) They probably won’t read it, so you have a very small window to engage them.
- Use A/B Testing – One of the greatest (and easiest to explain) things about web marketing is that you can change your ad text on the spot, if A isn’t working, try B.
- Consider Mobile – Is your site optimized for mobile? It should be, because a lot of tech savvy shoppers are only looking at your site online.
If any of this sounds basic to you, good for you – you understand the basics of marketing. Unlike some internet marketers who try to blow smoke you know where, I’m not reinventing the wheel, just giving you advice on effective marketing strategies.
80/20 Rule to Eliminate Bad Clients
Here’s something I’ve learned about successful business minds : they politely dismiss bad clients. If you work 8 hours a day and bill $40 an hour to Client A, $80 an hour to Client B and $120 an hour to Client C, obviously there are variables, but the question remains : Why Wouldn’t You Just Drop Client A ?
If a client is particularly difficult to work with, maybe their business is a little “bush league” than guess what : Drop Um’.
Big companies do this All the Time. For example : when you have to order in bulk – that’s the business telling you that they don’t feel like dealing with you because you’re operation is too small. Coca-Cola does 50 cases to the middle of New York City, earns a big percentage, but then has to drive to the outskirts of the city to deliver 5 cases to a mom and pop store. Enter A Solution : You Must Purchase 30 Cases. Either, the smaller fish will have to up their order, or you’ll lose them, but at the same time you’ll save time and money that you can allocate to your core customers like that 50 case company.