Category Archives: Internet Marketing

Does Internet Advertising Work at All?

A Dangerous Question:

Does Internet Advertising Work at All?

The Internet was supposed to tell us which ads work and which ads don’t. But instead, it’s flooded consumers’ brains with reviews, comments, and other digital data that has diluted the power of advertising altogether.

 

Nineteenth-century retailer John Wanamaker is responsible for perhaps the most repeated line in marketing: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Today, marketers are grappling with the Wanamaker Paradox: The more we learn which half of advertising is working, the more we realize we’re wasting way more than half.

Perhaps you’re nodding your head about now. Most people you know don’t click online ads. At least, not on purpose. But now research is getting closer to quantifying exactly how few people click on Internet ads and exactly how ineffective they are. It’s not a pretty picture.

The Problem With Search

Take search ads, which have helped Google become the richest advertising company in the history of the world. Search ads are magic, in a way. Throughout history, most ads have been imprecise branding. You’re watching TV or reading the newspaper, and you’re interrupted by marketing—Samsung’s new thing is shiny; Ford F-something-something can drive through dirt; Blah blah blah GEICO—that has the staying power of a snowflake in an oven. But search catches consumers at the moment they’re actually looking for something. It shrinks the famous “purchase funnel” to its final stage and gives us tailored answers when we’re asking a specific question.

That’s the theory, at least. But a new controlled study on search ads from eBay research labs suggests that companies like Google vastly exaggerate the effectiveness of a search.

For example, consider what happens when I look up a brand, like Nike. An ad for Nike appears just above an organic link to Campaigns like this have “no measurable short-term benefits,” the researchers concluded. They merely give consumers a perfect substitute for the link they would have clicked anyway. (The only way it would add value is if Nike is paying to keep a rival like Adidas out of the top slot … assuming Google would sell Adidas the top sponsored link on searches for “Nike”).

But what about more common searches for things like “buy camera” or “best cell phone,” where many different companies are bidding to answer our queries? A well-placed search ad ought to grab curious consumers at the peak of their interest.

But in a study of search ads bought by eBay, the most frequent Internet users—who see the vast majority of ads; and spend the most money online—weren’t any more likely to buy stuff from eBay after seeing search ads. The study concluded that paid-search spending was ironically concentrated on the very people who were going to buy stuff on eBay, anyway. “More frequent users whose purchasing behavior is not influenced by ads account for most of the advertising expenses, resulting in average returns that are negative,” the researchers concluded.

‘I Was Gonna Buy It, Anyway’

I’m not fully convinced that search ads are as ineffective as this paper suggested. To their credit, the authors admit that other studies about Google have found search to have higher ROI.

But the big idea behind their research is powerful. Academics call it endogeneity. We can call it the I-was-gonna-buy-it-anyway problem. Some ads persuade us to buy. Some ads tell us to buy something we were already going to buy, anyway. It’s awfully hard to figure out which is which.

Enter Facebook, the second-biggest digital ad company in the U.S. Just as Google is synonymous with search, Facebook is ubiquitous with social. The News Feed is the most sophisticated content algorithm ever. The company represents the spine of so many apps and sites that it can marshal an astonishing (and growing) amount of data about us.

While Google can convert consumers at the bottom of the purchase funnel, Facebook is more like TV, a diffuse broadcast of stories where some companies hope to interrupt our lazy attention with branding messages. In 2012, Facebook partnered with Datalogix, a firm that measures the shopping habits of 100 million U.S. families, to see if people who went on Facebook and saw ads for, say, Hot Pockets, were more likely to go out and buy Hot Pockets. According to Facebook’s internal studies, the ads weren’t getting many clicks, but they were working brilliantly. “Of the first 60 campaigns we looked at, 70 percent had a 3X or better return-on-investment—that means that 70 percent of advertisers got back three times as many dollars in purchases as they spent on ads,” Sean Bruich, Facebook’s head of measurement platforms and standards, told Farhad Manjoo.

There are a few reasons to be skeptical when Facebook concludes that its ads are working spectacularly. First is the basic B.S.-detector blaring inside your soul saying you shouldn’t automatically believe companies who say “our research has apparently concluded unambiguously that we are awesome.” Facebook, ad agencies, and ad consultants all benefit from more ad spending. These are not objective parties.

Second, there’s that pesky I-was-gonna-buy-it-anyway bias. Let’s say I want to buy a pair of glasses. I live in New York, where people like Warby Parker. I’ve shopped for glasses at Warby Parker’s website. Facebook knows both of these things. So no surprise that today I saw a Warby Parker sponsored post on my News Feed.

Now, let’s say I buy glasses from Warby Parker tomorrow. What can we logically conclude? That Facebook successfully converted a sale? Or that the many factors Facebook considered before showing me that ad—e.g.: what my friends like and my past shopping behavior—are the same factors that might persuade anybody to buy a pair of glasses long before they signed into Facebook?

Maybe Facebook has mastered the art of using advertising to convert sales. Or maybe it’s mastered the art of finding people who were going to buy certain items anyway and showing them ads after they already made their decision. My bet is that the answer is (a) somewhere in the middle and (b) devilishly hard to accurately measure.

Too Much Information

The eBay study suggested that people who click most ads aren’t being influenced.

The Facebook study suggested that people who are being influenced aren’t actually clicking ads.

It makes you wonder whether clicks matter, at all.

In fact, there’s reason to wonder whether all advertising—online and off—is losing its persuasive punch. Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen, the authors of the new book Absolute Value, have an elegant theory about the weakened state of brands in the information age. Corporations used to have much more control over what kind of information consumers could find about their company. The signal of advertising was stronger when it wasn’t diluted by the sound pollution of the Internet and social media.

Think about how much you can learn about products today before seeing an ad. Comments, user reviews, friends’ opinions, price-comparison tools: These things aren’t advertising (although they’re just as ubiquitous). In fact, they’re much more powerful than advertising because we consider them information rather than marketing. The difference is enormous: We seek information, so we’re more likely to trust it; marketing seeks us, so we’re more likely to distrust it.

Simonson and Rosen share an anecdote from 2007: Ten thousand people around the globe were asked if they’d want a portable digital device like the iPhone. A Market research concluded that there wasn’t sufficient demand in the U.S., Europe, or Japan for such a device because people liked their cameras, phones, and MP3 players too much to want them mushed into one device. Today the iPhone is the most famous phone in the world, not just because its ad campaign was so great, but because the user reviews of the phone were overwhelmingly positive and so widely disseminated.

Measuring and predicting individual purchases has never been easy. But measuring and predicting how everybody’s purchase is affecting everybody else’s shopping behavior in the Panopticon of the Internet is practically impossible.

The Internet was supposed to tell us which ads work and which ads don’t. Instead, it’s flooded consumers’ brains with reviews, comments, and other information that has diluted the power of advertising. The more we learn about how consumers make decisions, the more we learn we don’t know.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

MarketHive

Tool Talk: All about Internet Marketing Tools

internet marketing tools

internet marketing tools

Tool Talk: All about Internet Marketing Tools

Who doesn’t want inexpensive Internet marketing tools? In this day and age when advertising your business online is the way to go, it’s a must that you get Internet marketing tools at the lowest cost possible.

How can you get them? How can you make the most out of these low cost Internet marketing tools?

These low cost Internet marketing tools aim to better your website and promote them thoroughly. Read on to know more about them:

1. Software

There is software specializing in internet marketing. These programs are affordable Internet marketing tools. They attract traffic, communicate your site to anyone online, harness and trim down your keywords, track your site visitors and create links to other sites. Of course, the phrase “low cost” emphasizes that you must not spend exorbitantly. Watch out for Internet marketing tools that do nothing but suck your budget.

2. Website packages

Take note of low cost Internet marketing tools that do the following: hosting and designing your site, getting your domain, offering technical support, configure and upload your files, campaigning for your traffic.

These are available in website packages that you can get anytime. Choose a package caters to your site’s needs.

3. Mailing lists

Notice that when you visit the Bulk Mail folder of your email, you read nothing but website promotions. This is email marketing? It boosts your business like no other. But be concerned about spamming. There is such a thing as “safe lists” that make your email spam-free.

4. Data Submitters

This is a money-saving internet marketing tool that works like magic. Have a data submitter of your own and amass tremendously huge hits!

5. E-books

Integrate an e-book in your site for people to download. At such a cheap price, you keep people clamoring for more and visiting your site in the process. That’s one affordable internet marketing tool for you.

6. SEO tools

Internet marketing is not complete without the standard SEO tools. Search engines remain as the major powerhouse in marketing so never leave this part out. Generate traffic through this effective low cost Internet marketing tool!

7. The MarketHive for Entrepreneurs

MarketHive is a social networking site designed for entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, MarketHive isn’t only a social networking website, in addition, it includes a blogging platform, plus some very effective online marketing tools to allow entrepreneurs to be successful marketing their Internet business, services and products.

Below you will find some of the marketing tools you will receive once you sign up for Markethive:

  • Autoresponders
  • E-mail Broadcasting
  • Blogging Platform
  • Capture Pages
  • One Click Lead Generation System
  • Conference Room and a whole lot more

You might be curious about how much actually does MarketHive charge for these amazing online marketing tools, well the answer really is these Internet marketing tools are totally free of charge for life, no strings attached. Basically these online marketing tools would cost you hundreds of dollars per month, not at MarketHive. This is the good news for the beginner as well as the veteran Internet marketer.

To Join MarketHive Click The Banner Below:

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Here’s a reminder: when you see the low cost internet marketing tools banners online, never get persuaded easily. Study the package deals; analyze the contents and benefits before deciding if you want one.

Ida Mae Boyd
Markethive Inbound Marketing Specialist

 

 

 

 

MarketHive

The Best Website Builder List for 2016

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Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder, founded in 2006. They started utilizing HTML5 in 2012 and now power more than 70 million websites, with 44,000 new member sign ups every single day.Dominant features include free for life plans (hosted on Wix’s servers and domain), a large App market, hundreds of designer templates, mobile friendly layout and a vibrant community. Wix went public in 2013 and is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Did you happen to catch their latest Super Bowl ad?

Based in San Francisco, Weebly is another leading host and website creation service. Catering to freelancers, small businesses, and service providers that are building a website for the first time – Weebly is easy to use and fast to deploy. Some say they have managed to create appealing websites in under 15 minutes.

Being featured in magazines and journals, such as Entrepreneur & WSJ, they are praised for simplicity and versatile features, in addition to their ecommerce abilities. They are reasonably priced, and it is always good when a service includes a free-for-life plan as well. See our extensive Weebly themes and templates collection.

WordPress is a leading open source, PHP based content management system that reportedly powers more than 24% of the internet as of 2016. With a mission statement to “democratize publishing”, this blog solution is great for intermediate users, and enables endless possibilities due to a vibrant community and related marketplaces.

If you are looking for an ecommerce solution, Shopify might fit the bill. Based in Ontario, they were set to disrupt the online store market with a new solution that incorporates social channels, multiple high end integrated applications, and premium support.

Today, the company reports that more than 200,000 store owners use their online software and has even added offline features, like a point of sale system, which integrates into the online shop. They are a bit pricey but we do think Shopify is a great ecommerce solution, and they have a two week trial, too.

Bigcommerce, a privately held company, is another one of the big ecommerce solutions out there. They recently reported that more than 5 billion dollars in sales were processed, using their platform. Social and mobile integration applications were professionally executed, and the overall design and feel of the platform is inviting. We thought their pricing was fairly high and recommend using Bigcommerce if you already have some basic experience.

Drupal is known as an advanced CMS suited for advanced designers and developers looking to handle large traffic volumes and pages. Distributed under the General Public License and great for corporate users, Drupal gained traction and marketplaces for add-ons, designs and services sprouted over time. Drupal templates and themes are available at relatively low price.

Web.com is a publicly traded company, based in Florida, which offers web and marketing services to small – medium sized businesses. With millions of customers, thousands of templates to choose from, and great support, it’s no surprise they are one of the leading website creation services. That being said, Web only offers a limited free option, and most start with the monthly plan (which includes a .COM domain).

Web has introduced the “Website Coach” system, in which a certified expert guides you as you build your first website, including live help after the launch. Their system fits both first time novices and business.

GoDaddy started as a domain registrar and hosting provider back in 1997. They provide web creation services for personal and enterprise uses as well. Pricing for their various plans is competitive, compared to offered space and bandwidth. Although the brand is solid and known internationally, the service is not quite up to par with industry standards to our taste. You can definitely try GoDaddy, but there are better solutions in our opinion.

Chuck Reynolds

Contributor

 

MarketHive

The Ultimate Marketing Machine

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Tools and strategies

 In the past decade, what marketers do to engage customers has changed almost beyond recognition. With the possible exception of information technology, we can’t think of another discipline that has evolved so quickly. Tools and strategies that were cutting-edge just a few years ago are fast becoming obsolete, and new approaches are appearing every day.

Yet in most companies the organizational structure of the marketing function hasn’t changed since the practice of brand management emerged, more than 40 years ago. Hidebound hierarchies from another era are still commonplace.

Marketers understand that their organizations need an overhaul, and many chief marketing officers are tearing up their org charts. But in our research and our work with hundreds of global marketing organizations, we’ve found that those CMOs are struggling with how to draw the new chart. What does the ideal structure look like? Our answer is that this is the wrong question. A simple blueprint does not exist.

Marketing leaders instead must ask, “What values and goals guide our brand strategy, what capabilities drive marketing excellence, and what structures and ways of working will support them?” Structure must follow strategy—not the other way around.

To understand what separates the strategies and structures of superior marketing organizations from the rest, EffectiveBrands (now Millward Brown Vermeer)—in partnership with the Association of National Advertisers, the World Federation of Advertisers, Spencer Stuart, Forbes, MetrixLab, and Adobe—initiated Marketing2020, which to our knowledge is the most comprehensive marketing leadership study ever undertaken. To date, the study has included in-depth qualitative interviews with more than 350 CEOs, CMOs, and agency heads, and over a dozen CMO roundtables in cities worldwide. We also conducted online quantitative surveys of 10,000-plus marketers from 92 countries. The surveys encompassed more than 80 questions focusing on marketers’ data analytics capabilities, brand strategy, cross-functional and global interactions, and employee training.

We divided the survey respondents into two groups, overperformers, and underperformers, on the basis of their companies’ three-year revenue growth relative to their competitors’. We then compared those two groups’ strategies, structures, and capabilities. Some of what we found should come as no surprise: Companies that are sophisticated in their use of data grow faster, for instance. Nevertheless, the research shed new light on the constellation of brand attributes required for superior marketing performance and on the nature of the organizations that achieve it. It’s clear that “marketing” is no longer a discrete entity (and woe to the company whose marketing is still siloed) but now extends throughout the firm, tapping virtually every function. And while the titles, roles, and responsibilities of marketing leaders vary widely among companies and industries, the challenges they face—and what they must do to succeed—are deeply similar.

Highlights from the Survey

Winning Characteristics

The framework that follows describes the broad traits of high-performing organizations, as well as specific drivers of organizational effectiveness. Let’s look first at the shared principles of high performers’ marketing approaches.

Big data, deep insights.

Marketers today are awash in customer data, and most are finding narrow ways to use that information—to, say, improve the targeting of messages. Knowing what an individual consumer is doing where and when is now table stakes. High performers in our study are distinguished by their ability to integrate data on what consumers are doing with knowledge of why they’re doing it, which yields new insights into consumers’ needs and how to best meet them. These marketers understand consumers’ basic drives—such as the desire to achieve, to find a partner, and to nurture a child—motivations we call “universal human truths.”

The Nike+ suite of personal fitness products and services, for instance, combines a deep understanding of what makes athletes tick with troves of data. Nike+ incorporates sensor technologies embedded in running shoes and wearable devices that connect with the web, apps for tablets and smartphones, training programs, and social networks. In addition to tracking running routes and times, Nike+ provides motivational feedback and links users to communities of friends, like-minded athletes, and even coaches. Users receive personalized coaching programs that monitor their progress. An aspiring first-time half-marathon runner, say, and a seasoned runner rebounding from an injury will receive very different coaching. People are rewarded for good performance, can post their accomplishments on social media, and can compare their performance with—and learn from—others in the Nike+ community.

Purposeful positioning.

Top brands excel at delivering all three manifestations of brand purpose—functional benefits, or the job the customer buys the brand to do (think of the pick-me-up Starbucks coffee provides); emotional benefits, or how it satisfies a customer’s emotional needs (drinking coffee is a social occasion); and societal benefits, such as sustainability (when coffee is sourced through fair trade). Consider the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which defines a set of guiding principles for sustainable growth that emphasize improving health, reducing environmental impact, and enhancing livelihoods. The plan lies at the heart of all Unilever’s brand strategies, as well as its employee and operational strategies.

In addition to engaging customers and inspiring employees, a powerful and clear brand purpose improves alignment throughout the organization and ensures consistent messaging across touchpoints. AkzoNobel’s Dulux, one of the world’s leading paint brands, offers a case in point. In 2006, AkzoNobel was operating a heavily decentralized business structured around local markets, with each local business setting its own brand and business goals and developing its own marketing mix. Not surprisingly, the outcome was inconsistent brand positioning and results; Dulux soared in some markets and floundered in others. In 2008, Dulux’s new global brand team pursued a sweeping program to understand how people perceived the brand across markets, paint’s purpose in their lives, and the human truths that inspired people to color their environments. From China, to India, to the UK, to Brazil, a consistent theme emerged: The colors around us powerfully influence how we feel. Dulux wasn’t selling cans of paint; it was selling “tins of optimism.” This new definition of Dulux’s brand purpose led to a marketing campaign, “Let’s Color.” It enlists volunteers, which now include more than 80% of AkzoNobel employees, and donates paint (more than half a million liters so far) to revitalize run-down urban neighborhoods, from the favelas of Rio to the streets of Jodhpur. In addition to aligning the once-decentralized marketing organization, Dulux’s purpose-driven approach has expanded its share in many markets.

Total experience.

Companies are increasingly enhancing the value of their products by creating customer experiences. Some deepen the customer relationship by leveraging what they know about a given customer to personalize offerings. Others focus on the breadth of the relationship by adding touchpoints. Our research shows that high-performing brands do both—providing what we call “total experience.” In fact, we believe that the most important marketing metric will soon change from “share of wallet” or “share of voice” to “share of experience.”

A spices, and flavorings firm, emphasizes both depth and breadth in delivering on its promise to “push the art, science, and passion of flavor.” It creates a consistent experience for consumers across numerous physical and digital touchpoints, such as product packaging, branded content like cookbooks, retail stores, and even an interactive service, FlavorPrint, that learns each customer’s taste preferences and makes tailored recipe recommendations. FlavorPrint does for recipes what Netflix has done for movies; its algorithm distils each recipe into a unique flavor profile, which can be matched to a consumer’s taste-preference profile. FlavorPrint can then generate customized e-mails, shopping lists, and recipes optimized for tablets and mobile devices.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

MarketHive

The Many types of Marketing

The Many types of Marketing

Forms of Marketing

Lots of people are talking about all the new forms of marketing a company can pursue. It’s true, certain traditional marketing has been around for a long time and is still used today, but with the Internet now playing such a huge role in any company’s success, people are coming out with more and more ways to market their products or services. The more we thought about all the different varieties of marketing, the more we realized there are so many different ways to promote something. Here’s a list of marketing terms that we hope you find useful:

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is any marketing strategy that takes place online. Also referred to as online marketing, it encompasses a variety of marketing forms like video advertisements, searchengine marketing and e-mail marketing. It is the opposite of offline marketing, and can also fall under digital marketing. Internet marketing needs a good approach in areas of design, development and advertising. A company with a total website marketing plan will have more success online than one that has just designed a website without thinking of how to market their company through it.

Offline Marketing

Offline marketing, the opposite of online marketing, includes all forms of marketing that aren’t done on the Internet. Examples of offline marketing are local advertising in newspapers and on television. In today’s marketing world, companies are finding ways to leverage their offline marketing campaigns with their online ones, making them complement each other.

Outbound Marketing

When you think of marketing, the different forms you come up with are mostly outbound marketing (also called traditional marketing). In fact, the majority of companies today are using different types of outbound marketing to reach their potential customers. Outbound marketing includes any marketing efforts that are taken to introduce a product or service to someone who isn’t looking for that product or service. Some examples are cold calling, sending newsletters, billboards, and banner ads on different websites.

 

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Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing focuses on having your company found by customers, as opposed to reaching out to them directly like in outbound marketing. The important thing to remember here is that a person starts out with the want/need to purchase a product or service, and they go out to find it. When they search for that product/service on a search engine, the search engine results page will show inbound marketing results. Instead of using paid advertisements, inbound marketing is the search engine optimization (SEO) part of web marketing.

Newsletter Marketing

Newsletter marketing and email marketing refer to ways of promoting your company through emails. Typically, a firm using newsletter marketing will have a group of contacts that they will send a newsletter containing some interesting information to. The success of newsletter marketing depends on grabbing attention, writing good content and reaching a large number of potential clients.

Article Marketing

Businesses will often write articles related to the industry they are in and distribute them online and offline. These free articles will inform people about an important topic and give the company that wrote it more credibility within the market. The organization can also include their business contact information in the article, allowing them to get new clients.

Trade Show Marketing

Companies that want to reach a large number of potential customers can participate in public or private trade shows. Trade shows and other forms of event marketing are often a large investment to participate in, but trade shows allow companies to demonstrate new products and examine what is going on in the industry.

Search Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) is the way in which companies promote their business through paid placement on search engines like Google. Instead of increasing the organic search results that a website has, companies will pay to have their advertisements in the sponsored section of search engines. This is also known as Pay Per Click Advertising or PPC.

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing’s main goal is to send a message directly to consumers, without having to use any third-party outlets. Examples of direct marketing include mail marketing, telemarketing, and direct selling. Direct marketing is often preferable because the results can be easily measured, giving the marketer a better understanding of the success of that campaign.

Niche Marketing

When a product or service is not being readily supplied to a certain portion of a market, a company can focus their efforts on that niche to address a need that isn’t currently being addressed. This targeted marketing is successful because the marketer has identified a need that isn’t being resolved by mainstream providers. Sometimes it is beneficial for a company to focus on a niche instead of trying to compete in a larger market.

Drip marketing

Drip marketing is the act of sending out scheduled targeted emails that are all coordinated to a specific goal of client conversion. The sender uses email marketing software that allows them to setup multiple emails at one time and let them “drip” over time. This sometimes includes phone calls to check in on the clients along the way.

Social Media Marketing

Social network marketing and social media campaigns provide a window to market a product or service on the Internet through different social networks. Companies can use these outlets for their marketing, customer service, and sales. The most common and successful means of social media marketing are found on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and even company blogs.

Referral Marketing

One of the less strategic types of marketing, referral marketing relies on a company’s customers to refer new customers to that company. Also called word of mouth marketing, this is a more spontaneous way of receiving new business, and can not be solely relied on because results aren’t very predictable. However, word of mouth is still a powerful part of a company’s efforts to bring in new business, especially in the social media community where communication travels freely.

Guerrilla Marketing

With a smaller budget, guerrilla marketing makes a splash by relying on energy, timing and unusual approaches to get the consumer’s attention. The unconventional marketing involved tries to get the most out something small and make a lasting brand image in the consumer’s mind.

Promotional Marketing

Promotional marketing is a common form of marketing strategy that companies use to motivate a consumer to make a decision and purchase their product. There are a number of ways that businesses will promote a product or service, including holding contests to win a prize, offering coupons for purchasing a product at a discount, and having samples of the product so people can experience it before they purchase.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing most likely involves four different groups that contribute to the marketing effort. The Merchant is the company that is producing and selling the product, the Network is the outlet that is used to promote the affiliate link, the Publisher or Affiliate is the person who has the website with the affiliate ad and of course the customer doing the purchasing. Affiliate links are found on all types of websites, and they are used to drive traffic to outside websites.

Viral Marketing

This type of marketing relies on the message of a marketer being spread quickly through various social networks in order to increase brand awareness. The name viral marketing stems from the rapid spread of viruses in general. Typically, a viral marketing campaign will not last as long as other marketing efforts, but if a company can come up with a good idea for viral marketing and reach the right people, it will become highly successful in a short amount of time.

B2B Marketing

Any type of business, whether an organization, individual, government or other institution that markets to other businesses is involved in a business to business marketing. Since B2B marketing involves companies trying to sell mass quantities of product to one another, there is a more personal relationship that needs to be established between businesses. If your company sells to other businesses, your marketing efforts will most likely be more direct.

B2C Marketing

Business to consumer marketing campaigns try to reach a category of people that will be likely to purchase their product or service. The marketing efforts the company takes should be broader than B2B, which focuses on specific companies. B2C marketing can involve different marketing techniques such as door to door marketing, promotion marketing, newspaper marketing, television marketing and radio marketing. In today’s marketing world, B2C Internet marketing is becoming more important to reach consumers.

Mobile Marketing

Along with Internet marketing, mobile marketing is part of the newest groups of marketing activities. Companies have been experimenting with the certain ways to reach consumers through their phones, especially with the rise of Apple’s iphone. Some ways to marketing a product or service through a mobile phone include SMS marketing, in-game marketing, banner marketing on different web pages and location based marketing.

Reverse Marketing

This form of marketing is similar to inbound marketing. The goal of reverse marketing is to market a product in a way that will cause the consumer to seek the firm doing the marketing. Reverse marketing can be conducted through such means as television, print, and Internet marketing. If a company has a product that solves a problem in the market, they will have more success using reverse marketing because they will seek out that product.

Telemarketing

A form of direct marketing, telemarketing’s focus is on reaching consumers by phone. Most of what we think of as telemarketing is cold call marketing, which is unpopular and has lead to laws being created against it. However, telemarketing can be effective if the right person is reached on the phone at the right time.

Direct Mail Marketing

Most people receive large quantities of marketing material in the mail, which is considered direct mail marketing. Companies will send paper mail with promotions or other information to a list of addresses, usually in a common geographical area. This form of marketing is also called junk mail by some because the customers receiving the mail aren’t expecting it and usually don’t want to open it.

Database Marketing

Database marketing is similar to other types of direct marketing, but the focus is more directed towards analyzing data. Companies try to narrow their marketing efforts down to certain groups of people, and they use database marketing to analyze statistics like name, address, or sales history, in order to create the most accurate model possible.

Personalized marketing

The goal of personalized marketing is to create a unique offer for each individual customer. This form of marketing doesn’t work for every company, but certain ones can capitalize on their unique products and customer demographics to market to individuals. With the Internet becoming a more popular place for marketing, companies are finding that personalized marketing is effective in cases when they can track a customer’s specific interests and send them more information for future suggestions.

This list should give you a good idea of different ways companies can market themselves to consumers or other companies, but there are still more types of marketing out there. If you think of any, let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

Depending on your company and the industry you are in, you will definitely choose different kinds of marketing that will produce the best results for you. No matter which type of marketing you want to use for your company, Design & Promote can help you research and implement a marketing campaign that will allow your company to win the consumer’s attention and hold the search engine results. Contact us today to explore more ways Design & Promote can help market your company.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

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MarketHive

The Best Free Internet Marketing Tools

The Best Free Internet Marketing Tools

Internet Marketing Tools

Online marketers need to rely on more than their own skills if they want to get ahead. They’ll also need to use a variety of different tools. The right tools can help marketers to analyze their strategies, gather the information they need, and build more effective campaigns going forward.

With that said, not every marketer has an unlimited budget to work with. Because of this, it’s important for marketers to find free and low cost tools they can rely on.

The internet marketing tools listed below are all completely free to use. In addition, most of these tools should be invaluable to the average marketer.

1. Markethive

Markethive

 

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Markethive has a variety of internet marketing tools including a blog platform which can help you to effectively get your content to go viral, Markethive also has autoresponder and email broadcasting and many other internet marketing tools and they are free for life. Watch the video below for complete details:

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2. Google Alerts

Google Alerts

If you want to keep track of what people are saying about your brand, or learn what people are saying about your competitors, you’ll want to set up a few Google Alerts. Alerts are very easy to set up, and won’t cost you a thing.

When you can keep track of what people are saying about you, it’ll be far easier for you to control the narrative around your brand. Google Alerts will allow you to stay aware of any challenges that might be facing you in the future.

3. Google Analytics

Google Analytica

Every marketer needs strong, accurate data. Google Analytics is able to provide that in spades. It can provide people with data on all sorts of things, from how many people are visiting a site to how they are interacting with it once they get their.

Marketers should set up analytics whenever they can. From there, they should analyze that data and determine what their next step should be.

4. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner

Choosing the right keywords is one of the biggest challenges associate with SEO. Thankfully, the Google Keyword Planner tool makes this process a lot simpler.

With this tool, marketers can find out what people are using Google to search for. They can also see which keywords have less competition. From there, marketers can work to create content that will be able to attract attention and draw in a lot of search traffic for their site.

5. The Moz Toolbar

Moz

While keywords are important, they aren’t the only aspect of SEO marketers need to focus on. It’s also important for marketers to analyze the effectiveness of their on-page SEO.

The Moz toolbar will look at any page and provide a basic analysis. It helps marketers figure out the little details, like whether or not a header needs to be re-sized. Marketers should use it every time they change their site’s design.

6. Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Social media is big these days, and marketers need to find a way to keep up with it. Hootsuite will allow a person to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, and more.

Although there are a lot of social media management tools out there, few offer as much as Hootsuite does for free. In addition, the paid version of Hootsuite will provide marketers with even more functionality.

7. Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO

Backlinks are another important component of SEO. The Majestic SEO tool will allow marketers to analyze their backlinks so that they can figure out what they should be doing differently. Marketers can also use this tool to analyze their competitors.

8. Klout

Klout

Influencers are playing a big role on marketers these days. A single tweet or Instagram post from the right influencer can provide a much better return on investment than an advertisement can.

Klout will help marketers to figure out which influencers they should be working with. It lets them see which people are able to consistently deliver results.

9. Similar Web

Simular Web

If you want to compare the audience of your sites to the audience of your competitors, one of the best tools around is Similar Web. This benchmarking tool is completely free to use, and it can provide marketers with all kinds of useful data.

Marketers don’t have to spend in order to get access to great tools. Some of the best internet marketing tools are completely free. You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to be an effective marketer. If you’re smart, you’ll be able to do a lot without having to spend much money at all.

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MarketHive

What Does Advertising-Supported Revenue Model Mean?

What Does The Future of  the Ad-Supported
Revenue Model Mean to the Internet and Technology?

 

An advertising-supported revenue model is a business approach that emphasizes the sale of advertising as a major source of revenue. This structure is most prominent in traditional broadcast and print media, as well as online media. Media businesses generally earn revenue from advertising, customer subscriptions or a combination of the two.

Traditional Media

TV and radio shows, along with newspapers and magazines, generally serve to entertain or inform viewers or readers. TV and radio have traditionally been largely advertising-supported. While networks and TV stations do often earn revenue through subscriptions to satellite or cable television, much of their income is earned from advertisers trying to appeal to viewers. Similarly, magazines and newspapers charge subscription or purchase fees, but advertisers pay to place ads within these print media.

E-Commerce

The emergence of the Internet in the mid-1990s has affected the advertising-supported revenue model. Newspapers, for instance, have tried to adjust to increased demand for online content and limited growth in print publications. Thousands of media websites have been born online, which often offer free access to content for users. This attracts users and enables the publishes to sell banner ads and advertorial ad spaces. Traditional newspapers have offered free content as well, but many are trying to figure out how to combine ad revenue with subscription fees as of 2013.

Benefits

The benefit of an advertising-supported revenue model is that if you have an audience, you can almost always find companies that want to pay to reach it. This is especially true when you can provide specific details about the nature of your audience. When you operate with a 100 percent ad-supported model, you can more easily attract users with free content. Newspapers have long given away hundreds of copies to businesses and organizations in communities to drive up their circulation and readership, and subsequently, ad revenue potential.

Drawbacks

The major drawback of an entirely ad-supported revenue model is the inherent lack of diversification. Businesses generally prefer multiple revenue streams when possible. In a down economy, advertisers might back off their investments, which can more negatively affect a medium that has no subscription revenue. Plus, print publications, and even some websites, have high costs. Even a small subscription rate can help cover some of these costs. Local newspapers charging, say, 35 cents per issue can’t use that to cover all production costs, but the fees do help offset costs and allow revenue to build.

Facebook Reports Soaring Revenue, Buoyed by Mobile Ads

On Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg’s social-networking company, Facebook, reported another quarter of soaring revenue. The company said sales in the fourth quarter rose 52 percent from a year ago, to $5.84 billion, while profit increased to $1.56 billion, more than doubling from $701 million a year ago. For the full year, the company reported $3.69 billion in profit on $17.93 billion in revenue, an increase of 44 percent from 2014.

The numbers far surpassed Wall Street’s fourth-quarter expectations of $1.2 billion in profit on $5.37 billion in revenue. Investors welcomed the performance by pushing up Facebook’s stock more than 12 percent in after-hours trading.

The results were largely a result of Facebook’s enormous success in selling advertising on mobile devices, a business that the company was not even in just a few years ago. Mobile ads made up 80 percent of the company’s total ad business in the fourth quarter, compared with 23 percent in the same quarter of 2012.

“We have a Super Bowl on mobile in the U.S. every single day,” Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said in an interview.

The results offer a bright spot in a tumultuous climate for many American technology stocks. Shares of Twitter, Facebook’s most visible social networking competitor in the United States, have tumbled more than 55 percent during the last year. Yelp, the local-review service, is down about 60 percent. LinkedIn, the professional social networking service, is off more than 15 percent.

Facebook is a much larger company than many of its peers, yet it is able to keep its growth rate high. The company has notched double-digit jumps in ad revenue and in the expansion of its user base. Facebook now has 1.59 billion monthly visitors, up 14 percent from a year ago. About 1.44 billion of those people visit the site on a mobile device; 1.04 billion visit Facebook every day.

That growth engine has given Facebook lots of room to play in different areas — like virtual reality, messaging and even building drones capable of delivering Internet service to far-flung places around the world — that seem to have little to do with Facebook’s core business of advertising.

Facebook is spending billions of dollars developing those projects, and Mr. Zuckerberg has repeatedly said the company has no plans to make money on them in the near term. In an earnings call with investors, David Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer, said the company projected that expenses would increase roughly 30 to 40 percent over the course of 2016 compared with last year.

One example of the spending is on Oculus, Facebook’s $2 billion bet on bringing virtual reality to the mainstream. The unit will begin selling its first headsets to consumers in March. Facebook has said it plans to sell the hardware, called the Rift, at a loss to help the technology catch on with a large audience.

“These are long-term bets, but we don’t think they’re particularly large bets relative to the size of Facebook,” said Ben Schachter, an Internet analyst at Macquarie Securities. “They’ve gone out of their way to say they’re not Google and going after health care, for instance.”

Other analysts said they also saw potential for profit in the hundreds of millions of people who regularly use Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, a messaging service also owned by Facebook.

They are also bullish on the potential for Instagram, the photo-sharing service that has more than 400 million regular monthly users, to become a significant source of revenue in the future. The company does not disclose what portion of revenue Instagram accounts for in Facebook’s overall sales. Ms. Sandberg said 98 of the top 100 advertisers on Facebook also advertised on Instagram in the last quarter.

As for Mr. Zuckerberg, he spent a portion of the investor call on Wednesday talking about his new role as a father to his daughter, Max.

“With a new addition to my family, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the legacy we want to pass on to the next generation,” he said, adding that he wanted Facebook to “continue to focus on solving the fundamental challenges facing the world, and bringing the world closer together.”

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Are Social Networking Sites Doing Us Any Good

It is not long ago when the only mode of communication was the snail mail way or the expensive Telephone. But with the advent of internet our lives have completely changed. We are now able to connect with anybody in any part of the world instantly and at a very low cost. This indeed has brought a pleasant change in our lifestyle. Internet has helped us so much that even organizations can employ a global workforce and they all can work together sitting in different parts of world as if they are sitting in the same building. Not only this the advent of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter has completely revolutionized the way we connect with people. We can get connected with our friends sitting in any part of the world and at the same time search our long lost buddy.

The immense benefits that have been brought by internet and the social networking sites sometimes downplay the negative effects associated with it. As it is an adage that excess of everything is bad, same holds good with these social networking sites. We are so much addicted to these sites that sometimes we forget to check the wellbeing of our near and dear ones but we never forget to check the latest updates on Facebook.

Though it is not legal to create an account on social networking sites for a minor, but given its popularity, children are so tempted to use these sites that they adopt unfair means at such tender age and get themselves registered on these sites. These days we see lesser number of children willing to play outside as they are glued to the latest happenings in their virtual friend circle. And children here are not to be blamed because a child usually does that what he sees and when he sees that his father after coming back from a hectic schedule directly turns on his laptop to know the where about of his online friends rather that asking the child how was his day at school or without playing with him, he is also bound to check what is so interesting about these sites.

Therefore, instead of turning a blind eye and deaf ear towards this issue, it’s time for us to awaken. No doubt we have witnessed a tremendous evolution in technology but to gain immense benefits from this new revolution, we have to make a judicious use of it. We are witnessing so many new diseases which were not even heard of because of our changing life styles. We prefer sitting for long hours in front of computers rather than taking a refreshing walk in the lap of nature. Therefore, it is time to act before we repent.

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Using Inbound Marketing Techniques To Convert Leads To Clients

Creating content for a website seems to be an endless task. Often times, businesses outsource to writers who can do the job efficiently. However, the job does not stop there. Efficient content requires more than skilled writing to convert leads to clients. Timing and placing with the right social media strategies also increase the likelihood of converting these leads to clients.

Inbound Marketing with MarketHive

These strategies all fit within the inbound marketing technique, which has been the guide to great online marketing strategies.

Attract Customers

Customer attraction will turn strangers into potential leads. For businesses and blogs, enticing people to go to their website requires the following actions:

•             Blogs – Opening a blog will begin the journey to attracting customers to the business website. Add insightful information that answers questions and increases the attentiveness of the potential lead. A great business marketing strategy begins with blogging.

•             Using Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) – Clients will begin their search usually through online search engines. Using SEO techniques such as content building, link directing and finding optimal keywords and phrases will increase the overall inbound marketing strategy. Using SEO will help customers find out who a business is and make them the top of the search results.

•             Customized Pages – Website fluency is important for customers. Businesses who create websites that appeal to their intended customers will see more results than those who do not. Creating a great website with a user-friendly interface will be great for online marketing strategies.

•             Social Media Marketing – While great content will be the success of inbound marketing – social media marketing will help get this valuable content out. Social media marketing will help businesses succeed and – even better – it is one of the few free marketing tools. Engage with potential customers and post at times that will lead the business with the most results.

 

It is now important to convert these visitors to leads.

Converting Visitors to Leads

Content Marketing with MarketHive

Next step is optimizing a website enough to convert the visitors that great content brings in into leads. This requires a strategic method of creation and publishing.

•             Create Forms On a Website – Website forms will generate enough interest for a business to consider their visitor a lead if he or she fills out the website form. Usually name and email forms that popup on the website for a first-time visitor. Make this conversion process as easy as possible for visitors.

•             Generate Interest Through Call-to-Action – Creating a website where a business must have good call-to-actions is ideal. A lack of call-to-actions detriments the entire inbound marketing strategy. Buttons and links to other places and to sign up for webinars, free products or other interesting links will be great call-to-action.

•             Landing pages and contacts are also consistent in the conversion process. Now it is time to close the deal and turn potential leads to purchasing clients.

Close the Deal by Turning Leads to Clients

Turning leads to clients will be the “money maker” for the business. Through great content and conversion techniques, this step will be cake for most businesses.

•             Customer Relation Management – Also referred to as CRM, this strategy helps keep detailed information about leads’ contact information and when the best time to facilitate a sale with them.

•             Use CRM to Figure out Team Efforts – Using the right reports, a business can see how well the marketing and sales team are working together to efficiently create a successful business funnel and great online marketing strategies.

•             Keep in Touch via Email – Sending relevant, interesting emails to clients may persuade them to purchase from the website.

 

Next, a business must can use clients as unpaid promoters.

Use Clients to Promoters

The next step is to get client feedback and persuade them to share a product with friends and families on multiple avenues, including social media marketing.

•             Send Surveys – Surveying clients will provide a business with adequate feedback to ensure the customer is getting what they want.

•             Updated Call-to-Actions – Personalize call-to-actions by presenting visitors, leads and clients with different, new call-to-actions varying on the buyers interest and step within the inbound marketing strategy. New call-to-actions increase the likelihood of turning one-time customers into long-term customers and promoters of the product.

•             Monitor Social Media – It’s important for a business to know what their clients are saying about them and their product. Using social monitoring, a business can get the true opinion of their product and customer satisfaction and use it to readjust to be a better company.

Inbound Marketing Creates Great Online Marketing Strategies for Companies

Inbound marketing helps by providing businesses with free marketing tools that will enhance the overall effectiveness of the business’ success. Each step is meant to help mold the content and products/services being sold and will generate more viewership than previously.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
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8 Ways To Diversify Your Freelance Income

Want more stability in your financial life? Here’s how freelancers can create a more reliable income through diversification.

growing an income

Perhaps whoever coined the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” was a freelancer, because, well, that’s one of the biggest financial mistakes freelancers make. If you make all your freelance income from one client, what’s going to happen when that client loses their funding? Certainly nothing good. But, if you make your freelance income from ten clients, when one client loses funding, you’ll only be out looking to replace ten percent of your income.

There’s more than one way to put your income into separate “baskets”–here are eight ways that freelancers can diversify their income for a more reliable paycheck.

Work with multiple clients. If you happen to land a client large enough to pay your entire salary, it may not be the best idea to work only with that client. Keep a few other clients on the side so that if something does happen, you’re not wondering how to pay for groceries. The more clients you have, the more reliable your income will be—just make sure you can manage them all. Along the same lines, freelancers should continually be marketing their services so there’s a potential client to contact when a current one falls through.

Write a blog. Whatever it is that you do, you can earn a little extra side money by sharing your first-hand knowledge. One way to do that is through blogging. While creating a successful blog takes time and effort, it’s a good way to add an extra income source. And if worse comes to worse and you don’t make any money from your blog, you at least have a great website to show potential clients that you know your stuff.

Write an eBook. Many bloggers expand their income through eBooks. While a blog earns money through advertising, eBooks are ad-free and earn income through the sale of the book itself. Many readers prefer getting their information through eBooks because the form is much easier to use and typically offers more information than a typical blog.

Teach a class. Another way to earn extra income by sharing the knowledge you have of your field is through teaching a class. While you can go the old fashioned way and actually teach a local class, you could also teach online for an even farther reach. Using a platform like Udemy or Open Learning, creating an online class is easier than you may think. There is a big time investment involved—though if you already have material like a blog or eBook on the same topic to work with, it’s much easier to get set up with an online class.

Sell a digital product. There are many more possibilities of diversifying your income without selling an eBook. If your expertise lies in graphic design, for example, you could create and sell graphics such as clipart or templates for businesses to use for marketing materials. There are a lot of possibilities here, including stock photos and templates for different software programs.

Sell physical goods. While it takes a bit more of a financial risk, you could also sell physical products, ideally related to your area of expertise. Graphic designers and photographers, for example, could sell their designs on t-shirts and other items through a company such as Cafepress. If you created an eBook, you could could sell a physical copy too.

Use affiliate links. Many online stores pay for the links that send them traffic, it’s called affiliate linking. If you have a blog or social media network with a large following, you could earn a little extra by using affiliate links. Popular sites with affiliate links are Rakuten Affiliate (formerly LinkShare) and Amazon Associates, though there are many more.

Expand your services. Having a niche area is a great way to show that you are an expert, instead of the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none kind of freelancer. But there is such a thing as being too narrow. One way to diversify your income is to start offering more than one service, ideally, something that’s similar to your primary focus. For example, if you are a copywriter specializing in blog posts, it’s an easy step to also start offering landing page content or e-mail marketing. The best way to expand is to offer another service that caters to the same business as the first. If your target audience for your first service is businesses, but for the second is families, it will be tough to market properly. Instead, try adding a service that your current and past clients might consider adding.

Freelancing, and the unpredictable income that comes with it, can be pretty scary. A great way to lessen the fear and create more stability is by adding other revenue sources. The first and biggest way is to work with a wider number of clients. But, by offering things like a blog, an ebook, online courses, digital or physical products, affiliate links or additional services, you can create a more reliable income that comes from a variety of sources.

What do you think? Have you ever worked for free? How did it turn out?

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MarketHive

Video Marketing Tips, Trends, Strategy & Best Practices

Content Samurai is a tool that instantly generates hundreds of content related pages and thousands of relevant targeted in bound links. This utility also creates effortless high rankings with just four clicks of your mouse. Content Samurai allows you to quickly and easily dominate the search engines by giving you exactly what you are looking for – high quality content and targeted links.

Crank Out Traffic-Pumping Videos On-Demand!

Have you been struggling to get Google rankings lately?

What Is Content Samurai Software All About?

Content Samurai is a video creation software that allows you to create engaging videos within a few clicks of the mouse.

The software comes loaded with features designed to make the entire recording process as simple as possible, without dealing with Photoshop, crazy codecs or any of that video jargon.

How Does It Work?

Content Samurai can create videos from your content and scripts and it does it with a 5 step process.

Here’s the steps to creating your very first video within minutes

Step 1 : Scripts – Paste in your content into the software starting with the headline then following with the content. The best part is that you can use pretty much ANY kind of content you want including articles, blog posts, advertisements, and sales letters.

Step 2 : Slides – The software will analyze your content and automatically break it up into bite sized chunks with visuals to make it pop. You can change the look and feel by adding images from the millions of stock photos included, or choose one of your own photos.

Step 3 : Audio – Next is recording your audio, and this is where Content Samurai really shines. The software breaks software into easily recordable chunks. Simply hit record and record each part of your content section by section. Adding music is a great way to spice up your video and you can choose from the audio pre-loaded into the software.

Step 4 : Preview – Now, hit the play button to preview your masterpiece. You can make changes and adjust where each slide starts and ends to perfect your video.

Step 5 : Download – Click the download button and now you’re ready to upload your content on all of the top websites on the planet including Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo, and the list goes on and on. Start driving MORE traffic from the content you already created once.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
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Email Abuse and how to be blacklisted

Just a bit of advice to readers here. In the old days, it was a clever trick to set up an auto-responder trying to push an “opportunity” on your email address account.

This is not liked by most ESP’s (Email Service Providers).  Times have changed. Now it is just seen as abuse and what not do any good for your on-line reputation.

This will get your email address blacklisted at Amazon who we at Markethive use as our Email Provider and because we have to follow by strict rules and procedures, we then put your email address in our own blacklist, so no further correspondence is sent to it.

So, be sensible .. remove those pesky blighters from your account settings and add a personal touch when contacting prospective clients or customers.

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Coming up With a Niche for a Blog

In a sea of endless posts, how will you differentiate yourself? Keep these factors in mind when starting a blog.

With over 150 million blogs on the internet, starting one that stands out enough to gain followers and earn an income certainly isn’t an easy task. Before the big blogging boom, it was much simpler to gain a readership, but with so many blogs out there, the first step to starting a blog is to find a unique niche – a topic that you can comfortably write about, that a lot of people want to read about.

One reader took to the forums to gauge interest and get some insight on choosing a niche for her blog, potentially on the topic of frugal living in a high cost area. But the feedback that came back could help out anyone looking to start their own blog – so counting the feedback and adding a few more tips, here’s what to consider when coming up with a niche for your own blog.

Is there a big enough interest for the topic?

Blogs that earn an income have a very high number of daily visitors. Are there enough people interested in that topic to generate that kind of traffic? The trick is to make your topic broad enough to interest a wide range of people, but narrow enough that you’re “not just another blog.”

Do you have enough experience to write on the topic?

What information can you offer readers? If you are researching the information yourself and simply regurgitating what you read elsewhere, it’s probably not a good topic for you. On the other hand, if you have quite a bit of experience in the area or are living through it as in a frugal living blog, then you may have found the right topic for you.

Can you write a lot of different articles on that topic?

If your goal is to turn your blog into an income, it will take many, many hours of work. Don’t pick a topic you are not passionate about – you”ll end up burnt out months down the road. If, on the other hand you can’t stop talking about your topic and love anything related, that passion will come in handy managing a blog.

What kind of competition is out there?

Small blogs don’t have much chance ranking in the search results behind large companies that have entire teams devoted to search engine optimization. What other blogs cover the same topic? Are there many, or just a few? Do they cover it in a similar manner, or is there something to set your blog apart? Once you’ve scoped out the other competing sites, take a look at the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and type in a few potential topics you might write about, click the keyword ideas tab, then click the competition tab twice to arrange the ideas from low to high. Are there related keywords that rank low? If all the keywords you come up with are ranking high, it will be extremely tough for your blog to show up in the first few pages of the search results.

Can you pinpoint an audience?

Writing a blog involves reaching out to an audience – do you know who that audience is? Sure, your blog can have one main audience and a few smaller audiences, but you should be able to pinpoint who you are writing to. Are you reaching out to moms? Dads? Businessmen? Teenagers? A frugal living in a high cost area blog would have a very defined audience, yet that group of people is probably big enough to work with.

Is it easy to monetize?

There’s more than one way to make money from a blog. How would your blog make money? Selling ads with a program like AdWords is a popular option – you”ll just need to ensure your topic reaches to an audience businesses also want to advertise to. Blogs can also make money by selling ebooks or products, or through affiliate links. It’s a good idea to build an audience before monetizing, but you should still consider just how your topic can be monetized before you get started.

Blogs can be an excellent home-based businesses, if you have the passion, knowledge, writing skills and time. But every successful blog also needs a niche – consider elements like competition, interest and audience before venturing out into the world of blogging.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
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11 Ways To Stay Organized When You Work At Home

11 Ways To Stay Organized When You Work At Home

 
Staying productive while working at home requires creating a workspace, staying semi-formal, and creating a schedule that includes breaks.
 
 
staying organised at home
 
 
When you decided to become a work from home mom, you imagined how productive you would be. Not only would you be able to throw a load of dishes into the dishwasher, but you'd be able to fold clothes while on a telephone conference call, too.
 
Now that you're actually working from home, not only are the dishes piling up in the sink, but you haven't done laundry in two weeks, either. And the clean clothes? Forget it. They're in an ever-shrinking pile in the corner of your bedroom.
 
So what happened to being organized? Ironically, it's harder to be organized when you work at home than when you're in a traditional office job. But there are ways to stay organized and be productive when you work from home. Read on to see how-and to see when you should really be washing your delicates.
 
Create your workspace. If you don't already have an office space or an extra bedroom that you can convert into an office, you should take a walk around your house. Pick a spot that is not smack dab in the center of the action-like the kitchen counter-and where you won't be fighting with mops, brooms or other household items. Choose a location that can be yours indefinitely, and make that your dedicated space.
 
Set your hours. If you don't already have a schedule set by your boss, it's a good idea to come up with one. Having regular hours ensures that you can get your work done in a timely manner without working over your allotted hours. It also keeps you on track-and focused-by giving you a deadline by which to complete your work each day. If you work a little here, and a little there, you might end of stretching an 8 hour day into a 10 or 12-hour workday-and your mind will be scattered.
 
Make a list. In order to stay organized, a list (or four) is essential. When you make the list is up to you-you can carve 15 minutes at the end of your day to assess what needs to be done for the next workday, or you can write it all down the next morning while your computer is loading. A list is extremely helpful because it is a tangible reminder of what you need to get done during your day, before daily distractions interfere.
 
Be semi-formal. When you worked in a traditional office, you had to wear a suit every day…even during summer Fridays. By far, one of the major perks of a work at home job is that you can show up to work (i.e. your desk) wearing whatever you want. But that doesn't mean you should work in your jammies all day, either. Showering, changing out of your PJs and putting on something professional (yet comfortable) is a key step in helping you to mentally transition into work mode. After all, if you look and feel sloppy, it can cause you to be disorganized in your thoughts-and your work as well.
 
Find your peak hours. Everyone has a time of day when they feel their best. Perhaps you're a morning person, capable of getting most of your to-dos done by noon. But you might be a night owl, coming up with your best ideas-and increased productivity-while the rest of the world slumbers. Figure out when you have the most energy, and then adjust your schedule accordingly, giving yourself tougher tasks to perform when you're at your peak and feel the freshest.
 
Avoid doing housework. You innocently slip downstairs to put your bedspread into the washer when you notice that the kids have left their breakfast dishes in the family room. As you put the dirty dishes in the sink, you replace the paper towel roll and wipe down the counter. Without realizing it, 20 minutes have passed-and so has your deadline. While it makes sense to do some housework when you work at home, it can be one of the biggest distractions. It may not be the most exciting way to spend your lunch hour, but organize your household activities for your break times instead.
 
Clear your desk…daily. At the end of each workday, clear the clutter from your desk. File important papers in folders and shred the rest. Wipe down your desk (including your keyboard, mouse and screen) and remove any lingering coffee cups. The idea is to leave your desk as you would like to see it the next morning, clean, neat and organized. That way, you will feel energized-and not deflated-when you sit down at your desk tomorrow.
 
Screen your calls. Your family and friends all know that you work from home. So why does your Aunt Linda constantly call you at 10:30 AM, right when you're in a mid-morning work groove? People who don't work from home have a hard time understanding that while you are home, you are actually working. So it's a good idea to clarify to your callers that you can't be interrupted during certain hours. But if your bestie keeps ringing your number, it's best not to pick up the phone. That way, your clamoring callers will get the hint, and you won't have to worry about hurting anyone's feelings.
 
Take breaks. It may seem counterintuitive to take breaks when you're trying to stay organized and maximize productivity, but you'll be far more successful if you take mini breaks throughout the day. To help add order to your day, try to take your break at the same times throughout the day.
 
Focus on one task at a time. Sure, everyone wants to consider themselves master multitaskers, but the reality is that humans can really only do one thing at a time effectively. So shine some of that laser-like focus only on one project, and do it really well. After all, if you have 10 windows open on your two computer screens, are on a conference call while you write that press release that was due an hour ago, you're going to do a bad job at all of it. Like everything else, it's about quality, not quantity.
 
Be flexible. You may have done everything possible to ensure a distraction-free day. But then your child became ill and had to come home early from day camp. The thing is, when you are a work at home mom, things happen. And since you're most likely the manager of your home, it's up to you to handle it all. So don't beat yourself up if your day isn't as productive as you might have liked it to be. One of the beauties of having a flexible schedule is that you can-and must-be adaptable. When your sick camper hits the hay, you can always jump back on the computer to complete your work-and get it all done.
 
While working from home has so many benefits, it can be an ocean of distractions if you don't know how to navigate it properly. Stay focused to keep a clear, organized workflow, and watch your productivity soar.
 

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

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MarketHive

Earn a Full-Time Income as a Part-Time Affiliate Marketer

You don't need business experience, savvy technical skills, or personal experience to become an affiliate marketer. With the right education, tools, guidance and implementation, almost anybody who’s serious can get it running and can begin earning legitimate, dependable money.

Most of us stay at home mums would agree that we have a tremendously demanding job. Caring for a child full time is no joke especially when you have more than one to chase around. On the flip side, most would also agree that it’s the most fulfilling and rewarding job in the world! Despite how busy or stressful it can get, it allows us to enjoy these precious early years with the most important little people in our lives.

As time flies by, most of us are almost given the ultimatum to go back to work or stay at home with the kids. So depending on your personal circumstances and your financial commitments, most of us find ourselves heading back to work, not really having a choice.

But what if there was another choice for you? A choice that allowed you to work from home 1-3 hours a day, never having to personally sell, recruit or host any parties, no physical handling of products and you did not have to have business, savvy technical skills or personal experience? A very uncommon option that could lead you to replacing your full time income (and then some) and giving you back the time with you kids, family and friends.

So what is it? This is what we call Affiliate Marketing.

So what is Affiliate Marketing?

To put it simply, an Affiliate Marketer is like an “Internet Middle Man” who promotes somebody else’s goods online. They make money when they successfully connect an online buyer with an online merchant who is already selling what the buyer needs. If a sale takes place because of the Affiliate Marketer’s efforts, then they get paid a percentage of the selling price (AKA a commission). There’s no need to buy or create products or services to sell, and there are no storage, handling or shipping issues to manage as mentioned above.

Affiliate Marketing also known as Digital Marketing can provide you with a lifestyle people only dream of. Many people globally have made substantial incomes with this knowledge and as the digital economy grows we can only began to imagine the financial bliss you could bring to your lives with the proper training and knowledge.

People who attempt it expecting instant gratification will almost always fail. Successful Affiliate Marketers are the ones who treat it like a serious business and understand that like with anything real, what you put in is what you get out. With the right education, tools, guidance and implementation, almost anybody who’s serious can get it running and can begin earning legitimate, dependable money. It can also provide financial security that employment just can’t promise. The Internet isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon and because you work for yourself, you’re never at risk of losing your job.

The best part about Affiliate Marketing is once you have learnt and implemented the right training, you can run your business from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection and computer, you’re all set! Just imagine being able to jet set around the world, investing 1-3 hours a day into your business and spending the rest with you family. Sounds great right?

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

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MarketHive

Psalm 91

As I am posting this, the Lord has said to me, we are in that last calm before a storm of Biblical proportions are gathering to rage across this country. In that revelation, I pray to my Father in Heaven to cover Markethive and all who abide within, in His blood and protection. A mighty fortress is my Lord.

OK: Carry on

Psalm 91

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

MarketHive

9 Nodding Strategies for Your Next Meeting

How to appear thoughtful and engaged without saying a word. 

You've got a bunch of meetings coming up, but do you have your nodding strategy ready? 

A solid nodding strategy could mean the difference between seeming like you understand what's going on and losing a job. 

meeting strategy

More seasoned professionals may think they can just nod the same way they did in their last meeting, but that's not an option  – â€Špeople will notice. Consider this: when someone's nodding the wrong way don't you immediately lose trust in them? I know I do.

To help you keep your nodding game fresh, here are nine nodding strategies you can choose from for your next meeting.

1. The Slow Nod

The slow nod is great for when someone is explaining something that makes no sense. Hopefully they'll see you nodding slowly and realize how ridiculous they sound.

2. The Slow Nod Followed by a Fast Nod

The slow nod followed by a fast nod is great to let the person talking know that you didn't get it at first, but you totally get it now, even if you still don't agree.

3. Head Shake Followed by a Fast Nod

A head shake followed by a fast nod shows that you didn't remember that thing you were supposed to remember but now you totally remember it. This is a really convincing strategy when you're on the hook for something that you never intend to do.

4. Side to Side Nod

Use this nod when you want to pretend you're considering something. It says – that could work, – while also saying it's not the best idea, and you're still waiting to hear something that'll really blow you away.

5. Let Me Write That Down Nod

This is the nod you use when you're pretending to write that down.

6. Let Me Think About That Nod

This nod will buy you some time before you have to make a decision. Put your chin in one hand, then both hands, then rest your chin on your knuckles, then repeat.

7. Nod With a Sigh

A nod with a sigh lets your coworker know you don't want to say yes, but you will say yes, because you're a professional.

8. Nodding Off Nod

This is a great nod for when you're trying to keep it together after a late night or when your coworker keeps talking beyond the point of reason.

9. The Almost Nod

This nod says, – you almost convinced me, but not quite, keep trying.

Hope this helps you find the perfect nod to fit your particular meeting situation so that no one will ever suspect you aren't really listening. If you enjoyed this, hit the green – Recommend – heart button below!

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons at the top of the page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

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MarketHive

4 Ways to Spread a Tweet Beyond Your Audience

If you want to build your Twitter audience, spam isn't going to get you there. The key to connecting with potential followers is to offer something useful such as a tip, laugh, or link. If you aren't constantly talking about your product or service, you can establish a relationship based on respect rather than making a sale.

social media sharing

Twitter, like many social media networks, can be an excellent marketing tool. But reaching out to the right audience is a challenge. Businesses and professionals that are new to Twitter have few, if any, followers, and without followers your tweet doesn't have an audience—or does it?

Tweets can reach more than just the Twitter users following your account—if you do it right. And when your tweets reach more than just your own followers, your number of followers will grow, too. Here are four strategies suggested from readers at WAHM to spread a tweet beyond your audience.

1. Be conversational, not spammy.

No one likes spam—so don't produce it. Some Twitter users send automatic, prewritten messages. While that may seem like a good way to build up your followers, don't give into the temptation. It's spam. Instead, take the time to follow users that are interested in similar topics to what your business offers—you can do this by doing a hashtag search. Follow the people that are talking about things relevant to your industry, and then join in on the conversation: follow them, retreat them, and favorite their tweets. When they see that you have something interesting to offer to the conversation (e.g., not spam), they'll follow you back.

2. Use hashtags.

Using hashtags (#workfromhome, #mom, #parent, etc.) is a good way to get your tweet to pop up in Twitter searches and acquire new followers interested in related topics. But using the right hashtag matters, too. Tools like RiteTag help you see what hashtags are being used and searched the most, so you can make the most impact with a single tweet.

3. Know your audience.

Who are you trying to reach out to on Twitter? Identify your audience—for most internet marketers, that's the person most likely to buy your product or use your service. Once you've narrowed down a group of people that's likely to use your business, target them specifically. Follow other businesses that have a similar audience. Search for hashtags that your audience might use and engage in those conversations. Instead of reaching out to a big audience with no impact, you'll reach out to a smaller audience, but actually have more useful reach.

4. Make your tweets useful.

Don't think of your tweets as a marketing tool, think of them as an outreach tool. Instead of posting boring tweets about your product, share tweets that offer value, like a tip, a laugh, or a useful link. Retweet other interesting posts relevant to your industry or audience. When people see you post things that are useful to them, they'll follow you. Once you've built up an audience, you can post tweets that are directly related to your product, but you should still try to make most of your tweets as useful or entertaining, or you'll lose followers.

Twitter can be a useful marketing tool. While the platform is free to use, you do need to invest time and effort into reaching out to your audience and growing your number of followers. By sharing conversational tweets, using hashtags, knowing your audience and sharing useful information, you can expand your reach beyond just your Twitter followers. And when you reach people who aren't your followers, many of them will start following you—creating a snowball effect that continually grows your audience.

Reprinted credit goes to Hillary Grigonis

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Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

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MarketHive

The Only One Skill That, If You Have, Will Completely Change Your Life

We all look for the key recipe for the success. The secret element which will make all the difference.
The only true answer doesn’t exist. There’re plenty of skills which once mastered would change your life completely (This article originally appeared on Growthzer).

lifestyle motivation self-control

However, a skill that I believe is incredibly important in today's world, and it's something the vast majority of people lacks, is self-control.

Deeply inside, nobody wants to be unhealthy and practice self-destructing habits. But if you look around, people kill themselves every single day. The death may not come immediately, but it's going to arrive way sooner than it supposed to. Diabetes and cancer are sold on every corner. Profit is what counts to most of the companies, your health doesn't. So it's you who's responsible for controlling yourself.

People waste their most precious resource, which is time, on a daily basis and they'll never get it back.
This is caused by the lack of self-control. As a result, the urges, and today's economy is based on your urges, become more powerful than you're, so you act accordingly, instead of acting the way a disciplined person would.

Now, I'm not trying to say that being extremely disciplined would be a good thing. It definitely wouldn't. The overabundance of self-control is probably as harmful as the dearth of it.

But imagine a life in which you learned how to control yourself so that the obstacles the world throws at you become irrelevant: you just proceed with your goals.

Instead of putting junk into your body, you eat healthy foods, allowing yourself a reward in a form of eating what you want from time to time. This will have a tremendous impact on your health. You no longer have to try out fancy diets. If you eat real food instead of food-like products and you control the amounts, then you won't become overweight no matter how much you want it.

You also begin leading an active lifestyle. Instead of giving up on your New Year's fitness resolutions after two weeks, you hit the gym 3 times a week and walk a few miles on a daily basis.

After a year of controlling just these two areas: which is your plate and your lazy ass, you would already hugely transform your life, not just your body.

Now, let's take it further. We're bombarded with entertainment: Television, video games (which you can now play everywhere and every time because of smartphones), the Internet and so on. All these things can become really harmful once you lack self-control, and as you know, most people do not possess this invaluable skill. So instead of playing video games, watching Television or mindlessly browsing the Internet, which all translates to wasting your time, you read.

You commit to reading two hours a day, which may sound like a lot, but ask yourself how many hours you waste daily on the above three time-suckers. Books are life-changing. We learn through experience, but you can only experience so much in a lifetime. Owing to books, you can learn from other people's lives and apply the lessons during your personal journey. You will not find a highly successful person on this planet who would advise against books. Most of them would highly recommend you to consume them like you'd fast food or sweets.

So now a year goes by and you've been reading two hours a day for twelve months. I won't try to estimate the number of books you'd read, but there's one thing you can be sure of. It would be more than what the vast majority of people will ever read in their lifetime. They won't even read the half of it.

But reading great books without applying what you learn won't lead you to completely changing your life. You need to take action. For every single problem you'll experience in your life there's at least one decent book that offers the solution. To most of your issues, there're dozens of great reads. So now, as you start utilizing your knowledge, because due to self-control you proceed instead of procrastinating, imagine how many obstacles you'd overcome.

I'd like to take it further, so let's continue. As you read for two hours on a daily basis, you eventually become inspired to put your own thoughts on the paper. You realize that you'd love to write a book. The fact is, more than 80% of people wish to, but only 1% of them will ever write a book. And you know why 99% will fail? Because they lack the self-control to do the right thing instead of letting their urges dictate the flow of the day.

Fortunately, that's no longer your problem, so you commit to writing 500 words a day and stick to that for another twelve months. At the end of the year, you end up with more than 180 000 words of content. It may not necessarily be the piece of art comparing to the great writers, but it's definitely a miracle in comparison to what you used to be before you learned the skill of self-control.

Let's assume the positive, because why wouldn't we? Your book turns out to be pretty decent, which you've heard from a few people that you shared your work with. So you hire an editor and graphic designer to prepare it for publishing. Because of the self-publishing movement growing in power, you no longer need to cooperate with the publishing house. You can publish it on Amazon and let the readers judge your words.

More and more positive reviews appear under your name, money starts coming in. Over time, you become a recognized author and you like it so much that you continue polishing your craft. Maybe you'd even quit your job? Every year, you add a new book to your writer's portfolio.

Taking this story further in your imagination will either overwhelm you or inspire you to begin working on your self-control today. There're tons of invaluable skills to learn which has the potential to transform your life, but self-control is the key required to keep working on whatever skill you'd like to develop.

Some people would say that this sounds nice when you read it, but doing is a whole different story. It absolutely is. But why would you expect a miracle, a complete life-transformation caused by ordinary actions.

The society is mostly made of the third type. They just wonder why the heck they're in debt, overweight and miserable. Then there's the second type of people, who start to observe their surroundings more carefully as they become sick of being in the third category. They watch the high-achievers, the men of action. Some of them will eventually take a full responsibility for their lives and join the first type, also know as the happiest and fulfilled people, those who make things happen.

They know that the above scenario is absolutely possible, and the only barrier which separates you from achieving it, is you who need to finally find enough self-control to make it happen.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com


 

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