Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Indexing Pictures & Videos

There are many companies that depend highly on selling, distributing and showcasing images online. To these companies, having their images searchable are crucial to their business. An example of one of those companies is photobucket.com. “63% of all media links to sites like MySpace are served by Photobucket. Compare that to 8% for Flickr and 1.38% for YouTube” (Arrington, 2006, p. 2). Photo Bucket host online video and photography uploaded by its users and any public content is searched and indexed by search engines. A site like this doesn’t rely on its text to found in search engines, but it also relies on its images search ability.

Having images and video online using a provider such as YouTube, Flickr, Photobucket and Picasa for example, can also help with future marketing of expired contents such as commercials or magazine ads. “Online assets continue to live on, years after the ad is off air” (Philalithes, 2008, p. 4).  An example of this would be a Pepsi commercial featuring Cindy Crawford, which aired in 1991 that still gets views today eighteen years later on YouTube and other video database websites.

It’s a fact that images and online video are starting to gain as much attention as text when it comes to what users are searching for and in what search engines are making available in their own databases. In order for online companies who use images and video as a selling point to continue to ensure that they remain high in the search ranks, they should not avoid making sure that their images and video are just as search engine optimized as their webpage.

Credits

Arrington, M. (2006). 2% of U.S. Internet Traffic goes through Photobucket. Retrieved December 18, 2009, from http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/04/19/2-of-us-internet-traffic-through-photobucket/

Philalithes, C. (2008). A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words. Retrieved December 18, 2009, from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=86986&passFuseAction=PublicationsSearch.showSearchReslts&art_searched=a%20picture%20is%20worth%20a%20thousand%20words&page_number=0

Analyzing the Context of Internet Marketing

Mobile vs. Traditional Internet Context

CompanyEC (CEC) currently does not have a mobile based website. While its current website does fit a normal touch screen mobile device, it is not built for mobile devices at all. The biggest concern from some mobile device users who have tried to view the CEC website, is that they are getting slow loading times for the website. What CEC should do to fix this issue is create a website made specifically for mobile devices (FairWinds Partners, 2007). What this mobile website should include is a link to the about us, testimonials, portfolio, contact us and make a payment. Each of these pages should also be optimized for mobile browsing to allow for faster speed, better graphics and a small amount of clicks to help navigate the user quickly. In addition to creating a mobile website for consumers mobile devices, creating a new marketing plan aimed at mobile devices could also benefit CEC’ mobile marketing (Fairchild, 2009).

Cultural Uniformity Within a Country vs. Cultural Variation within your country: 

I believe that the United States does have cultural differences. These differences include consumers locations, lifestyle, income and many other psychographics and demographics. Being that CEC is an online business located in Dallas, TX, we have to direct our marketing toward consumers within the area. These consumers are normally different form those within other parts of the country. Being that I have personally lived up north and now down south, I have seen many differences in the culture of these consumers. Our normal consumers from up north are normally focused more on design and price, while our consumers from the south are concerned about building a relationship and trust with our company. We have had to change the way that we did business once we moved locations. Nonetheless, being that we work with customers all throughout the country, we try to keep our business practices universal to all customers.

I believe that Internet Marketers target specific ethnic groups. While I believe this, I believe that sometimes, it is necessary based on the target market that the particular business would like to attract. For example, CEC has never had a Middle Eastern customer. Knowing that most of our consumers are African American, Hispanic or White, we target our marketing efforts toward these individuals and businesses because it has a better chance at success as it is proven. Nonetheless, being that we do want all customers and ethnics to purchase services from our company, we may need to look into our marketing strategy and find out a way to make it attractive toward all ethnicities.

Credits

Fairchild, T. (2009). Matching mobile ads to consumer intent. Retrieved May 28, 2010, from http://searchengineland.com/matching-mobile-ads-%20to-consumer-intent-24647

FairWinds Partners LLC. (2007). Mobile web: what is the mobile web? Retrieved May 28, 2010, from http://www.fairwindspartners.com/en/newsroom/perspectives/vol-2-issue-7/mobile-web

Knowing your target market

Finding Your Customer

Understanding your target market can help you identify the wants and needs of each of your target customer groups. Knowing your target market will help in examining the types of potential customers, the primary market, and which other markets are worth pursuing.

Evaluate the below questions and build yourself a solid foundation for the future of your business.

  • What is/are the target market(s)?
  • What are the current needs of your target market?
  • What changes in the target market are anticipated?

Once answered, add these answers to your marketing strategy and use them as a resource for knowing how to speak directly to the customers.

Developing your personal brand

Your brand matters most

Your brand is often your business’s most valuable asset. A strong brand can generate loyal customers and positive sales. It is the responsibility of the marketer to create a brand that customers view as positive and valuable. For the brand to be valuable to the customers, it needs to simplify the decision-making process and reduce the risk for the customers. Positive branding can influence customer behavior. Having a strong brand will result in better earnings and profit performance, which will generate greater shareholder value for your business.

A personal brand is a presentation of your unique skills, knowledge, experience, and expertise that help make you memorable. These unique assets influence employers to hire and professionals to want to work with you. For you to expand your social brand and generate brand awareness, you can start by creating or cleaning up your social media pages. On social media pages, you should not post anything that you don’t want employers or customers to see. This includes both text and images. In addition to social media pages, you should create digital portfolios and personal websites. The benefits of these are that customers can easily find websites, and it allows you to present yourself in favorable conditions.

What to know about e-commerce

E-commerce Effectiveness

Electronic commerce or e-commerce helps to produce sales and operate a product-driven online retail store. To create an effective e-commerce plan, you need to analyze the customer experience from start to the final sales transaction.

An e-commerce website is a great way to deliver and display information about your company and the products you sell. An online presence gives your customers direct access to company information, product information, promotions, specials, real-time data, and much more information day or night. An online presence not only benefits your customers but you, the merchant, can also update your online store without having to worry about boxes and in-store display ads.

When implementing an e-commerce solution make certain you:

  • Have the ability to track sales and reports
  • Can monitor user purchasing habits
  • Have your e-commerce linked to your email campaigns
  • Have a phone number just for your e-commerce store
  • Have an easy, trusted, secure check-out method

Philosophy Of A Website For Visitors

Website visitors want clear immediate direction on what they should do once your website is pulled. Wordy text, meaningless graphics, and multiple differing calls to action, are the ingredients to cause visitor bafflement and bounce. Your website should have a clearly defined goal, and that goal should be straightforward for your website visitors.
  • Is your website to produce leads? If so, then the path for conversion is for the visitors to signup in as few clicks as possible.
  • Is your website to have visitors call you? If so, then the path for conversion is for the visitors to call.
  • Is your website ecommerce? If so, then the path for conversion is for the visitors to get to your thank you page in as few clicks as possible.
  • Is your website informational? If so, then the path for conversion is for the visitors to get at what they want in the shortest time and path.
Unluckily, there is no easy fix when website clutter exists. Overhauling a website begins when the visitors’ perspective is taken. Demographic user testing is the starting point. Learned insights shed light on your website’s:
  • intuitiveness
  • messaging
  • conversion paths
  • content value
  • overall context
Identified insight variables become your blueprint for delivering a predictable goal designed website for your visitors. See on the web, your visitor is always right. By constructing your website for visitor usability, you in turn increase visitors’ desired action as well as upgrade your website’s SERPs, which is a bonus win for your bottom line.

Market growth potential

Know Your Potential

Knowing your market growth potential can enhance the implied value of your business if you are prepared. Market growth examines where the market for a business is going and whether it is moving in a different direction from where it has been. It also defines how the business can use its strengths to take advantage of this growth.

Knowing your market growth potential means to understand a setback or increase in product demand and have your next move prepared. For example, if a new technology is coming to the market, you need to make certain that you are ready and equipped to implement the technology into your business to satisfy those hard-to-please customers.

Unique Value Proposition:

Your company should be able to test important benefits and needs through gaining feedback from current, previous and potential customers on their view of the company. Through this method you should be able to find flaws within the company and make the needed corrections. On average, a company’s website should get redesigned 1 – 2 times per year based on your customer feedback. This will help you keep up with the latest styles and designs of today and tomorrow and compete within the highly competitive market.

Another valuable method to use is continuing to view your competitors online and offline presence. By reviewing forums, complaint boards and competitor websites for credibility, design and customer testimonials, you will be able to find flaws and/or gain valuable insight on your design and customer service.

To track the affect of your user website experience, use online tools such as Google analytics, Quantcast and Alexa to track user navigation, user stay, user region, and user search keywords.

Another way to test the UVP is through the use of customer feedback forms which you should have implemented into your website or within your company. This is proven to work with other companies and you should work on creating a valuable customer feedback forms that you can use to help create a more successful company through continually finding and satisfying the needs and wants of your customers.

Networks to Market Your Brand

1. DMOZ Directory 

– DMOZ is a great directory service that ranks very well within Google. Any link listed in DMOZ gets top priority with Google and can drastically help increase the page rank and position of the website. The issue with DMOZ is that it is hard to get listed in. There is a long approval process that doesn’t accept everyone and it will take months to get listed within this directory if it actually does get approved, which there is a high chance that it wont.

2. Yahoo Directory 

– The yahoo directory is well known and can easily increase the page rank of its subscribed members. What does it take to be a member? Only $299 per year recurring is all. While this is a great website to get listed on, it is pretty expensive to many. While most may see it as a rip-off due to the pricing, if the calculations are done correctly, it’s really only $25 per month. This issue with getting listed here is that the directory doesn’t get much business besides from advertisers. Nonetheless, it does give a valuable backlink and drastically helps with ranking position on yahoo.com.

3. Online Design Directory – Sponsored Ad

This website shows at the top of the listing when “web design” is searched for within Google and other search engines. It’s a fairly new website, but it has created quick buzz and has ranked fast within the search engines. By signing up with a sponsored ad for $20 per month, a website text link can be listed on each of its 60,000 plus pages. This is great for being searched and greatly increases backlinks.

4. Web Designers Directory

This is another great website directory that shows up on the top of the searched keyword “web design.” Ways to use this website would be for backlinks and for its credibility. Listings can be done by either getting listed in the directory or paying for a sponsored text or banner link.

5. Xemion.com – Sponsored Ad

Here is another example of a top ranked website that accepts sponsored ads. This website has a low rank for the Texas web design category. However, the site is well known and ranks high within search engines.

6. iFreelance Directory

This website is for freelancers, however, those looking for a web designer normally are just looking for a good price. Many companies market on this site and for good reason. This site places a link, portfolio, and contact information for each company or individual that wishes to be listed in a particular category. The ultimate goal of this site is for buyers to get estimates from bidders on their upcoming project. Normally the lowest bid and value wins.

7. Craigslist

This is a free service that is pretty cheap, but it gets the job done. By placing a local advertisement up within the computer category, users can use the search word “web design” and locate the company’s ad and link to its website. This website gets high ranks and provides easy backlinks and use of keywords for search engines.

8. Twitter

Twitter is a pretty broad website to use to place an ad on. However, it has great credit and a great page rank. What makes this website better than other social networking sites for marketing is that it does not cloak external links. This allows for search engines to find the link easy and link it back to the company website.

9. Merchant Circle

This is a simple company that lists local companies for its users. By the user typing their keyword into the search bar and then entering their city, they may easily find what they are looking for. This website gives a credible backlink, but it doesn’t help with page rank as this website only has a high page rank on its home page. Though it doesn’t help with page rank, it is a good website to use for being found.

Knowing your market needs and trends

Market Needs

The market needs help to compare your business and its product or service with the competition in regards to customer experience. Allowing your business to strategically cater to the customers’ market needs. From the customers’ perspective, you need to have answered, what problem does your business solve? What does your business offer that the customer can’t get anywhere else?

Market Trends

It is important to be able to recognize when a change can or will affect your business. Knowing the needs of the market and understanding trends will help you always be aware of industry adjustments.

Your product or service needs to help change the way customers are solving the problem that your product or service addresses.

Trends to think about include:

  • Demographic
  • Political/regulatory
  • Economic
  • Socio-cultural
  • Technological
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