Basic Mobile Marketing Tips for Business Owners

Marketing your company isn’t easy, especially if you are a boot strap business. First, you have to come up with a budget that is affordable and gives you a competitive advantage at the same. Then you have to develop creative content and even visual aids (sometimes). Next, you have to consider and bet on marketing avenues that will work.

One marketing avenue that always produces results is mobile marketing. If you’re not familiar with mobile marketing it is basically the use of a series of tools that reach customers directly on their mobile device. You can use the tools in the way of email, text messages or social media updates that reach consumers and potential customers directly on their cell phones. The best option that is becoming affordable to small business owners is push notifications through their own app.

According to a mobile marketing insider a business client can expect to pay as little as $100 to several thousand to start using mobile marketing tools. Now a business can have a custom mobile app designed for less then $300 and a monthly service fee of $49 per month. By managing your own custom mobile app, you are able to send unlimited push notifications without extra fees.

Businesses have the possibility to simply send a message, or they can send a link that is attached to the push notifications. Also, which is the best option to push notifications, is the ability to send an image with a customized message on it. This will surely grab your audiences attention.

Mobile marketing can be confusing. One way it is ineffective is when customers place all of their efforts in one basket. Betting on one horse in the game doesn’t blanket coverage or ensure success. If you decide to start using mobile marketing, make sure you divide up your efforts. You want to have an equal reach for email marketing to a cell phone, push notifications to a cell phone, and also incorporate social media ads and updates.

A great benefit for mobile marketing is the eco-friendly attitude your company will be promoting. Essentially, eliminating the need for direct mail pieces or print ads not only saves money but it saves the environment and gives you “gone green” status to brag about and to also help amplify your brand.

Mobile marketing is a win-win for everyone involved and shouldn’t be discounted by business owners out of pure ignorance. Understand the real costs to owning an app for your business.

What Recent Holiday Retailer Traffic Tells Us About Affiliate Marketing

For anyone marketing online, it probably comes as no surprise that 2013 was another banner year when it came to holiday retail spending/buying on the web. The major leading digital business analytics firm comScore reports that between November 1st and December 31st – over $46.5 billion was spent by online shoppers. They also reported the two busiest days were Cyber Monday and the day following it, with a total of $3.15 billion spent.

For those like me who are heavily into affiliate marketing, this is one of the best times to rack up sales and earn commissions. Shoppers are simply in the right mindset to buy, and more of them are now purchasing their items and gifts online. Affiliate marketers have to take advantage of this “feeding frenzy” and get their sites or affiliate links to the forefront with extra advertising, more content creation and timely posts.

Like past years, this is the time to do that extra advertising and increase your spending. This year I did a press release each day via PRWeb during the weeks around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I have always found it beneficial to create content that’s directly related to these shopping days, heavily promoting any discount coupons and deals from the companies which I promote with my sites. This also creates links/rankings for vital keywords in Google News and Yahoo News around those special holiday shopping events.

However, I just don’t concentrate on the search engines, I also increased my Facebook ads and Tweets to make sure I was receiving traffic from social media sites. Just like other online marketers, Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have taught me never to rely solely on just search engine traffic, it can all disappear in the blink of an eye.

That said, it should come as no surprise to anyone that 40% of traffic to retailers this holiday season, came from search engines according to Experian, a marketing services company. Apparently this traffic was down by 13% from last year, perhaps because many shoppers are using Google paid product ads to find the items they want. One also has to factor in the growing influence of social networking platforms and forums on the delivery of online traffic.

Affiliate marketers must also take advantage of these social networks with branded Twitter feeds and at least a Facebook Fan page. Highly targeted ads on Facebook can pay off, and many marketers are reporting good results. For me personally, I didn’t find my FB ads as effective at driving large amounts of traffic as press releases or even the search engines – at least not directly from Facebook but I have seen an increase in direct traffic to my site. This kind of traffic is really hard to judge, but it’s probably coming from more exposure of my brand on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Done properly, one’s social media’s fan/follower/subscriber base should be a year round marketing project, building up loyal fans with relevant posts and informative content. After all, during this holiday season, one report shows a 39% jump in traffic coming from these upstream social networks and anyone doing affiliate marketing online can’t ignore these numbers. On Facebook especially, what has really worked well for me is offering handy free guides/videos to get potential buyers onto my lists and into my marketing funnels. Since everything is based on the “sharing” of content, this content can’t be too commercial, or it will turn people off instead of on to your brand.

Experian also reports that discount coupons are losing favor with the buying public, but I would have to disagree with their findings. Then again, I am a little biased because I have effectively used discount coupons in my affiliate marketing for over 10 years. During the peak holiday shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, my promoted companies offer some of the best deals of the year and this is reflected in higher sales. Potential customers are also looking for the best deals at this time, and the affiliate marketer must take advantage.

While all this marketing may make you feel like a used car dealer wannabe, I have always thought of this as a “win-win” situation where the customer gets a great deal and the affiliate earns a small commission. From the beginning, I have always put the emphasis on providing valuable content first and the coupons/discounts as a follow-up or a bonus. If you’re an affiliate marketer and you’re not offering a coupon or discount – just keep in mind, many shoppers (online and off) are postponing their holiday buying until they see these great deals and what discounts each merchant is offering.

If you’re not gearing your online marketing to these special discounts, you may be leaving a lot of sales on the table or for other marketers to acquire. During the holiday shopping season, I simply make sure my subscribers/followers/fans know about these great bargains and we both walk away smiling. And as the above statistics show, more and more customers are turning to online retailers to get the items and gifts they want for the holidays. Affiliate marketers must simply follow the money if they want to survive in this very competitive game.

Direct Marketing 101: A Beginners Guide To Getting More Leads (I Mean a Lot More)

Getting more leads is actually quite a basic thing. There are only a couple of ways to do it. And they are all effective in growing businesses. Most of the time when I talk to clients they are not really doing everything they can in order to maximise the return on their lead generation investment.

So here are three ways I look to get myself and my clients more leads:

Lead Generation Opportunity #1: Make your existing lead generation convert more.

This should be the first port of call. Many marketers and business owners don’t really get this right.

It is very easy to increase the conversion rate of your existing lead generation. For many businesses it isn’t that hard to double the traffic they are getting from Google AdWords without spending any extra budget.

The same applies to most other advertising media.

Using broadcast fax (legal here in Australia) I’ve been able to 4X response rates to marketing of my own business – using a very simple strategy that most businesses can use but will never bother to use. It’s not that hard to be honest.

Getting a professional copywriter in to do this sort of work will have its rewards.

Once You’ve squeezed what you can out of conversion, it’s on to step 2.

Lead Generation Opportunity #2: Adding More Media:

Once you have maximised the return on your existing media the next port of call is to start adding more media. If you have a pre-existing lead conversion mechanism this is just ‘money for jam.’ Get the media started get it tested and optimised and you know sales will pop out the end of your lead conversion mechanism in due course.

It’s that easy.

There is a mountain of available media for almost every worthwhile market – so as long as you selected a market that is worthwhile, you can expand your lead generation media quickly and effectively to meet your lead generation goals.

Lead Generation Opportunity #3: Working Your Already Generated Leads!

For all but the most sophisticated marketing operations this represents a massive opportunity. Building marketing systems akin to an assembly line that systematically progress existing leads at their own pace to raise their hand ready to buy.

If you don’t have this in place, your business is relegated to perpetually hunting for fresh leads and working those cold leads as though they were hot.

Wealth and stability in business can be traced more to the accumulation of a database of leads that are being systematically worked all the time for fresh opportunities than any other business activity.