Archive for November, 2011

Inbound Marketing is on the Rise

November 16, 2011 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips

Thanks to the Internet, marketing has evolved over the years. Consumers no longer rely on billboards and TV spots — a.k.a. outbound marketing — to learn about new products, because the web has empowered them. It’s given them alternative methods for finding, buying and researching brands and products. The new marketing communication — inbound marketing — has become a two-way dialogue, much of which is facilitated by social media.

Another reason why inbound marketing is winning is because it costs less than traditional marketing. Why try to buy your way in when consumers aren’t even paying attention? Here are some stats from the infographic below.

  • 44% of direct mail is never opened. That’s a waste of time, postage and paper.
  • 86% of people skip through television commercials.
  • 84% of 25 to 34 year olds have clicked out of a website because of an “irrelevant or intrusive ad.”
  • The cost per lead in outbound marketing is more than for inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing focuses on earning, not buying, a person’s attention, which is done through social media and engaging content, such as blogs, podcasts and white papers. This content is interesting, informative and adds value, creating a positive connection in the eyes of the consumer, thus making him more likely to engage your brand and buy the product. So it costs less and has better a ROI.

As consumers to flock to the Internet, the Internet marketing industry continues to evolve. In a two-way medium like the Internet, the traditional models of marketing are losing their efficacy, and new types of marketing are gaining steam by providing value for consumers increasingly put off by intrusive marketing tactics.

Inbound vs. Outbound

Inbound Marketing or “New Marketing,” is “any marketing tactic that relies on earning people’s interest instead of buying it.”  Inbound Marketing communication is interactive and two-way. Customers come to you via search engines, referrals, and social media. Inbound Marketers provide value and seek to entertain and/or educate.

Outbound Marketing or “Old Marketing,” is “any marketing that pushes products or services on customers.” Outbound Market communication is one-way. Customers are sought out via print, TV, radio, banner, advertising, and cold calls. Outbound Marketers provides little to no added value. Outbound Marketers rarely seeks to entertain or educate.

The decline in outbound marketing is a response to a recent and fundamental shift in consumer behavior. People are more in control of what information they receive and how. In outbound marketing, the company is in control.

Inbound Marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers. Inbound marketers “earn their way in” in contrast to outbound marketers who have to “bug, beg, or buy their way in.”

ChartIt is clear that marketing is changing on a fundamental level as the Internet continues to revolutionize how we find, buy, sell and interact with brands and their products or services. The new age of inbound marketing is about providing added value and earning customers loyalty.

As the Holidays are fast approaching using the most efficient and affordable method for marketing your business is critical. At Systemtek Technologies we are constantly researching and utilizing the most current market trends to insure the most optimum results for our clients. If you are interested in taking advantage of a affordable and successful Inbound Marketing plan please contact our Marketing team anytime.

6 Ways Businesses Can Win on Facebook

November 04, 2011 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips

Are you seeking a bigger Facebook presence, but have a small budget?

You may see your small business efforts on Facebook like David compared to the Goliath presence big businesses enjoy.

There’s a lot that small businesses can learn from the way big businesses approach Facebook, but the separation between your little company and international corporations isn’t as vast as it may sometimes appear.

In this article, I’ll show you six ways you can model your efforts after the successful campaigns run by big businesses, and some ways you can even get a leg up on the big guys.

#1: Have a plan and a strategy

Big businesses have plans for their Facebook endeavors. They’re focused on strategizing, plotting and forecasting. They have goals in mind and they know the hurdles they’re going to have to jump en route to achieving those goals.

Small business owners, on the other hand, often create facebook pages just because they see other businesses doing so, or they read somewhere that experts say they should. But they create their pages with no real goal.

You may not have the same manpower or finances to assign to your Facebook efforts that big businesses possess, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead. Think about what you want out of your Facebook presence. Is it more foot traffic? More sales? Or is it just more contact info to populate your newsletter mailing list? Figuring out your goals is the first step in initiating and directing your Facebook presence.

#2: Emphasize interaction

Facebook users want interaction and attention, and this is where big businesses blow the little guys out of the water. From contests and sweepstakes to virtual gifts and sharable content, big businesses know how to give Facebook users what they want.

Unfortunately, it seems most small business owners missed this memo. Their business pages consist of a couple of pictures, a short bio and perhaps a map. But this static content will not hold the attention of your fans.

To be effective on Facebook, you’ve got to buy into the ideals of Facebook, and that means embracing engagement and interaction. Promotional features like contests, sweepstakes and virtual gifts are available on most custom tab apps.

#3: Be available

Facebook is about the individual—your customer. Big businesses have community managers, positions that revolve around interacting with their customers on a daily basis.

Small business owners, however, often check the business Facebook page once or twice a week, responding only occasionally. But you wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing customers were in your store with no one to ring up their purchases or answer their questions, so be available online.

Your availability to your online community could be what motivates your next customer to come in and make a purchase, so check your Facebook page often, and respond when your fans post to your wall.

#4: Take action

Gathering feedback and looking for improvements is part of the job of a big business community manager. But taking advantage of any such data usually includes reports, committee meetings, action items and a host of other steps in the filter-up process of big business bureaucratic hierarchy.

This is where you, as a small business owner, really have an advantage. Posts to your wall from your customers become instantaneous feedback that you can use to make appropriate changes, resolve issues and even enjoy compliments. And because you’re the owner, you make the decisions. There’s no waiting for teams of higher-ups to convene and agree on a response. It’s all up to you, and you can make things happen right now.

#5: Be flexible

Corporate decision-making lumbers. Not only are there reports and meetings, there’s planning and marketing. Action takes a while. As a result, big business community managers have little flexibility.

But small business owners don’t have to wade through that corporate process. Want to get a bunch of people to your restaurant tonight? Let your fans know via wall post that everyone who comes in and mentions the post gets two-for-one on drinks.

Have too much inventory you need to clear before the next shipment arrives? Post a today-only 25% off coupon for your fans to print and bring it. Creating a sense of urgency and offering your fans good deals is a great way to get a strong community response.

Systemtek Technologies offers Social Media Experts that are constantly researching state-of-the-art techniques to enhance businesses’ online social media marketing.  If you are interested in learning more about Social Media outlets for your business feel free to contact us anytime.