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Viral Marketing Plan – Case Study

The benefit of a viral marketing plan is to create a video that focuses on entertaining the consumer while providing valuable information on your brand and what it offers. The video should provide information on the benefits of the company. The concept of the video should be informative and intended for viewers to spread the video via word of mouth and websites they are members of.

After watching the video, the consumer should be inspired to visit your company, call, visit its website, and share the viral marketingvideo and information about your company to their friends.

viral marketing plan should be distributed on video uploading and social networking sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and by using other multimedia embedding networks and websites.

Once consumers watch the video, the expectation should be for them to share it with their friends via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and email. By uploading the video to social networking sites like Vimeo and YouTube, the video will have its own embed code and link so that consumers can watch the video and then either link to it from their social networking sites and email, or they can embed them directly onto their own websites.

The unique thing about marketing via a video on a media website is that those videos can also be viewed from a users’ cell phone. This is another way for users to find the video and view it. By having a computer with basic Internet access or by having a cell phone with media output, users can search for and view the promotional video.

Users may find this message by searching for it on multimedia sites, or searching through search engines video search for specific keywords. The main expected audience should come form word of mouth marketing and through social networking sites.

By providing consumers a viral marketing concept that is entertaining in value, they will natural be curious as to who created the video and what that company is all about. The video can attract new consumers that couldn’t normally be reached from graphic animations.  A viral marketing plan can easily create a positive image for your company while also providing valuable content for users to want to share with family and friends.

Example Website Business Plan

CompanyEC is an interactive recruitment marketing company founded in 2003 and headquartered in Minnetonka Minnesota. This company utilizes interactive marketing and technology to help its clients find better, engage better and know better candidates activities through multiple channels of recruiting. The goal of the company is to help businesses find better job recruits at an affordable cost. This company believes that recruiting is a form of marketing and they take pride in their marketing skills. By using online tools such as search engines, social networks, employee referrals, past applicants and recruiting networks, CompanyEC finds the best possible job candidates for the position.

This document will include details on CompanyEC’s current search engine optimization (SEO) plan, along with a new SEO plan that will assist in improving the sites structure and its content. Ultimately, this plan will help by improving visibility, sales and user experience for the company’s website.

SEO Plan Objective

This SEO plan will go into details and will place together an effective marketing strategy that will consist of CompanyEC making adjustments to its title and meta tags, pursue possibilities for incoming links and create a stronger architectural design for its website. In addition, this strategy will also include details of how to increase traffic through new content, a social networking presence, through the use of proper link baiting and by upgrading keywords and creating a PPC campaign that will increase site and customer conversions.

CompanyEC’s Current Website

CompanyEC’s current website has over 335k backlinks and over 20k indexed Google pages. CompanyEC also has a great flat site structure that benefits its users and that is easy to navigate (Baxter, 2009). Another positive about the website is that its navigation links are simple and aren’t crowding the page.

Website grader has recorded that CompanyEC doesn’t have a blog, RSS feed, is missing image ALT text and that its domain name is set to expire in nine months.  In addition, the website doesn’t have any del.icio.us bookmark subscribers. The website currently shows as having 20k+ pages crawled by Google. That number is far from being accurate and needs to be investigated and corrected.

Website Improvements

A Strategy that could work well with improving site conversions for CompanyEC includes adding an online blog and newsgroups. This is a great way for the company to start conversations about progress of company, success stories and interact with its users. In addition, this will also help the website with increasing stickiness and unique content, which can benefit the site within search engines. By utilizing this strategy, site visitors will help add content to the website through their questions and responses that will ultimately get indexed by search engines and help draw new traffic to the website.

In addition to creating a site with user interaction, CompanyEC also uses videos to draw their users in. Though these videos may be affective with users, the uses of video ALT tags aren’t being very effective and need to be upgraded. The ALT tags for each video currently says “Play this video.” These tags need to be updated and should include details of the video and keywords should be taken advantage of also when creating these ALT tags.

Keywords and PPC

CompanyEC currently has a very short list of keywords that aren’t very effective. From the home page of the website, the keywords are CompanyEC, Online Recruiting, Interactive Recruiting, Social Network Recruiting, Mobile Recruiting and Recruiting Dashboard.

This list of keywords is very short and isn’t being as effective as it can be. By including more relevant to content keywords, CompanyEC can take proper advantage of the search engines by using its keywords to the fullest. Each page of CompanyEC.com includes a keyword list of only six words or less. A good keyword number to keep in mind is between ten and twenty to produce the best results.

In addition to having a small number of keywords, CompanyEC also is not creating a strong list of keywords. While Online Recruiting and Interactive Recruiting is what the company does, these keywords aren’t direct enough to the types of users that CompanyEC are trying to draw in. To make these keywords direct, they should read “Online Job Recruiting” and “Interactive Job Recruiting.” There are many other keyword that can be added to this list, however, this is the direction that CompanyEC needs to be headed. Being that recruiting is a broad term used for job openings, school admissions and the military for example, CompanyEC could be wasting time and money by not creating these keywords to be more direct within its niche and toward its audience type. Being that CompanyEC doesn’t seem to be focused on military or educational recruiting, directing the keywords away from them by using a negative keywords list will help in creating a strong keyword and ad campaign.

With more popular keywords, the company can easily gain more exposure. The current list of keywords, though relevant to the company, is not relevant to users search results. By changing or adding the suggested list of keywords to the website, the company will be found easier by its targeted users. CompanyEC is currently ranked at the top of the search results for its current list of keywords. However, it isn’t beneficial to be ranked high for a list of keywords that aren’t being searched very often.

By upgrading its keyword list, meta tag descriptions and ALT tags, CompanyEC has a great opportunity to increase traffic through its organic search results. CompanyEC should also look to include a sitemap on its website for use with search engine. In addition, sitemaps are also beneficial toward helping some users find their way around the website easier. Overall, it’s a good tool to have and wont hinder the websites structure or performance.

CompanyEC should also include A/B Testing for their PPC ad campaign. According to the laws of A/B testing, by creating multiple copies of the control ad, the user does not lose as much profit due to the control ad always running. Instead of the user losing 50% of ad impressions to the testing ad, that percentage shrinks to 20% because of the additional control ad copies.

In addition to this type of testing saving profits and potentially accelerating the testing process, it also allows for CompanyEC to create a valid testing environment by “comparing the performance of the test ad against the copies of the control only (Thies, 2008).”

In addition to upgrading its onsite search optimization, CompanyEC should also look into marketing its company in well-known directories such as Yahoo, Business.com and DMOZ.com to increase site rank and popularity within search engines. Listing the company website and brand within .org, .gov and .edu websites will also greatly help increase credibility within search engines. CompanyEC should also look to add an RSS feed to its website. Though it currently is involved within social networks and users can stay updated through these tools, having an onsite RSS feed allows for search engines to index them and allows for users an easy click to stay updated with site content.

Job2Web already has a great social networking campaign in place. It utilizes and is involved with all of the most popular social networking sites such as MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube to market its company and product. However, the website itself doesn’t have direct access for users to connect with them via these social networks. The website should include easy click links for these users to follow, like or befriend the company. This is another user interaction strategy that CompanyEC currently doesn’t take advantage of.

CompanyEC should also setup quality backlinks on niche websites and not just broad sites. By including its link on sites relevant to its own will positively help in its rankings. These niche websites should also include sites with a high page rank. Other link building strategies can easily come from participating in blogs and other online forums and local event groups. When placing a backlink on these sites, they should create these backlinks by utilizing unique keyword descriptive anchor text.

Another option to find credible backlinks is to search CompanyECs competitor’s link groupings. “A local link grouping would be a page on the Internet where all or most of your competitors get incoming links from (Caldwell, 2009).” By searching CompanyEC’s company’s keywords, common backlinks of their competitors can be located. Once these backlinks are indentified, CompanyEC should include its business name and link within those same sites if possible. Nonetheless, these links should be on niche websites that are relevant to the works or CompanyEC’s own in order to produce the most favorable results.

Conclusion

By utilizing blogs and newsgroups to involve its site users, CompanyEC can create an affective stickiness strategy which will help with sites user click-through rates and length of time users spend on the website. This could ultimately help with increasing search engine credibility.

In addition, including keywords and better descriptions within the sites video ALT tags will create an extremely effective strategy plan that is not only beneficial for search results within search engines, but will also be helpful by creating higher traffic within video directories.

Overall, the biggest concern that I see with CompanyEC is that they do not create many opportunities to get their users involved with the company. Though CompanyEC does have accounts on every major social networking site, their website doesn’t say this and they have failed to include user interaction directly on its own website via blogs, newsgroups or RSS feeds. In addition, CompanyEC should include an easy bookmark feature on its website. By including a bookmark widget, CompanyEC can gain user dedication and rank better with search engines that index bookmark websites such as Del.icio.us and Google bookmarks.

To create a strategy that will encourage user interactivity, CompanyEC can also setup email marketing and newsletter campaigns, along with creating polls and surveys to gain user feedback on what else the site could do to enhance the user experience. The newsletters should include information on upcoming specials, events and changes that CompanyEC has made within its company that can benefit its users. Allowing users to opt out of receiving emails and referring a friend for discounts should also be included within each newsletter.

The website should be regularly checked by utilizing web stats and tracking tools such as Google Analytics. By viewing monthly reports, CompanyEC will be able to see which keywords, content and PPC campaigns are being most affective. In addition, it will also allow for CompanyEC to see where visitors are coming from, how long they stay, where they go when they leave and how CompanyEC stats compare to its industry benchmarks.

This website business plan will improve user experience and search engine credibility. With these new changes to CompanyEC.com, it will only be a matter of time until it sees an increase in profits and user activity.

Analyzing a Marketing Plan

The goal of the tourism strategic marketing plan for Connecticut is to direct and coordinate marketing efforts. The levels in which a marketing plan operates are strategic and tactical. Strategic focuses on target market and the company’s value proposition. Tactical market plans specify marketing tactics such as product features, promotions, pricing, sales channels, and service. The salient features of the Connecticut marketing plan include its overall goals and objectives. The State is looking to gain visitors by introducing awareness of its history, activities, and art and culture. Additionally, the marketing plan has a solid understanding of its desired consumer and marketing goals.
 
Overall, the plan has a good idea as to what is needed to generate awareness. The objectives are simple and seem achievable by the company. The plan, however, has no detailed strategy for achieving the desired results. Marketing implementation should address the who, where, when, and how of a marketing goal. To address the desired segment of users, the plan suggest building the brand through marketing efforts and industry partners. The goal of the plan is to influence visitors to the State by increasing the State’s relevancy and attractiveness to potential visitors. The plan suggests that in order to communicate to the desired market segment, the company should focus on markets that have the greatest visitor potential. Those markets include women who are between the age of 25 and 54, individuals who live within surrounding areas, and individuals with a household income of $80,000 or more. 
 
To improve the current marketing plan, the marketing company should create an actual strategy that can be followed to implement the plan. Marketing implementation is the process that ensures the strategy accomplishes the stated objectives. For instance, the plan refers to building search engine optimization into its production. However, it does not mention which keywords to optimize for and why those keywords are best suited for the task. Additionally, the plan has no mention why this plan will be effective at producing positive results. Furthermore, there is no mention of competition and market potential. A marketing strategy should address the what and why of marketing activity.
 
Marketing plans are the starting points for successful companies, and the plan often includes dozens to hundreds of pages worth of data analysis. The difference between a marketing plan and a business plan is that a business plan focuses mainly on defining the company, its history, mission, and goals. A business plan includes more than just a marketing plan or strategy. It also includes discussion regarding staffing, locations, finances, and strategic alliances. A marketing plan focuses on creating keys to success. Additionally, the marketing plan tells the story of how to achieve goals and generate success. Each of the company’s leaders and managers should see the plan and give insight into whether the plan is achievable. Marketing plans are best when there are many people involved in its creation. Gaining feedback is important considering most all ideas will affect each department within the company. Leaders and managers can provide realistic data, experiences, and share insight into market opportunities. 
 
Marketing plans are crucial for starting and growing a business. A good marketing plan will help organizations identify there target customers, and generate a plan to reach and retain those customers. The marketing plan is the roadmap to gain customers and improve organizational success if done properly. A Key section of the marketing plan includes the executive summary, which is helpful for providing an overview of the organization and the plan. Additionally, the plan describes the desired customer by targeting their precise needs based on their demographic profiles. This is helpful for identifying targeted customers and creating pinpointed advertisement aimed directly at those prospective customers. 
 
An additional crucial point of the marketing plan is its plan of distribution. The distribution plan details how customers will purchase or buy in to the organization. The promotional strategy of the plan is considered one of the most important sections of the plan. The promotional strategy details how new customers are to be reached. Examples of an affective promotional strategy include distribution and promotional tactics on television, at trade shows, and through online advertising. A marketing plan includes everything from understanding the desired customer, to determining how to outperform and strategize the competition. A marketing plan is paramount to achieving business success and the time taken to develop a marketing plan, is an investment worth making considering it defines who to connect with customers and generate sales. 

Social Media Marketing Plan – Case Study

Whether you want to call it social media or Web 2.0, businesses have started joining into one of the fastest growing industries around. A survey by McKinsey & Company shows that nearly 1,700 businesses show that using Web 2.0 technologies have lead to increased conversions, successful marketing strategies, increased communication and the ability to provide better products.

“The most often-reported business benefits of Web 2.0 are a greater ability to share ideas, improved (and faster) access to knowledge experts, and reduced costs of communication, travel, and operations. (Chartier, 2009)”

Social media marketing

social media marketing plan should be aimed at creating an online presence within the micro-blogging networks such as Facebook and Twitter for your company.

By using an online platform such as Twitter and Facebook, it will allow for your company to promote the company name by blogging updates about the company as well as interact with followers and subscribers.

Along with blogging, other benefits of using a social media platform are:

  • Video updating and posting of commercials
  • Photos of events your company may have attended and posting new portfolio pieces
  • Discussion – allowing followers to ask questions directly from these platforms.
  • Link placement – adding back-links to texdesignstudio.com
  • Networking – allows for interacting with current and potential customers.

Facebook stats:

  • More than 350 million active users.
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day.
  • More than 35 million users update their status each day.
  • More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook.
  • Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans.
  • Average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook (Facebook, 2010).

Twitter stats:

  • Total audience of roughly 18 million registered users.
  • Users are averaging 27.3 million tweets per day.
  • Annual run rate of 10 billion tweets (Ostrow, 2009).

Along with advertising your company for free using social media platforms, it will also allow for users to interact from their mobile devices.

Facebook and Twitter are also pushed as services that can and should be used through mobile devices. “Twitter users are more likely to use their cell phones to go online than the overall online population (Cheng, 2006).”

There are currently more than 65 million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.

Knowing this will allow your company to further market to these users on their mobile devices as well as these social platforms. These users are also more likely to subscribe to syndicated feeds and text message advertising.

Our Audience:

Example: CompanyEC currently has a target audience of 18 years of age and above, and college graduates that have an income of $30k or above.

Quantcast user statistics:

Twitter:

  • 88% of Twitter users are 18 years and above in age.
  • 80% have a $30k and above income.
  • 55% are college graduates.

Facebook:

  • 79% of Facebook users are 18 years and above in age.
  • 84% have a $30k and above income.
  • 55% are college graduates.

Understanding the Audience

In order to better understand user response to this new marketing plan, we will provide users with a survey on texdesignstudio.com, which will ask questions regarding how and if they use these platforms.

  • Are they are interested in receiving news and discount updates from CompanyEC on these social platforms.
  • Do they currently follow CompanyEC on these platforms?

Twitter and Facebook currently make it simple for users to follow or become fans of users. If we add a “become a friend” widget on texdesignstudio.com, users can simply click on the widget and will instantly become a fan of CompanyEC’s facebook profile.

By adding a “follow us on Twitter” widget, users can click that widget and instantly start following CompanyEC with their Twitter profiles.

These platforms are relatively easy for any user to sign up with and start receiving updates within a few minutes. Users can link to CompanyEC’s profile and share with their friends on their own profiles.

CompanyEC will use these platforms to provide customers with article updates, blogs, discounts, and portfolio updates.

User Participation

Users will interact by contributing to articles and responding to blogs and other news and images that CompanyEC post within these platforms.

Marketing on these social platforms will allow CompanyEC to post information on corporate accomplishments and distribution of links that take users to corporate websites, promotional sites and other press release pages.

Social media user benefits:

  • Offer ‘insider’ discounts, specials and other values to followers only.
  • Participating in online social media groups will allow for CompanyEC to build a more personal relationship with past and potential customers.
  • Allows for quick access for customers to ask questions.

Being that texdesignstudio.com is written using a Joomla platform, we will be able to integrate it with Facebook and Twitter with little effort. By creating and adding a plug-in into this website, the content on these social platforms will automatically update once the website is updated by using the Application Programming Interface (API) provided by Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook and Twitter also have their own plugins that integrate with one another so that if information on one platform is updated, it will also update the other automatically.

Metrics

Google Analytics will help to show which platform users are linking from, how they explore the website and how visitor experiences can be enhanced. With this information, CompanyEC will have an improved return on investment, increase conversions and ultimately make more money on the web.

Tracking Users:

  • Allows for seeing how effective or ineffective the platforms are.
  • Which customer and customer segments are most valuable.
  • Which social media platform visitors are coming from and what they do on the website.
  • Will help to see what users like and dislike by analyzing bounce rate and time on website.
  • Which pages resonate with prospects and lead to conversions.

With using this metrics system we will also be able to get a better understanding of what site content users are most interested in and find out how effective our current content is.

 

Credits

Facebook (2010). Statistics. Retrieved January 29, 2010, from http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

Ostrow, A. (2009). How many people actually use twitter? Retrieved January 29, 2010, from http://mashable.com/2009/04/28/twitter-active-users/

Cheng, J. (2006). Twitter users are mobile, urban, and engaged online. Retrieved January 29, 2010, from http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/02/study-twitter-users-are-mobile-urban-and-engaged-online.ars

Quantcast. (2010). Twitter.com monthly traffic. Retrieved January 29, 2010, from http://www.quantcast.com/twitter.com

Perez, S. (2009). 4 ways companies use twitter for business. Retrieved January 29, 2010, from http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2009/03/4-ways-companies-use-twitter-for-business.php

Chartier, D. (2009). McKinsey: businesses reaping benefits from web 2.0. Retrieved January 29, 2010, from http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/09/mckinsey-businesses-reaping-benefits-from-web-20.ars

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