Marketing Communications Professionals – Customer Communications Management Heralds a New Paradigm

Marketing Communications professionals should develop a vision for enterprise marketing communications before rushing into inviting Customer Communications Management Suppliers to demonstrate how their products could help your company.

A new vision has to be developed because marketing communications professionals now have a completely new way of working.

Gone are the days where a companies direct mail and transactional mail need to be separated and handled by different company functions or different suppliers. Gone are the days where large project teams have to be formed to make simple changes to documents. Gone are the days where the task of making a change to corporate positioning are a huge and expensive task and gone are the days of fragmented customer messaging due to disparate customer communications processes.

Companies have always tried to derive a corporate vision for customer communications, a grand plan and a grand scheme to give the markets it serves clarity of brand understanding, but the issue of complexity has always been a barrier to this plan.

Now, the opportunity that unified Customer Communications Management offers is one of fulfillment of vision, of an ability to execute and of an ability to drive business advantage.

It is because of this opportunity to execute that the marketing communications professional should focus on a new vision first and not a rehash of the old version made easier. The scope is now broader.

Now, it is possible to communicate across a diverse set of channels with ease, to deliver coherent meaningful messages into differing market segments but to retain an appeal in each of those segments. It is about the opportunity to interact, to learn and to deliver value, a value that is meaningful to each customer as an individual.

The vision should come back to marketing basics. Segment the market, identify a product, service or overall company appeal and learn to drive value in those communications. It means that a company can drive its brand values in a fashion that is adaptive to changing market conditions.

In doing this, we don’t just communicate differently, we create a new kind of company, a company that is adaptive, that is continuously learning, that delivers its key objectives in a measurable, proven fashion.

Marketing communications professionals have new power in their hands. A way to reach the market that was previously impossible. It is only in very recent years that this has become possible. It means that a product does not have to be marketed with common brand values across different segments. Companies can continue to focus upon core segments but can become much more adaptive to emerging segments, segments in which it would previously have been a very difficult, length and costly environment to compete.

We call this marketing agility, the ability to take reasoned, measured analysis and quickly deliver a response to that analysis, to test the credibility of the analysis and to improve on the next iteration, bringing market segments into focus not on the basis of a hunch or, just a historical analysis (this is important still) but on live events, events to which the changing response can materialise faster than ever before.

This is in our view, a new paradigm for marketers and one whose impacts much be considered carefully before jumping straight into the focus of technology and process decisions – this can come once the vision for the agile marketing communications organisation has been established.

Avoid what you used to do but just a little better, take hold of this new agility, embrace it and define it. This is how Customer Communications Management can be utilised to deliver marketing excellence.

Internet Marketing Services Principles For Everyone For Free

Internet marketing services consists of so many things that can be done to make a website top on Google that with some due diligence and research, it can be done for free. How is this possible? Internet marketing services implements systems which affect the two major elements of website marketing which are Google ranking and unique visitors, i.e; traffic.

The most important is Google rankings and are for the keywords selected for a website therefore, the keywords selected must be exactly related to the content within the website. A good practice is to choose a minimum of 3 keywords up to an average of 9 each. The keywords can be a single word or what is called a long tailed keyword, meaning a string of words commonly used in search engines to search for the website. Research is necessary to choose keywords that are ‘reachable’ but yet have enough monthly traffic that the positions within the top 10 bring the site unique visitors. Unique visitors are visitors who are definitely interested in the content of the site and not someone just surfing the internet for something to do.

It is a good practice to research the monthly traffic for keywords before even choosing a name for a website because if you choose a name with the keyword as part of the name, you have already made progress towards your goal of being top for that keyword. Secondly, your keyword should appear in your meta tag title, description and keyword list for your website. Researching the monthly traffic for a keyword has never been easier. Wordtracker and Google itself both supply a quality service for webmasters. Wordtracker has a trial service to do so and Google is, of course, free.

The meta tags are tags used by search engines to display information about your website. The meta tags are not necessarily viewable by visitors on your Website unless the visitor right clicks on your site and views the ‘view source’. Since search engines use this information to display and give visitors a very brief summary of your site, it is therefore necessary to ensure that they are very descriptive of exactly what is contained on your website. When working with meta tags, the words within the title, description and keywords are considered keywords and various variations so when at all possible, do not use un-necessary words such as the, is, at, here, where, etc., as the search engines will consider them keywords. This is due to search engines using long tailed keywords also in their rankings. Many webmasters do not understand this as it is not information published somewhere for a webmaster to follow as a guideline to creating quality meta tags.

Generally, search engines prefer long tailed keywords as 3 words maximum. You may find a keyword in your research that consists of 4, 5, or even 6 words long. These words are all right within the context of your website but not a good strategy to choose them as one of your beginning optimization goals. Quality meta tags are part of the necessary internet marketing services search engine optimization strategies.

The other part of internet marketing services search engine optimization is called density which consists of how many times a keyword appears in your content, meta tags, alt tags and anchor tags compared to how many total words are on the page. Each page of your website should have it’s own optimization for internet marketing services and it’s own keywords, meta tags, etc. There are a few websites on the internet which will give you the density for a keyword on your site. Just search within the Google toolbar for keyword density and find a free service which supplies this. Density is computed by a percentage which would be, 1 keyword per every 100 words is 1% density, etc. If you had a density of 4.46%, then, over 4 words per 100 are keywords and if you have 5 keywords per 100 total words, then the density would be higher than 4.46%.

Keywords within your content of your site should be bolded and/or underlined to show the search engines that this word is important to the site. All words bolded or, sometimes webmasters use the HTML word strong instead, are considered by search engines to be keywords so when you bold the ‘click here’, you need to realize that this has now became a potential keyword.

Your description meta tag for your website should encompass your keywords. If you have selected about 9 keywords, you can many times, turn this into a logical statement for your site. The first keyword in your title should be your most important for your website. This same keyword should be the first keyword in your description and in your content of your site. By doing this, you are telling search engines that this keyword is your most important keyword for your internet marketing services strategies.

The meta keyword tag is used less often now because according to popular belief, Google doesn’t give any credence to this meta tag. However, wouldn’t it be nice to have a top ranking on yahoo or MSN? They use this meta tag and therefore it is still a good practice to implement this into your website. There are also many, many other search engines on the internet, and most of them still use the meta keyword tag.

Within your internet marketing services strategies, not only do you need to study your density for a specific keyword, but you should also be concerned about the placement of the keyword. A good practice but not necessarily a rule, is to place a keyword in each paragraph of your site and if the paragraph is longer than 3 sentences, then place the keyword twice in that paragraph.

To ensure you are in a position to reach top on Google, it is a good principle to study your competitors for this keyword. Go to the Google search bar and enter in the keyword you are optimizing your site for. The first couple of sites on Google are usually sites which have paid to be shown to you and they are irrelevant in your research. Generally there is a line between those and the ‘natural’ high ranking keyword websites. The first website under this line is your competitor.

Study your competitors website. First view their meta tags. Are you going to be as good or better with your meta title, meta description and meta keywords? If not, what changes do you need to make to compete with them. Do not copy them or Google will definitely catch you and your site could become banned with Google. Employ solid business practices without copying anyone else on the internet. Quality internet marketing services practices ensures your site doesn’t become search engine banned nor get in trouble somehow.

Next study your competitors density for the keyword. In this case, it is generally good to view the top 3 websites as the density for the whole website might not be from only the index/home page. You may need to view the inner page of the website to obtain a total story about a website.

You also need to ensure you have some anchor tags on your page. Anchor tags are clickable links on the website. The content that is showing on the page that can be clicked on is considered the anchor tag. These are just about as important to your keyword ranking as your meta title on the page. These are called hyper links as when a visitor hovers over them, they can click on them and either go to another page on your website or even someone else’s website.

The anchor text can read whatever you want it to read so try to blend in your main keyword within the content that becomes the clickable link. Again, do not use words such as the, as, is, it, at, here, where, etc. These will be considered as keywords by search engines. In order to make these keywords more important, it is good to create a page with the keyword as the name of the page so not only is the anchor text clickable, but the page name is also the same.

Anchor tags to other websites should be used sparingly due to the impact on your site. The first rule, of course, is that the other site should have the same content or be so closely related to your content that your keyword appears on that website or preferably within their clickable links as anchor tags. Also, it is very important to link your site to websites which have a Google ranking of 4/10 or better as a lower ranking website, can, affect the overall ranking you receive from Google for your website.

Alt tags are tags used for images. Years ago when the internet was somewhat young, alt tags for images were used to show the name of an image when it was assumed that the browser of other computers may not show the image. Nowadays with most computers having updated browsers and systems, this would rarely happen so search engines have now seen this as a way for webmasters to input their keywords instead within the alt tag since they have been doing this anyway for a long time. This does not add a lot of importance to your keyword but every little bit helps. If you view optimization as if you are going to school and you are receiving quarterly grades, then your final grade will be your overall ranking for your keyword.

Do you think that once this is done you now are within the top 10 on Google for your keyword? No. Now, you need to show Google that your site is important by links to your site and by traffic to your site. There are various systems to use to accomplish this and most of them can be for free if you are willing to put some time into doing them.

Using your meta tags as your foundation for your internet marketing services plans, list your site on search engines. There are many free services on the internet to help you with this.

The next thing you should do, is set up a link trading system so that other webmasters will come to you to trade links. Do not make this your exclusive way to market your site as you will be considered as having a link farm and Google frowns on these but using this regularly along with other systems, helps your site grow and you will receive visitors over time from doing this plus these are long term links where your link to your website stays on the other site until that site might be removed from the internet. The reason you want a system is to keep the information organized and the linking an easy thing to do but not time consuming.

Next, you should then seek to list your site on link directories. Many of these are free and again these are long term links where your link will stay on their site for most directories. You can use all the free systems and benefit greatly by doing so.

Some of them will charge for a featured listing or even to list on the site but it is not necessary to do this if you have a small or non-existent budget. If you have a budget at all, there are a couple of softwares that are worth buying which help automate a part of your listings to save time. One such software that we use contains 3700 directories. We have found that using this system, we can submit to 2500 directories in about 6 weeks if we work every waking moment on them. This helps greatly.

You now should be ready for the next step which is writing and submitting articles. The goal of writing an article is to have other webmasters publish your article on their website which could consist of a blog, or other high traffic sites. Therefore, the article you write should have content related to the content of your site however, the rule is that you cannot use this as a sales tool or your article will be rejected. There are many article directories on the internet for you to research so you can get some ideas on what to write and how to create an article. A good rule of thumb is to create an article of at least 500 words as some directories have limits.

There are variables between various article directories. All articles should have your main keyword in them as well as within the title. Within the article itself, it is a good practice to include the keyword as many times as once per paragraph and the paragraphs should average about 3 sentences in length. Some directories allow one or two hyper links within the article so you should use your keyword as your anchor text for these. Again, within the resource box and/or author box, use your keyword as a hyper link to your website.

Make a summary of your information for your article separate from the article but summarizes your article. Generally 3 sentences are acceptable and be sure to again include your main keyword although most sites do not allow the summaries to include hyper links.

Your resource box gives you the opportunity to add more information about your site, i.e; free giveaways, benefit of purchasing from your site, reasons for the reader to come to your site and any type of internet marketing services ‘hook’ you can think of that will work for you. Articles should be submitted once a week but if you can do more, of course, you will also receive more unique visitors. Once the article is read, the visitors interested will ‘click through’ to your site to view products or see more information.

The step that should take you over the final hurdle is creating a press release. This is probably the hardest job for you as now you cannot sell anything but find something newsworthy about you or your Website to announce to the world. There are many rules to writing press releases and these are mostly available at the places you will submit it to. Once you have created your press release, you can then submit it to the free submission services you can find on the internet. This takes some time to find as there are many services but a lot of them aren’t free.

The time spent is worth it due to the amount of unique visitors you will receive and the backlinks you will receive. Press releases impact a website within 2-3 days of submissions and are a must for any website as part of their internet marketing services arsenal.

Basically following the above instructions will put you on top of search engines over time. You will need to continue to implement more backlinks for your site as your competitor may have more than you, which you can discover by visiting the link popularity website, and so you should continue to add your site to as many sites as you can on the internet. If you have spare time now, you could now implement a system called Web 2.0 as part of your internet marketing services plans, which will then snowball the amount of visitors you receive but more complicated to use than the included systems herein. Hope to see you at the top.

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Understanding the Basic Principles and the Advantages of Affiliate Marketing

Understanding Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is a online phrase used to describe the promotion of internet businesses by the channel of affiliate programs and the marketing of these products on websites and it dates back to the mid 90’s.By doing this the vendor compensates the affiliate (also known as the publisher) a approved percentage of commission based on the amount of trade their website brings the merchant company.

Some companies such as Clickbank, Paydotcom and Shareasale typically have set percentage rates for affiliates which can be up to 75% for some products. Some consider affiliate marketing to be a form of revenue sharing or another term regularly used is commission based advertising.

In the early days of  “affiliate marketing”, it was associated as another structure of network marketing or multi-level marketing (MLM) and as a result of this misconception allot of online businesses made the decision to use the expression “performance marketing” to steer clear of any relation to affiliate marketing. This also created a large problem for affiliates in the past,  as many online users  had a propensity to frown on whatever thing that even looked like multi-level marketing.

Over time and with a great deal of determination from those that are now established as super affiliates it has turned out to be the most cost effective way for merchants to market their products or services online as it is very efficient in the fact that the affiliate has to do all the work to make the sale. So as a result of this, many online companies especially those that embraced this form of marketing in the beginning owe a tremendous amount to affiliate marketing as a perfect example just take a look at amazon.com and the way it has become the done thing  for online companies to include affiliate marketing in many of their online strategies to promote their products.

The Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing

The model of revenue sharing has been around for some time, allot longer than online business and the internet. But the idea of affiliate marketing has taken it to new levels, and become a primary form of advertising and bringing in business for all types of e-commerce. Internet merchants find affiliate marketing highly advantageous due to the fact that it presents little to no risk both for the merchant and the ‘affiliate”.

Here is how it all works, the affiliate will earn money if the affiliate brings to the merchants website, either through on-line links on the affiliates website – or through email, blogs, RSS feeds and many other kinds of on-line communication that are available to the affiliate. If a sale is made or the desired action is accomplished then the affiliate will earn a designated commission payment from the vendor or affiliate network.

Some merchants (only about 1% of affiliate marketing) use a cost-per-click remuneration system but this is now starting to grow as a viable form of money generation from main stream affiliates by using the CPA marketing networks, which simply means that the affiliate earns some form of commission every time a website visitor clicks on an advert on their site or when you send out  an email with a affiliate link.

However in the past and mainly due to the many “blackhatters”and fraudsters online that were taking advantage of this method by way of creating such things as (ad-ware, sending spam, or keyword heavy and useless indexing sites) this form of remuneration is now allot more regulated and even to the extent of having IP addresses tracked and accounts canceled if you are generating what is considered as fraudulent clicks and for many in the past this form of advertising had become too risky for merchants to use.

What Are The Distinctive Forms Of Affiliate Marketing

There are a few different ways that an affiliate can earn commissions online. Firstly you need to decide which of these is right for you and then join the merchant affiliate program this is so any payment can be received through any referrals from your website to the merchant, Here are four methods that are currently used online today, however you need to read the terms and conditions of each affiliate program you wish to join.

  1. Pay Per Click Marketing is simply a strategy that affiliates use where they display advertisements on their affiliate site and they are then paid when a customer clicks on that website advertisement whether it is a text link or image link.
  2. Emailing your subscriber lists  sending legit emails to your website opt-ins with your affiliate link embedded “Spam Is Not Tolerated” make sure you study the TOS of the affiliate program before doing this.
  3. CPA Affiliate Marketing  is when one of your  website visitors registers with a specific site whether this is a free newsletter or subscription, free offers from other companies are represented and advertised through this form of marketing as well.
  4. Clickbank, Shareasle, Paydotcom are all affiliate marketing networks they have many thousands of products or services for you to choose from as well as being free to join. Some programs even allow multi-tier or what is called a recurring payment structure set up.

Hopefully our article has helped you to understand more about affiliate marketing and we would like to wish you well in all of your undertakings online.

Naked Web Marketing – Part 1

Less means more

It’s possible to do too much and it happens with SEO where sites get penalized by search engines for stuffing keywords. It happens with web design where the graphics compete too much by complicating the navigation and minimizing the marketing content. It happens in web marketing when the sales hype or the boastful language gets too repetitive and turns customers away.

The thing to remember about bragging is that when you really are that good other people do the bragging for you.

Is naked web marketing a frightening thought?

Marketing without pretense should be a welcome idea. You cannot get close to your market when you are not yourself. When you look and sound like something you are not how can your web market relate? And why is it so important to relate to your web market?

If you can’t relate to the person you are talking to then how can you create a customer relationship? But even before we build relationships we have to understand how different the web is from all other marketing mediums.

The web is not like anything we have known before, so we can toss out the idea that we can market like newspapers. We can toss out the idea that our web site can market like television with a bit of video. Nor is our web confined to marketing like print advertising. All of the above are too limiting.

There is no time or space on the web

The reality is that the web swallowed all those marketing mediums and then altered how they would be used on the web. It was not the web that adapted to earlier media, but rather the other way around.

In a medium that has eliminated time and distance the rules for marketing are going to change. The only limitations about time or distance for the web is that of hardware issues and the speed of light. For all intent when a web site gets published it is available to all people everywhere in the world – at once.

And then consider the volume of space that any web site can make use of. For small business web sites we can say the space is limitless because the hosted space is megabytes more than we need.

Our small business web site can pack enormous amounts of info and be accessible everywhere at once. We can work toward turning the accessibility into more visibility as we shuck off those pretentious robes and get real.

We can’t run out of time

Suppose your web site just went live today. In a year it will still be there. In 4 years it will still be there. Just keep paying your hosting fee and the site will always be there.

Newspapers come and go, TV channels come and go, Best sellers come and go, but your web is isn’t going anywhere. This is important to know.

Your web site is not going anywhere because it is actually a destination – not a vehicle. We are conditioned to think that our business web site is going somewhere, like up the ranks with search engines or maybe Oprah will feature our site and it will really get going.

The truth is that our web site is stationary and the only thing that moves is our market if, and when, we attract them.

The web has a huge marketing potential

So why is our business web site not reaching anywhere near its potential? The main reason, in my mind, is because we are not letting our web sites live up to the web’s potential. Our marketing is too limiting as it is based on old offline marketing concepts. The world has changed and we are still using 20th century marketing concepts.

The 20th century marketing methods were always based on our business, our products, our location and our services. This focus is no longer appropriate for web marketing.

Small business web sites will need to look away from their own self interests and use their web site to cater to the needs of their market. No business web sites are doing this, other than just paying lip service. Do you see your market as the boss and do you take the time to know them and to give them what they want?

Imagine your market as millions of tiny kings and queens which require your attention, and your web site as the servant giving them that attention. How would you like to serve a million kings and queens and take their gold?

What does the web do better than any other marketing medium?

I keep asking this question because the answer is going to put wind beneath your wings. The answer is simple and in hindsight it stands out as a no-brainer, and yet it seemed like a revelation at the time.

Do you want to try and answer that question on your own?

Naked web marketing (part 2) will start off answering this question and tie it into other naked marketing methods. The goal is to see how a shift in awareness can be an experience where you have both a change of mind – and a change of heart.