7 Marketing Tips for Meeting Your 2011 Sales Objectives

As any business owner is aware, the most significant way in which we can increase both the profile of our business and boost sales is through effective and almost aggressive forms of marketing.

A successful business can only be so if the market is aware of its existence. Just ‘aggressively waiting by the phone for customers to ring’ will not guarantee that your business will succeed, or even survive. However, by following these 7 simple marketing tips and tricks, you can confidently plan and meet your sales targets for 2011 (with even the potential to exceed your sales expectations).

7 Marketing Tips to Impact Your Sales

1) Competitive Analysis

To effectively use marketing for improving your sales, you first need to identify what your current situation is in terms of the success of your business and how you are currently positioned within the market. Look at your competitors’ current successes, observing and what has worked well for them or where they have failed in their marketing efforts. Think about where you would like your business to be within the next 3 years and what steps you will need to implement to make these targets achievable. Remember that being able to plan your marketing strategy effectively will require you to fully understand your business’ current status.

2) Marketing Budget

Although effective marketing strategies require some financial resources or budget, not all effective methods cost a ‘chunk of change.’ Look at your budget and what you will be able to afford and based on this number, investigate the most effective means of marketing which would work best within that target budget. Most modern online marketing tools are inexpensive or even free in some cases, which make them a perfect option for small businesses or firms stretched financially in the current economy.

3) Nurture Customers

Marketing should not just be used to gain new customers, but also to keep your current customers up to date, helping to maintain your relationship with them. Using different marketing tools to inform your customers how much you appreciate their loyalty to your company. Use email campaigns, newsletters and promotions directed at existing customers. Personal touches such as personalized emails are a great way to make customers feel special and not simply a number in your email list which can help your regular sales to continue.

4) Blogs, Articles and Backlinks

While your focus on existing customers is important, your focus on new prospects needs to be more aggressive. Whether you are a start up business or an established business, online sales content is a great form of marketing which not only promotes you, but can also help generate online sales through back links to your website. Blog content and article marketing is one of the most popular forms of online marketing today and has proved to be extremely effective when successfully executed. If you have the money required, you can also look to invest in banner ads on others’ related websites and/or blogs which will help to increase your overall traffic and increase your sales.

5) Marketing Resources

Although you can increase your sales effectively by using marketing tools which are popular at the moment, educating yourself on new and evolving trends can help you stay one step ahead of your competitors and increase your longer term overall sales. Using professional marketing books, the web, market research and in some cases, even the help of mentors; you can keep your knowledge of marketing fresh, helping to evolve new ideas to help you reach your sales targets.

6) Automation Marketing Tools

As your marketing efforts help you hit sales targets, now would be the time to use your profits effectively to further help with your marketing campaigns. Investing in marketing software, for example email software which can send out newsletters, promotions, etc. to your client base at the click of a button will not only save you time and money but will be a productive use of your time and your resources. Investment in other marketing tools can help attain specific targets.

Online marketing tools can rewrite a sales letter or article for you up to hundreds of times with minimum effort on your part. Yet another internet marketing tool will submit your articles, eBooks and white papers to article directories or eBook distributors online with the press of a button. These are all inexpensive and productive.

For example one set of marketing tool writes sales letters for you (almost). Another use your sales copy experience or the use of an outsource service to create effective, unique copy which is guaranteed to make your clients keep reading. Email is also useful since it can be a source of viral marketing. Should your customers become excited by what you offer, they can forward your email to their friends and family, providing you with a free form of advertising.

7) Marketing Plan and Strategy

Finally, as you gain the benefits of an effective marketing strategy and see your sales targets met, that would be the time to re-evaluate your situation once again and look at how you can change your marketing plans to help you reach new, higher targets.

Remember, your aim is to reach your targets and increase your sales so it’s important to stay motivated and strive to make your business as successful as possible.

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Facebook Video Marketing Tips That Can Boost Your Sales

Business owners today are constantly challenged with ways to stay in front of their target audience and I experience the same thing with my own business. Facebook makes it easy for us to reach our audience right where they are hanging out.

Together with YouTube, Facebook is one of the most effective platforms for your video marketing campaigns. Second only to Google in terms of traffic, Facebook offers video marketers wonderful opportunities to promote brands, products, and services and provide awesome exposure for those who do it right. But creating a marketing video and posting it on your Facebook business page doesn’t guarantee success – you have to do a lot more than that for your marketing videos to stand out. To help you make the most of Facebook video marketing, here are 10 tips that will enable you to reach a wider audience, increase conversion rates and, ultimately, boost your sales.

End all of your Facebook videos with a compelling call to action

Calls to action make your Facebook videos much more effective at converting viewers into customers. Integrate them naturally into your videos to direct visitors to your online storefront or landing page and you’ll boost your sales without coming across as a marketing bully.

Enhance your videos with keywords

Your Facebook marketing videos will pack a heavier punch if you carefully sprinkle them with relevant keywords about your brand, products, and services. Bold these and place them where they can’t be missed.

Keep your videos short and concise

Video marketing on Facebook is more effective when your videos are short, no more than a minute or two. With the average online attention span having reached an all-time low of 8.25 seconds, below that of a gold fish, it isn’t hard to understand why shorter videos sell better. Get to the point, use appetizing images, and avoid useless repetitions.

Pin an engaging introductory video on your Facebook business page

Did you know that Facebook lets you pin a video to the top of your business page, where it will remain even after you publish more recent content? You can use this opportunity to create a short video that introduces viewers to your brand and welcomes them to your page. At the same time, you can use the video to highlight a key product, service, or special deal you are currently offering.

Create highly-targeted marketing videos

Through its set of useful analytics, Facebook puts at your disposal the essential data and demographics you need to understand who most of your Facebook followers are and what kind of content they enjoy most. Use that insight, together with relevant keywords, to tailor your Facebook videos to the needs of your audience.

Use video series for continuity

If you post Facebook videos sporadically, at irregular times, you cannot build a sense of expectancy. That sense of expectancy is precisely what you need to convert viewers into customers, which is why you should focus your video marketing efforts on Facebook on creating a video series where all episodes are connected and published on specific days at specific hours.

Turn customer reviews into effective marketing videos

Rather than presenting your products from your own perspective, present them from the perspective of satisfied customers. It’s easier to build trust and encourage sales that way because consumers trust reviews from real people as much as personal recommendations. This is third party endorsement. For best results, create a customer review series that covers all your key products and services.

Embed unique discounts and promotions into your videos

A simple and effective way to increase the appeal of your Facebook videos as well as to encourage sales is to integrate into them coupons, vouchers, and discount codes that your audience cannot get anywhere else. Also, add a sense of urgency to these special offers by giving them a deadline, so that viewers will want to act immediately after seeing your videos.

Insert your videos into posts on Facebook and in other places

After publishing a marketing video on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you can forget about it. Try to integrate it in your future posts whenever it is relevant. If your video comes up again and again, it can convince hesitant or undecided customers, as well as refresh the memory of those who have forgotten about it. The likely result? More sales.

Consider outsourcing your videos

An increasing number of marketing agencies can now craft for you animated videos that are specially optimized for Facebook. These videos can be more effective than in-house videos shot with unprofessional cameras or slideshow videos, and are far more memorable. Although more costly to produce, these videos can return the initial investment they require by significantly boosting your sales.

Finally, remember that Facebook video marketing is an ongoing process that usually takes time to show results. Don’t abandon the idea of Facebook video marketing just because your first videos haven’t brought you the desired results. Tweak, adjust, adapt, and keep on at it. Positive results will surely come. Now get out your camera and start recording!

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Online Shopping – The Pros and Cons

Are you are new to online shopping? Do you want to know the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping? If the answers to these questions are yes, read further to get more information on this new form of shopping, which is also called internet-based shopping.

Pros Of Online Shopping

When you do a comparison of traditional shopping with it, you will find that the latter is more advantageous. In the traditional shopping, there are time restrictions. Most shopping centers open in the morning and close in the evening. If you want to do the shopping in the night, where will you go? Well, you can’t shop at midnight, as most of the shopping centers will be closed at that time. With it, you can shop 24×7, which means that you get up at 0200 hours and look for your favorite DVDs online.

If you go for furniture shopping the traditional way, you will have to go from one shop to another in search for the furniture of your choice. A lot of effort goes into traditional shopping, which is not the case with it. You look out for the best furniture and then select it. Finally, you make the payment for the selected furniture using a credit card, and just sit back and relax, as the furniture will be delivered to you soon.

Electronics shopping is also very convenient in online shopping. You can compare the prices and features of most of the electronic goods and then make the purchase. For example, if you are searching for a cell phone, you can do a comparison shopping on a few websites and find the lowest price. The same activity will take hours together if you have to do it the traditional way, because you will have to run from pillar to post to get quotes for cell phones.

For online shopping, you need not wait in long queues. The greatest advantage of it is the convenience that it gives to the consumers or shoppers. For music lovers, it is a blessing in disguise. Music lovers can listen to the music and select the songs they like the most. Subsequently, they can proceed with the online payment by using a credit card.

Cons Of Online Shopping

Online frauds are the worst nightmares for shoppers shop there. There are some phishing websites that indulge in fraud and fleece money from customers. Online shoppers cannot check the product they are buying unless it reaches their homes. Tangible products that need to be touched and felt are sometimes difficult to buy on the Internet. Online shops or stores do not accept cash and check, so the shoppers not having a credit card or debt card cannot do shop online.

Online shoppers have to bear the shipping costs of the products in many cases. Although some websites say that they offer free shipping, you need to check the price of that product. The shipping costs are often included in the cost of the product.

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