Dave Weston | Success

04/10/2013

Skirting for Mobile Homes — Different Options

Filed under: Dave Weston — Dave @ 8:12 PM

admin-ajax.phpThe Benefits

Skirting for mobile homes has several benefits. Sure, it can improve the look of your mobile home (manufactured home), but it can also provide extra support, hide the structural elements & grading materials under your home, and prevent heat & air conditioning from escaping, which can save you money in monthly bills!

Additionally, it protects the underside of your home from severe weather, animal & insect invasions, and can even help your home appraise higher, as well as, depending on current underwriting guidelines, be eligible for mortgage financing during a resale or refinance.

Skirting for Mobile Homes Options

Mobile home skirting (or underpinning) comes in a variety of styles, colors, and materials, which will ramp up the appearance of your home, and compliment your personal taste. Below is a quick look at these options.

Vinyl Skirting

Vinyl skirting is easy to work with and rather inexpensive. There are many available colors, including blank white, which can be painted to match most common mobile home colors. These panels can either be installed by you or a professional.

Please note that while vinyl skirting is better for protecting your mobile home than no skirting at all, it may be more susceptible to weather or animal damage than other, stronger types of skirting for mobile homes.

Lattice Skirting

Lattice skirting is made of wood or plastic, and is one of the least expensive options. The wood panels are made from treated wood for durability, and can be painted any color, as well as hold up well in all types of weather.

The plastic panels come in white, redwood, and cedar, and won’t ever need re-painting. Additionally, Lattice panels resist moisture, mildew, and dry rot.

Simulated Skirting

Simulated skirting is paneling that resembles life-like appearances of rock, stone, brick, and wood. This type of skirting is a low-cost option, compared to the heavier, more labor-intensive approach of real brick and stone. Each type comes in several natural colorings that you’d expect from these textures.

Metal Skirting

Metal skirting is made of aluminum or galvanized metal. This longer-lasting option is offered in a variety of colors and styles. It’s a bit harder to work with, compared to vinyl, and may be better off being installed professionally. Because it’s metal, it will likely need adequate ventilation.

Concrete & Stone Skirting

Concrete & Stone skirting are great for added support of your mobile home. Additionally, they can increase the value of your home, and are better for protecting against weather & animal damage.

These thick and durable materials can improve the look of your mobile home by adding an authentic, solid appearance. This option likely requires professional installation and tends to be more expensive.

Brick Skirting

Brick skirting is great for added support of your mobile home, too. It can also increase the value of your home, and improve the look by adding a more authentic, solid appearance.

Like Concrete & Stone skirting, brick protects better against weather & animal damage. This option likely requires professional installation and tends to be more expensive. Mortar and a cement pad are necessary for installation.

Things to Consider

Skirting for mobile homes can either be installed by you or professionals. The determining factor will likely be your level of skill, and how labor intensive the process is based on the types of materials needed, and time.

Additionally, vents and access doors are necessary for most, if not all skirting for mobile homes. Also, be sure you take accurate measurements of your home’s dimensions. You’ll need this when purchasing materials.

Check This Out

Click here for more details, and also find the best-selling mobile home skirting supplies online.

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Mobile Home Doors — How To Do It Yourself

Filed under: Dave Weston — Dave @ 8:04 PM

4523911826The Benefits

Replacing mobile home doors can be a valuable investment. Not only does it improve the look, but it can also increase the value of your home, save money on heating & cooling costs, and help maintain the structural strength of your dwelling.

Plus, if you need to save money, you can do it yourself! With simple planning, effort, and supplies, you can install your new exterior door in about an hour.

Please Note…

Something you should know about mobile home doors—they’re a little different than other types. Mobile home doors are already hung in a door frame that includes the door seal. Because of this, be sure to only buy new doors from stores that specialize in mobile home supply needs.

What You’ll Need

Ideally, you should have someone assist you with maneuvering the door, passing tools, etc. The suggested tools are:

• a power drill

• 1/4 inch hex head drill bit

• hex head screws (if door doesn’t come with them)

• a Phillips head drill bit

• a measuring tape

• a carpenter’s leveling tool

• a flat pry bar

• wood shims

• about 25 feet of 3/4 inch double-sided putty tape

• a putty knife

• and of course, the new exterior door

Other hardware to consider would be a new storm door (if you don’t get a combo door—mobile home doors with a storm door included), new door knobs, new locks, a safety chain for added security, and the needed supplies to fasten these parts.

Measuring Mobile Home Doors

This is perhaps the most important part of the process! If you get this wrong, you may end up purchasing the wrong size, trying to install it, and then having to return it, only to then reorder the correct size. Consult with a mobile home supply store for added advice, if you have any questions beyond the scope of these instructions.

*Measurements of mobile home doors are not the same as other types of homes.

1. Decide if you want a combination door (with a storm door included) or a standard inward swinging door.

2. Verify the location of the door’s hinges. It will either be on the left or right side. This is to be determined while standing outside of your home.

3. Measure the inside width, height, and thickness of the door frame, where the door will actually fit (not the edge of the frame that extends beyond the door). This should be done from the inside of the home, with the door closed.

The trim around the door (known as door casing) should be removed before measuring. The flat pry bar can be used for this.

4. Record your measurements. Most mobile home doors come in preset sizes. The most common size is 32 inches by 76 inches. Sizes are always in even numbers. This size offers the widest selection, but other sizes can also be purchased. *Older mobile homes may have smaller dimensions.

You may need to round up to the nearest even number if your measurements are odd or in between inches. Example: If you have 31.5 inch width by 75.5 inch height, you’d round up to the nearest even number, which would be 32 X 76.

• Combination mobile home doors have a frame about an inch thicker on each side and top of the door. Include this extra inch all the way around when measuring.

Removing Your Old Door

1. By now, you should have the door casing (trim around the door) removed. Remove the screws on your old door with the power drill.

2. Insert the flat pry bar behind the frame at the top & sides of the door, and pry the frame out of the door opening.

3. Lift the door out of the frame. With the putty knife, scrape any old putty or sealant from the remaining frame.

Installing Your New Door

1. Do not remove any shipping clips or fasteners from the new door, yet. Also, make sure the door is closed and locked during installation. This will keep the manufacturer’s pre-squaring intact.

2. Make sure the surface of your home’s remaining door framing is clean and free of obstructions.

3. Check if the new door fits by placing it into the opening. Do not secure the door at this time. Use a carpenter’s level to verify the door is straight.

4. Remove the protective paper on only one side of the putty tape. Next, press this side of the putty tape against the inside flanges of the new door frame on both sides and the top.

5. Remove the paper from the other side of the putty tape, once the tape is on the frame.

6. Now, lift the door into the frame, and press the frame against the frame boards of your home. Place the level at the top of the door frame and verify it’s straight. Add wood shims under the door sill if necessary.

7. Once you’re sure the door is level, insert 3 screws at mid-height (waste height) on the door hinge side. Do not fully tighten the screws; you’re only looking to have them hold the door against the frame for now.

8. Insert 3 more screws at mid-height on the side of the door that locks. Again, do not fully tighten the screws. Use the level to verify the door is straight.

9. At this point, the door should be leveled correctly, and is ready for the remaining screws. Insert all the remaining screws along the hinge side, lock side, top header, and bottom door sill. Tighten all screws to full tightness. Do not over-tighten.

10. Remove the shipping clips/fasteners and verify the door opens and closes correctly. Add remaining hardware—locks, door knob, safety chain, etc.

Congratulations, you did it!

Things to Consider

Mobile home doors can be installed by you or a professional. The most important things to get right are the pre-installation measurements and keeping the door level during installation.

Check This Out

Click here for more details from experienced professionals, and the best-selling mobile home doors (and supplies) in the mobile home industry.

01/04/2013

Marketing Plan Report (sample)

Filed under: Dave Weston,Internet Marketing — Dave @ 3:11 PM

This is a sample Marketing Plan Report. Its purpose is to identify the marketing strategies and tactics needed to enter the marketplace. The company is fictitious but the research is real.

My Mobile Market

5Executive Summary:

MyMobileMarket.com (also known as M3) is a monthly membership Web site dedicated to educating and training new and existing, small to medium-sized businesses on how to effectively market with today’s mobile platforms. Dave Weston, an online entrepreneur since 2004, has composed the educational material, which consists of several training modules detailing the ins and outs of mobile marketing.

M3, while still in its blueprint stages, appears to be a novelty amongst other top Internet marketers. The educational market surrounding mobile advertising is currently void of any true expertise. Even as a brand new product and campaign, within a year’s time, M3 is sure to impact the marketing industry by not only leading eager businesses to a marketing channel that boasts of an exposure almost five billion mobile users strong; but is also sure to create a foundation for an even more elaborate multi-channel approach to Internet marketing.

For now though, in order for the M3 campaign to be effective, the use of several top social media channels will be utilized in order to build as a brand and be marketed as a product. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Technorati, and blogs are just some of the media channels to be utilized during the product launch, and beyond.

Product Description:

M3 will be targeting small to medium businesses and independent marketers looking to implement mobile marketing advice, tips, strategies, etc. M3 offers a monthly membership ‘training lab’ site that contains several training sections explaining not only the importance of mobile marketing but also how to implement an effective strategy.

Each aspect of mobile marketing will be broken down into modules, such as:

  • Researching Potential Markets (demographics, psychographics, buyer personas, commercial viability, etc.)
  • The Psychology Behind a Sale
  • SEO (organic, location-based, and PPC)
  • E-mail Marketing
  • Texting
  • Local Businesses
  • Mobile Couponing
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
  • Mobile Blogging
  • Mobile Site Monetization & Usability
  • Analytics
  • Testing
  • Affiliate Marketing (CPA, Lead generation)

When a consumer becomes a member, they’ll gain access to the training lab and will be given  the modules most relevant to their needs—module display is based on importance. For instance, when a new member accesses the training lab, the only modules appearing will be Mobile History and Its Importance and Market Research. These will be the only initial modules showing to help members avoid the distraction of more advanced modules. Each module has been strategically placed within the training lab as the next necessary step, rather than displaying them all at once to avoid members skipping ahead and misguiding their efforts. Each week the next necessary modules will automatically appear, based on its importance. If requested, a member can access more advance modules ahead of time.

Product Pricing Strategy:

Due to the product being brand new and still in production, the following product pricing strategy is still under consideration and needs to be tested before finalization. As it stands now, the estimated price for M3 members will be an initial $297, which will allow consumers access to the membership area for 4 months. After the first 4 months, a reoccurring monthly fee of $30 will be charged to each member still using M3. As for shipping cost, there will be none, due to the product being an online membership site. There will however be a 60-day, full money back guarantee. This is also still under consideration though and may be subject to change.

Brand History:

There is currently no brand history, due to both the product and brand being new.

Brand Story:

The brand story will highlight my own history and credibility as an online marketer and educator… Dave Weston, an online entrepreneur since 2004 and full-time Internet Marketing student, has composed the educational material needed for M3, which consists of several training modules detailing the ins and outs of mobile marketing.

Over time, I’ll be able to carve out a more profound name for myself, but for now, I can offer my verifiable education in Internet marketing.

There are no current logos, due to the brand being new, but continuity of the logos, once they’re designed, will conform to the brand and social media channels being used.

Product Message:

There is no existing product message or modifications to the message for the SM campaign, due to M3 being new. The overall proposition that’s expected to be communicated is an offer of thorough training in one of the fastest growing and possibly most profitable marketing channels known to today’s new and existing, small to medium-sized businesses that don’t have deep enough pockets to hire a commercial company to do it for them.

Brand and Product Differentiators:

M3’s current competition revolves around a handful of other Internet marketers. In doing research, the existing user is already familiar with social media.

The following competition’s product similarities and differences are as follows:

Jeff Johnson’s Traffic Voodoo

  • Similarities – offers do-it-yourself mobile marketing training
  • Differences – mobile marketing training is only one of the multi-channel marketing methods being offered to increase traffic
  • Cost – N/A
  • Product market research – great product (possibly too expensive)

Howie Schwartz’s Mobile Marketing Leadership

  • Similarities – offers do-it-yourself mobile marketing training
  • Differences – training mostly based around selling marketing techniques to local businesses
  • Cost – $2,000
  • Product market research – great product, too expensive

StomperNet’s Stomper Mobile

  • Similarities – offers do-it-yourself mobile marketing training
  • Differences – differences in the topics of modules being offered
  • Cost – $1,997 or six payments of $397
  • Product market research – great product, too expensive

Mobile Marketing Profits

  • Similarities – offers do-it-yourself mobile marketing training
  • Differences – several different products instead of just one
  • Cost – $29.95 (handbook), $197 (Text-Messaging Module), $297 (Mobile Web Module), $597 (Mobile Marketing In A Box), and $797 (Mobile Marketing Masters Group)
  • Product market research – N/A

Mobi Blueprint

  • Similarities – offers do-it-yourself mobile marketing training
  • Differences – differences in the topics of modules being offered
  • Cost – $547 or an initial $197, then $97 each month for four months.
  • Product market research – N/A

Mobile Monopoly

  • Similarities – offers do-it-yourself mobile marketing training
  • Differences – differences in the topics of modules being offered
  • Cost – $77, then a reoccurring fee of $67 a month
  • Product market research – great product, great price

Brand Community Optimization: Community Story

M3 will continuously offer a top-notch product that truly allows eager business entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn and implement strategies that produce favorable results. M3’s target markets consists of new and existing businesses, small to medium-sized that are looking to implement mobile marketing strategies and tactics themselves, rather than paying the large costs of commercial mobile marketing companies to do it for them.

M3 will grow a community around its brand by staying on top of industry changes and trends. Additionally, by maintaining a professional and knowledgeable demeanor when either initiating the conversation or joining it, the M3 brand presence will be one to acknowledge and consider as either an authority or at least a respectable entity.

Furthermore, the proper use of analytics and testing will help M3 stay on top of what’s working and discard what isn’t. This will help guide M3 to where its targeted consumers are, as opposed to where they aren’t.

Finally, seeking out other top marketers for the purpose of affiliate ventures will be perhaps one of the greatest assets and abilities towards growing a community around the M3 brand. Once a top marketer acknowledges the product, the audience will follow!

M3’s ideal community will be made up of primarily eager business entrepreneurs, discussing their concerns and questions towards effective mobile marketing. M3’s goal would be to encourage the expression of creative ideas and networking.

Competition Analysis:

As of this moment, without real world analytics to confirm, it appears the targeted demographics of M3 are very similar to the audiences of my competition.

Below is a short summary of each of my main competitor’s products.

  • Traffic Voodoo is a multi-channel approach to Internet marketing. Created by Jeff Johnson, one of the top marketers in the Internet marketing industry, Jeff provides a thorough depiction of what it takes to gather extreme amounts of traffic, through the use of social media and advanced strategies and tactics.

Although this product is probably highly efficient, Jeff would have a hard time convincing consumers who are only interested in mobile marketing techniques that his multi-channel product is for them.

  • Mobile Marketing Leadership provides education on how to thoroughly market using mobile platforms. Created by marketing great Howie Schwartz, MML’s use of advanced strategies and tactics offers eager businesses a great opportunity to learn and capitalize from the mobile marketing channel.

Even though MML is highly efficient, there is a downside to the product. MML’s main focus is teaching eager entrepreneurs how to sell their knowledge of mobile marketing to local businesses. Although local business is a large part of mobile advertising, it does tend to exclude the other business owners that are looking for more than just the local aspect of mobile.

  • Stomper Mobile provides education on how to thoroughly market using mobile platforms. It offers 10 live training modules that break down exactly what it takes to create successful mobile marketing campaigns and how to integrate mobile social marketing to generate leads and sales.

Stomper Mobile’s approach is similar to M3, as far as their use of training modules to thoroughly explain how to effectively market on a mobile platform. Unfortunately, the $1,997 price tag that accompanies this product is often viewed as too expensive.

  • Mobile Marketing Profits is a one stop shop for what appears to be everything mobile advertising. Its use of multiple products seems like a welcomed surprise, as consumers can now sift through this list of products and create an a la carte preference as to what they need and are willing to spend.

Unfortunately, this selection of products can be deceiving. The problem is that each piece of content plays off of another and therefore depends on each other in order to learn the mobile marketing world effectively. This in turn means having to buy more products and spending more money than originally expected.

  • Mobi Blueprint is a multi-module product that include everything from the fundamentals of mobile marketing, mobile commerce, SMS/text messaging, affiliate marketing, building and selling apps, mobile monetization, and selling mobile marketing to brick and mortar.

This is close, in proximity to M3, but does have a bit of a deterring element—the $547 onetime fee or the $197 initially payment, followed by a $97 a month for 4 months cost to purchase the product. I do agree though that a business that uses mobile advertising effectively will collect a return on this investment many times over.

  • Mobile Monopoly is a course that covers everything you need to know about mobile marketing. This ten module membership training course seems to be a highly effective approach to learning marketing on one of today’s newest and most innovative marketing channels. If that’s not enough, Mobile monopoly goes on to give away five more FREE bonuses as an added incentive to buy.

This is definitely the most similar product to M3. Its thorough approach to educating its audience is applaudable. The best way to separate M3 from Mobile Monopoly would be to offer better bonuses and strive to network with influential top marketers in hopes of getting abundant affiliate recommendations that could help propel the M3 brand beyond this and other competitors.

SWOT Analysis:

 Company: MyMobileMarket.com (M3)

Strengths Weaknesses
  1. New, innovative product
  2. Vast Internet marketing knowledge
  3. Fairly low start up cost
  4. Charging low product fee vs. competition
  1. Lack of brand recognition
  2. Lack of an experienced team
  3. No credible affiliations
  4. Lack of market place experience
  5. No existing demographic or psychographic data
  6. No existing customer base to test or pitch to
Opportunities Threats
  1. Fairly new market—possible opportunity to become industry leader
  2. Mobile device convergence
  3. Create valuable mobile app
  4. Build brand up to offer education for other marketing channels
  5. Joint ventures with top marketers
  6. Future expansion to international markets
  7. Expansion of revenue streams—live seminars, affiliate program, etc.
  8. Early possibility of local business clients
  1. New regulations
  2. Competitors with better brand recognition
  3. Changes in mobile industry too profound to keep up with
  4. Competitive pricing between (M3) and other marketers
  5. Competition with new, innovative product or service
  6. New, unrealized competition

Market Conditions:

2004 was a turning point for mobile marketing in the U.S. This is about the time the use of simple text messaging began to grow into its own marketing channel—this helped mobile phone adoption surpassed PC/laptop for the first time. Now, in 2010, current market conditions appear to be exploding with mobile exposure. The following statistics illustrate the main uses of mobile devices and the geographical locations most involved:

Untitled

  • Forecasts: An estimated 60% of non-mobile marketers are planning to employ some form of mobile advertising in 2010. 31% of agency respondents stated they will invest between $100K and $250K next year, while more than 15% stated they plan on investing over $1 million.

Current trends point to U.S. consumers adopting mobile messaging & search, more readily than European cellular subscribers.

  • Competition: Oddly enough, it appears that only a few top marketers in the Internet marketing market have yet to truly grasp the phenomenal potential of mobile marketing. To date, there appears to be about 6 main competitors offering do-it-yourself mobile marketing training (see competition analysis).
  • Expected expansion: Projections for 2010 place advertising figures well above $550 million. By 2014, is it estimated that mobile devices will be responsible for upwards of $1.3 billion spent on advertising. It seems clear that mobile marketing will continue to expand in the immediate upcoming years. This means more and more businesses will be looking for assistance in either having their mobile advertising campaigns executed by someone else or seeking out education on how to do it themselves.
  • Where is the product being marketed? Initially, M3 will be primarily targeting both U.S. and Canadian target markets that are seeking mobile marketing education, due to the similarities of demographics between these two countries. Marketing has not yet begun for M3.
  • How does competition market their product? Social networks—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, emails, SEO, blogs, but a large amount of exposure comes from affiliate networking with other top marketers.
  • Where do you want to market your product? M3 will be available to all English-speaking geographical locations throughout the globe, however, demographic and psychographic data will initially be studied mainly among the U.S. and Canadian markets until resources are obtained for a more thorough investigation of the remaining English-speaking, international markets.

All marketing regardless of location will begin with such social media channels as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Technorati, blogs, and eventually mobile devices.

Target Markets:

Historically speaking, mobile marketing hasn’t been around much longer than recent years. However, M3’s target market primarily consists of new and existing, small to medium-sized businesses that don’t have large enough budgets to hire a commercial company to conduct mobile marketing for them. Additionally, a potential target market could consist of those most likely to search for traditional Internet marketing education, such as consumers searching for details on how to effectively market on SEO, email, affiliate, social networking, and blog marketing channels. Both target market group consists of the following appeal demographics:

  • Age range – 25-34 (primary), 18-24 (secondary), 35-49 (thirdly)
  • Gender – Male (64%) & Female (36%)
  • Economic Status – Lower Middle to Upper Middle and Upper Class
  • Ethnicity – mainly Caucasian, but will be viewed by many ethnicities, just in smaller numbers
  • Family Status – single & married

*The following image shows the general demographics of those searching for online marketing education.

Untitled2

Although I don’t yet have an existing market, the ability to create growth to these demographics will largely be a matter of staying on top of industry changes and trends, as well as utilizing all available marketing channels. For example, certain age groups are more likely to use social networks like Facebook, or even a mobile device to search for business guidance.

Demographic Data

  • Existing Customer Analysis: None. The product and brand are both new.
  • Psychographics: Since product and brand are new, there isn’t enough data on the potential audience to provide dependable psychographical findings, therefore, the use of standard buyer persona behaviors (spontaneous, methodical, competitive, & humanistic) will be implemented until further research can be accurately performed.
  • Customer Physical Locations: All English-speaking countries—U.S., Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, etc. will be assumed potential consumers. However, the U.S. and Canada will be the main audiences targeted demographically and psychographically until enough consumer data has been analyzed by the remaining geographical locations.

This is due to the possibility of certain countries requiring different strategies with mobile marketing. If this is the case, M3 will cease to target these areas if it’s not fluent in such marketing tactics.

  • Social Media currently used by Customers: No existing ‘in-house’ data has been gathered, due to product and brand being new.
  • Social Media currently used by Potential Customers: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Technorati, blogs, e-mail, social bookmarking, mobile devices, Foursquare, Google Buzz, etc.
  • Define Potential New Customers: English-speaking, 18-34 years old, male/female, new or existing online businesses interested in expanding their small to medium-sized business. At this moment, all potential customers are new.
  • Define methods of customer relationship management: Customer relationship management will be maintained by offering only quality content, quality products, and professionalism.

Additional methods will include providing and maintaining a prompt and personable relationship with consumers via blog commenting, e-mail responses, social networking interaction, etc.

Strategy and Tactics:

Since no customers currently exist, initially, I’ll join the conversation of other mobile marketing online communities and actively participate. This will help create a voice for the M3 brand, and also assist in identifying any reoccurring patterns that suggest a particular mobile marketing need or demand that’s relevant to my demographic. Patterns like this could be great indicators of how to approach creating the M3 product and/or implementing its campaigns.

Simultaneously, a company blog will be created—this will be the main hub of my sales funnel. All free quality content consisting of tips, advice, industry trends, etc. will be posted here. There will of course be social networking widgets, RSS feeds, e-mail subscription options, etc. that will allow my audience to expand their reach towards me by allowing them to stay up-to-date, in their own way.

Additionally, each piece of content added to the company blog will become part of M3’s social networking efforts. Notifications of new content will be posted to my M3 social networks—Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and Technorati. Video will also be a large part of the content being offered, and therefore, will be posted on YouTube and other video sites.

Besides the above approaches to M3’s creation and campaign execution, e-mail marketing will be implemented to further deliver free quality content and even suggest affiliate offers from other marketers that help compliment the M3 niche, without creating direct competition.

By this time, M3 should be growing at a consistent rate and the need for additionally staffing/contractors will be a must. Adding additional assistant will help maintain the level of quality customer service that hopefully M3 has come to be known for, and also free up the necessary resources for planning an increase in customer loyalty.

Eventually, after M3’s official product launch, an affiliate program of my own will be created to help expand the brand and of course conversions. This will be a major asset to the brand as affiliate networking in the Internet marketing market is perhaps one of the most profitable ways of expanding conversions. The credibility factor that accompanies top marketer affiliations is often priceless in this market.

Beyond these strategies and tactics, marketing M3 on a mobile platform will be studied and implemented as necessary. Proper testing and analytic information will help detail the best approach to this and the above marketing channels.

Objectives:

The objectives are simple—create and grow the M3 brand within the Internet marketing world as an industry leader. Convert the growing amount of blog, social network, affiliate, e-mail, etc. followers into paying customers. Finally, partnering with some of the biggest names and brands in the Internet marketing market for the purpose of dependable, quality affiliations.

Goals:

  • Create a flourishing community of followers and connections
  • Grow the M3 social media consumer base to at least 2,000-4,000 likes, followers, subscribers, etc. within the first year of business, using the following channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Technorati, e-mail, and blogging
  • Create an M3 affiliate program, so other marketers can sell it, also
  • Convert at least 340 consumers into customers—this will be the needed income to reach a 100K goal with the first year
  • Create additional marketing channel modules by offering a multi-marketing channel training course
  • Start attending live seminars as a guest speaker for other marketers

Faces of the Company:

3

Dave Weston, an online entrepreneur since 2004 and full-time Internet Marketing student, has created M3 and composed all the educational material within it.

Website Integration

The main hub of the M3 sales funnel will be the blog. All social networks, e-mails, SEO indexes, etc. will point back to the blog. The blog itself will point to the main Web site or product landing page necessary to sell the conversion. The blog will also have the needed RSS feed, social networking widgets, e-mails subscription option, etc. needed to keep consumers in touch with the M3 conversation of their choice.

As new content is created, it will be pinged via blog pinging services, posted to all relevant social networking sites, e-mail, etc. encouraging visitors to see the blog for the full post. Live links will be present in every form of media possible to allow consumers to easily link over to the main post.

Standards

  • Graphic/Web site: There is currently no Web site for M3 yet, and therefore, no planning needed to integrate any social media channels to any new configurations of a previous site.

As for the continuity of the soon to be Web site, product landing page, blog, product social networking pages, e-mails, etc. a plan is in the works to insure all logos, header images, background coloring/watermarks (if used), video watermarks (Web site domain, etc.) are all consistent across the board.

No matter where a consumer is when viewing M3 content, a familiar presence of the M3 brand will be easily noticeable. This will not only create comfort amongst consumers whom are looking to obtain M3 ‘only’ content, but it will also help build the “Dave Weston” and “M3” brand, through visual and audio recognition.

  • Copy Standards: The same will be true for all copy standards as well. Beside all copy being grammatically correct, font consistent, clearly identifiable focused on the actual benefits to the consumers vs. highlighted features, easily scannable for quick skimming with the use of H1 title tags and short concise paragraphs; all content will be written and/or expressed in a language most relevant to the identified demographics, psychographics, buyer personas, etc. It will also provide the subliminal creditability needed to establish myself as an effective teacher.

Email:

Emails will be used to alert subscribers of any new content that has been created, as well as used to promote both ‘in-house’ products as well as outside affiliate offers. The options to subscribe to the M3 e-mail mailing list will be found on the blog, Web site, and social networks pages.

Additionally, e-mails will be used as a form of contact should a customer have an inquiry.

Timeline:

The following graphs shows the projected duration of the initial M3 campaign and when different channels will be introduced:

4


SM Channel Inter-relational Chart:

The following chart shows the integration of the social media channels being used during the initial exposure and launch of M3:

5

At this time, there is no existing data on M3, due to it being new. Because of this, the following growth goals have been set for the first year of business. Additionally, the general demographic characteristics of each channel have been described:

  • Blog = 4,000 RSS subscribers. 25-44 years old, male/female (50-50%), $25,000-$74,999
  • E-mail = 4,000 subscribers. No available demographics currently
  • Facebook = 2,000-3,000 ‘Likes.’ 25-54 years old, female (57%) – male (43%), $25,000-$74,999
  • Twitter = 2,000-3,000 followers. 25-44 years old, female (52%) – male (48%), $25,000-$74,999
  • You Tube = 1,000 subscribers. 25-54 years old, male/female (50-50%), $25,000-$74,999

Content Propagation Schedule: At this moment, there is no existing data to measure repeat visitors, due to the product being brand new. However, initial brainstorming suggests that content will be refreshed every couple of days, therefore, providing at least three new posts per week, using blogs, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Technorati, and frequently YouTube (for when rich media is used).

Additionally, user-generated content will be considered either during affiliate product or service (from other marketers) promotions via M3’s social media channels or when content has been noticed by me and reposted as an example of either what to do, or not, in an effort to complement the content being regularly distributed on M3’s social media channels.

In the initial phase of M3’s presentation and launch to its audience, the ability to create quality content will basically be executed by myself, due to lack of experienced team members.

Traditional Media:

At this moment, there are no plans to implement any traditional media marketing strategies. It is possible, in the future, that TV and magazine print ads will be considered, but proper research will need to be conducted to ultimately verify the validity of these channels.

Social Media Optimization Outline:

Since M3 is still in production, there is currently no Web site. Additionally, due to M3’s beginning stages, the marketing channels expected to be used will all be new media; there are no current plans to incorporate any traditional marketing channels into M3’s marketing strategies at this time.

However, the social media channels expected to be used in M3’s beginning phases are blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, and Technorati.

Mobile and Telematics:

Although the use of mobile marketing has not yet been detailed, it is expected to be a channel eventually utilized, but only after more research on the demographic, psychographic, and proper uses of this channel have been realized. At that moment, a possible app will be created to enhance the target consumer’s M3 experience. Initially, M3 will use an opt-in short text system to direct customers to new content.

The use of mobile technology as a marketing channel, may be, at least for the time being, the most current form of innovation being utilized. Other new innovations in technology and marketing, such as Telematics or geographical data and interfaces have not yet presented an opportunity to M3’s strategy and goals. Geographical maps, however, may be an aspect of M3’s actual mobile training module, as far as educating M3’s members on how to effectively market to local businesses.

Search Engine Optimization:

SEO is an important element of Internet marketing. As far as M3 is concerned, the following social channels are expected to complement the search engine efforts of M3: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, and Technorati.

Currently, the following targeted keywords and phrases will have content built around them via blog and social networking posts: mobile marketing, marketing mobile marketing, mobile advertising, mobile media, mobile phone marketing, mobile media marketing, marketing mobile phones, and mobile Internet marketing.

*All keywords and phrases were retrieved via Google AdWords

Analytics, Measurement and Testing:

The following analytic measurements will be used during the initial launch phases of M3:

  • Google Analytics (Web site, product landing page, blog, Facebook page, Twitter page,
  • Webalizer (Web site, product landing page)
  • SEO Quake toolbar (page rank, SEO indexes, incoming links)
  • WordPress Site Stats
  • AWeber e-mail autoresponder stats
  • Alexa.com

Due to not yet having a proven method of reviewing analytics, measurements will be done on a weekly basis, unless there is data indicating the need for real-time evaluations.

As for reputation management, currently only light reputation management will be performed, until a clearer method for doing so presents itself.

The following types of multivariate testing will be performed during the initially launch phases:

  • Emails
  • Web site (form layouts, images, text, calls to action, ad copy)
  • Product landing pages  (form layouts, images, text, calls to action, ad copy)
  • blog posts

Estimated Project Costs:

Social Media Campaign (first year) Estimated Costs (first year)
Facebook

$0

Twitter

$0

YouTube

$0

Digg

$0

Technorati

$0

E-mail Autoresponder

$360

Staff

$0

Consultation

$0

Web site Design

$1,500

Blog Design

$500

Product Social Network Pages Design

$500

Product Landing Pages Design

$1,000

Server

$0

Analytics

$0

Financing

$0

Inventory

$0

Product Production

$2,000

Fulfillment

$0

Distribution of Content

$0

Estimated First Year Campaign Cost

$5,860

Legal Review:

For the most part, I don’t foresee any initial legal issues or challenges other than taking the necessary steps to protect the brand and product. However, this would be something discussed with an appropriate legal entity as the product’s design and launch commence.

The following actions will be taken to help protect the brand and the M3 product from theft, and any violations of other private or legal entities:

  • Brand name and product copyright and trademarks clearly displayed
  • Graphics/logos designed specifically for my brand and/or product will be trademarked
  • Privacy policy clearly displayed
  • Terms of site and product use will be clearly identified
  • All content will be properly cited if necessary

Conclusion: Optimization Review

Although M3 is still in its blueprint stages, the potential for success is possible. The mobile marketing world is still in an infant state and will continue to grow and change in the years to come. Proper execution of the initial M3 launch campaign, and even beyond will depend largely on the ability to stay on top of industry changes and trends, and continuing to grow a vibrant community of followers and fellow entrepreneurs to network with.

Today’s social media channels allow for great opportunities when expanding a brand’s conversation. Because of this, success nowadays isn’t so much a matter of if it will happen, but rather a matter of what strategies and tactics will be needed, while utilizing the social media channels that will allow it to happen. M3’s brand will be built on this phenomenon.

01/02/2013

The Relationship Between SEO and Social Media

Filed under: Dave Weston,Internet Marketing — Dave @ 4:49 PM

Social Media  

As we all know, search engine optimization is one of the most influential forms of online marketing today. Search engines are one of the first places, and sometimes the only places consumers go to inquire about products and services. Unfortunately, the SERPs by themselves, are likely not enough.

Meanwhile, social media is quickly becoming extremely influential. It’s essentially revolutionizing the way consumers communicate with the brands they’re looking to acquire information/goods from, and more importantly, it enables consumers to communicate with each other and either comment, vote, and/or share their thoughts and experiences on the news, products, and/or services they feel are worthy of recognition.

In short, social media shifts the power to define a brand, product, service, etc. away from the company, and into the hands of consumers.

Picture 1

Why is this important?

Nowadays, consumers expect to not only find what they’re looking for on search engines, but also to interact with the results they find there. Through optimizing the content of blogs, social networks, videos, images, audio, etc. for search engine indexing, the likelihood of consumers finding your brand increases greatly, therefore increasing the opportunity for more profits.

Minor adjustments of leveraging keywords and blog optimization can improve search engine traffic significantly without dulling your content’s quality and/or the user’s experience.
Furthermore, interacting socially and sharing media amongst social networking  audiences can create the kinds of content that can improve your brand’s exposure. Company profiles, videos, blog posts, Facebook/Twitter posts, and so on, can increase your search engine rankings. This is due to the high relevance of subject matter being posted on these social platforms.

Remember, consumers often need information on specific niches. Social media platforms provide large quantities of specific content. Not optimizing your SEO efforts to include these platforms will likely give your competitors the advantage and leave your audience in the dark.

Social Media is Measurable  

Today’s ever increasing social web (Web 2.0) encourages sharing, voting, commenting, and linking. When social media content becomes popular, it increases the amount of exposure, traffic, and even relevant inbound links, substantially.

When consumers use social media to share, they leave behind a lot more than just opinions. In fact, they leave behind a lot of clues about who they are and how they think. This information comes in many forms, such as social bookmarks, comments, engagement, influence, friends, followers, downloads, favorites, views, votes, links, etc.

This allows you to measure what’s important. Knowing what ideas are taking off, and who or what is having the biggest impact on your brand creates a measurable trail of consumer interest.

This enables you to create campaigns, products, services, content, etc. with even greater accuracy!

Picture 2

Plain old SEO  

Social media is not like traditional media. Traditional forms of communication travel one-way, from the brand to its consumers. Social media however, joins consumers with digital mediums that enable them to interact with the content and other consumers.

Additionally, traditional media is a slave to space and time. Social media however, operates 24/7, allowing content to be posted constantly. This is great news for your company as it essentially means your audience will be  producing content for you, around the clock. There are no deadlines to meet, no space restrictions and no rules. Basically, the content is self-edited by the users themselves.

Picture 3

Conclusion   

As you know, you should be doing what’s good for your company, therefore…

• You should not just be focused on quality content.

• You should not just be focusing on SEO.

• You should not just be focusing on social media.

You should however, be focused on combining all these elements together! Trying to implement SEO practices without leveraging content distribution and the linking benefits of social media participation can make such SEO strategies as link building an uphill battle.

Ultimately, overlooking the social media aspect of SEO will likely result in a reduced audience and money being left on the table. No worries though, your competitors will likely be glad to take them off your hands.

12/27/2012

Digital Asset Optimization

Filed under: Dave Weston,Internet Marketing — Dave @ 12:54 PM

This is a project I created for the purpose of explaining what Digital Asset Optimization is and how to use it. This is a great technique for setting yourself apart from your competitors. Click here for the full PDF version–Digital Asset Optimization.

Today’s search climate is changing. Search patterns now reveal that consumers are showing more interest in interactive media like images, audio, video, podcasts, widgets, etc. This is where Digital Asset Optimization (DAO) comes in.

Digital Asset Optimization is the next step in this evolution of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Also known as SEO 2, digital asset optimization can help increase your online exposure by including your videos, images, podcasts, maps, social networking content, PDFs, and other non-text based files into the organic search results of today’s search engines, as shown below.

Picture 1

How it works

As we all know, basic SEO is comprised of using relevant keywords for our Web pages (blogs, etc.), creating content that makes sense to consumers/search engines, content formatting (Heading tag keywords, H1s, H2s, etc.), link building, and so on, which ultimately helps in getting our sites listed higher in organic search results.

With digital asset optimization however, the use of meta tags, alt text for imagery, specific widget titles, optimized file names, Sitemaps, targeted keywords within the titles of your videos/podcasts, etc. initiates a more advanced search optimization process.

Picture 2

For instance, instead of titling your video “A Great Gift for the Holidays” the use of targeted keywords should be applied, i.e., “Gift Baskets Make Holidays Great.”

This will increase the chances of exposure throughout the search engines, as the use of keywords helps identify the purpose of the content.

Just to be clear though, digital asset optimization is not separate from search engine optimization. In fact, DAO is essentially just very thorough SEO.

Why it’s Important

Nowadays, since search engines like Google have created so many different ways to search for content, such as vertical sites like Google Real Time Search, Google Image Search, Google Videos, etc., as well as sites like YouTube, and such, our ability to view multimedia content has grown immensely.

In fact, sites such as YouTube are crawled by spiders more frequently than videos placed on individual Web sites. Digital asset optimization helps bypass this factor, at least from a SERPs point of view, by letting search engines know that your site has more forms of content than just text.

An integral part of digital asset optimization is knowing that our consumers are now expecting to find content in many different forms and places. This helps them make smarter decisions towards buying products/services. These vertical sites and regular SERPs need to provide a broader spectrum of information.

To make a long story short, DAO is important to your business, because consumers want more. This advanced form of SEO gives it to them. So should you.

By applying Digital Asset Optimization, you can gain:

  • Multimedia indexing
  • Increased page rank
  • Increased traffic
  • More targeted audience
  • Increased customer insight
  • Increased links back

If it can be indexed…

Regardless of the type of digital asset—Excel files, PDFs, Web pages, newsletters, webinars, videos, images, etc. digital asset optimization can promote it. If it can be indexed, it can be optimized. Once optimized, each asset shares a similar commonality.

  • They each now have a full description. In using the “Properties” option under “File” on your computer, and filling out as much information as possible about the file, each digital asset becomes ready to be found, and ready to increase traffic before the media even leaves your computer.
  • They each now have a user-friendly URL. These targeted keyword URLs help consumers verify what you’re offering, and also gives them a better chance of remembering your domain name. This means more targeted and repeat traffic.
  • They each now have descriptive, user-friendly file names. Instead of just naming files genericfilename.xls, the file name will now have targeted keywords that actually inform consumers as to what its contents contain.

Picture 3

Conclusion

The bottom line is that consumers are now searching for content in various different forms. Perhaps this is because of the different types of learning styles that people possess, i.e., visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Regardless of why though, the fact still remains, your customers desire more content in assorted formats. Additionally, search engines demand more content because it supplies them with added inventory so that they can better manage advertisements.

Finally, publishing excess forms of content allows you to capitalize on the increased search traffic and sales that accompany digital asset optimization. So as you can see, engaging in a digital asset optimization strategy creates a win-win situation for everyone involved. Will you be part of the equation?

12/23/2012

Cultural Context, Technology, and Internet Marketing

Filed under: Dave Weston,Internet Marketing — Dave @ 1:01 PM

I created this post for the purpose of highlighting the usefulness of mobile devices from an international marketing standpoint, and what this means to Internet marketers.

Mobile MarketingCultural Context, Technology, and Internet Marketing

In today’s ever-changing online world, the use of new and complex platforms constantly challenges the current state of marketing. Thus is the case with mobile device use as a marketing channel. Mobile use has become so influential in the way consumers search for content that the traditional Internet is looked at as possibly becoming second choice for Internet penetration amongst the masses. The following details will help highlight the usefulness of mobile devices from a marketing standpoint, and what it means to Internet marketing on a whole.

The intentions of mobile users are different from those of traditional Internet users. For starters, mobile Web users are not online to simply browse. Rather, they’re online for a specific purpose and convenience is of the utmost importance. Therefore, it’s imperative for businesses to be where customers expect to find them, as well as providing them with tailored experiences specific to mobile devices.

As for the marketing aspect of mobile platforms, they offer the most direct and personal way for advertisers to interact with consumers. It’s essential that companies differentiate their mobile content as compared to the traditional Internet to create a more positive experience for customers. In order to do so, the mobile Web should be configured to only contain content that’s easy to access and applicable to the needs of the user.

Take for instance, the different uses for mobile devices around the world–even in newly developing countries. Places like China, for example, tend to have greater mobile device technology and even higher numbers of mobile device users than any other country on the planet. This leaves a greater opportunity for Internet marketers to advertise via mobile devices. Other developing areas around the world can use mobile devices to perform tasks that just simply weren’t feasible in the past. For instance, a fisherman in India can use a mobile device to call around to different ports in the area to find the best price for his catch. In Kenya, consumers are able to deposit, withdrawal, and send money to each other via their mobile devices.

The differences in technology between countries, such as signal connection strength and varying devices, creates the need for marketers to study the most favored uses of mobiles within the area being targeted and develop marketing campaigns that suit the consumers’ preferred methods of use. Additionally, since users perform different actions between mobile and traditional Internet platforms, marketers need to understand not only what the mobile

consumer is interested in seeing, but how they want to act. For instance, mobile users are not online simply to browse and surf the Internet. Rather, they are online with a specific need or purpose in mind and convenience is of the utmost importance to them.

Therefore, companies should seek to match Internet marketing tactics with the intent of consumers accessing the Web via mobile devices as compared to a traditional computer. Some methods of doing so include offering mobile coupons, loyalty programs, mobile apps, text message with coupon codes, and highly specific domain names. Mobile devices give company Web sites the ability to speak to consumers directly and fulfill their needs at the exact location and time of the B2C interaction.

So in closing, it’s important to consider consumer behaviors and their preferred methods of accessing the Internet, as well as the type of experience a brand must deliver to consumers as they attempt to find each company. The mobile version of the Internet is different than the traditional, therefore forcing marketers to adhere to the differences in platforms, the differences in user intent, and the differences between cultures and technologies around the world.

References

Economist.com. (2008). The meek shall inherit the web. Retrieved On August 29, 2011 from http://www.economist.com/node/11999307?story_id=11999307

Fairchild, T. (2009). Matching Mobile Ads To Consumer Intent. Retrieved on August 29, 2011 from http://searchengineland.com/matching-mobile-ads-to-consumer-intent-24647

FairWindPartners.com. (2007). Mobile Web. Retrieved on August 29, 2011 from http://www.fairwindspartners.com/en/newsroom/perspectives/vol-2-issue-7/mobile-web

Cultural Customization

Filed under: Dave Weston,Internet Marketing — Dave @ 12:30 PM

Here’s a sample post about some basic cultural customization elements needed to be considered and implemented when entering a business into a foreign culture.

Cultural CustomizationWhat is Cultural Customization?

It is a known fact amongst good marketers that effective marketing consists of identifying and satisfying consumer needs. It’s also known that in order to expand business the likelihood of crossing into national and even multi-national boundaries is a reality. Thus, the need to identify and satisfy consumers in different countries/cultures becomes a reality. Unfortunately, many marketers/businesses don’t understand the significance of researching the process of perception within foreign countries/cultures. This process is how individuals select, filter, organize, and interpret information to create meaning in their culture—we do it and so does everyone else.

After all, consumer needs are a reflection of the culture, society, and expectations of the audience being targeted. Therefore, culturally sensitive Web content must appeal to usability, accessibility, and site interaction. Achieving this is called cultural customization. To put it another way, a thoroughly cultural customized site should reflect three levels of cultural adaption: perception, symbolism, and behavior. In order to do so, the process of tailoring a Web site to maximize relevance to a specific cultural group is in need. This allows marketers to produce content for the audience specific to a geographic area.

Take the use of color for example. It’s been said that over 80% of our visual interpretation is related to color. However, different cultures do not perceive colors the same way. Therefore, it’s important to consider whom you will be marketing to in order to learn the best use of colors. For instance, is the market global? Is it primarily Western or Eastern? Is the target audience an older one? Is it a younger one? Are males the dominant demographic or are females? All of these things, and even more may affect the color choices for a site.

Basically each culture tends to have different symbolisms/meanings for color. For example, red in India means purity, whereas in South Africa red is a sign of mourning. Thus, it’s imperative to research and use color schemes that only favor the type of response you’re looking for within the market being targeted. Additionally, it’s imperative to research the most popular colors ‘of the moment’ as, like many things, colors go through trending changes, and therefore need to be researched on a regular basis to verify if the current colors still represent favorable reactions.

So what does this all mean? Well, essentially the cultural complexities of each potential market are in need of research before any investigating is done on such things as how each marketing channels should be used, which price point to charge, etc. In other words, the cultural customization of a site is a primary element of business success, not a secondary one. Additionally, cultural customization isn’t being performed by most businesses; therefore, marketers stand an even better chance of success if they properly immerse their efforts into conforming to the targeted culture. However, efficient implementation of cultural tactics must also be executed sufficiently across either the local, regional, or national target markets. It’s important to consider the subcultures in each market. To optimize a site based on the national culture is likely a mistake if only a regional or local audience is shown to demand your product or service.

References

Kyrnin, J. (n.d.). Color Symbolism. Retrieved on August 22, 2011 from http://webdesign.about.com/od/color/a/aa072604.htm

Sibagraphics.com. (n.d.). The Meaning of Colours. Retrieved on August 22, 2011 from http://www.sibagraphics.com/colour.php

Singh, N. & Pereira, A. (2005). Culture: The New Imperative in Web Design. Retrieved on August 22, 2011 from THE CULTURALLY CUSTOMIZED WEB SITE Customizing Web Sites for the Global Marketplace

Brand Project

Filed under: Dave Weston,Internet Marketing — Dave @ 12:03 PM

Here is a sample project I did in school. The purpose was to alert my target audience to my offer and also to point out the behind the scenes persuasion tactics involved. Enjoy!

Brand ProjectBrand Project

When we think of advertising we tend to think of signs and billboards, TV and radio commercials, maybe an online banner ad, and so forth. However, there is a lot more involved in getting a consumer’s attention, especially with the intent of getting them to purchase something. It takes a true effort of knowing one’s self and the average psychological state of consumers. Additionally, it takes an understanding of such things as linguistics, persuasion tactics, and behind the scenes analytics. There are other elements involved as well that really need to be taken into consideration both on the side of marketers and consumers.

Recently I created a short commercial detailing some of the major elements involved with getting my audience’s attention. I did so for the purpose of alerting my target consumers to my offer, but also to point out the behind the scenes persuasion tactics involved, as well. First, I conducted research on the types of consumers interested in my offer—those looking to learn how to start a business online. These groups, the ones most likely to buy are called demographics. In this case, research suggests that my audience (demographic group) consists primarily of 18-24 and 25-35 year old, Caucasian males, with a middle to upper class income. Because I know this, I can better pinpoint their wants and desires up to this point.

So now that I know who I’m talking to and can tailor my commercial to speak to this audience’s emotions and buying sensibility. Currently, my commercial appeals to their sense of assurance and aestheticism. I give them assurance by creating a sense of security and lack of harm. My average consumer already knows that a successful business can bring prosperity and freedom. I take this notion a bit further by selling my ability to help them cross the bridge to prosperity and becoming free from harm (at least from a financial stand point). Additionally, I sell them aesthetically, by adding visually stunning and clever imagery, accompanied by a rock & roll type sound track. This part plays on selling the hype of my offer. Young/adult males often have the same reactions towards this type of music and visual stimuli. This commercial favors style. It’s basically configured to attract the consumer’s psychological state.

Beyond these tactics though, I used linguistics to help make my point, while avoiding any verbiage that may be a ‘turnoff’ to my audience. For instance, I mentioned that “We Will Help You Master,” then I went into the specifics involved with Internet marketing. I did two things here. One, I stated “we will” instead of we might, or we can, etc. Of course I can’t guarantee this; it really depends on the consumers efforts, but my audience is looking for real help, not possibilities. Second, I used the word ‘master’—not make you ok, or pretty good, etc. My whole intention for teaching others how to market online is to get them to the point of constant success. This really only comes with strategic and consistent effort. It’s my job to explain this. I’m not selling a $20 handbook. I’m selling a valuable future through online marketing. The goal is mastery.

Finally, I used social proof, authority and scarcity in my commercial. I used social proof by mentioning the most popular marketing tactics today that my audience has likely heard of already through others. I also used authority by stating in a deliberate way that ‘you’ (my consumers) need me (period). I’m not asking them to believe me, I’m telling them to. And lastly, I used scarcity at the end by stating to ‘visit our site for a limited time offer.’ This should compel them to at least review my offer. Once they’re on my site, the persuasion process will begin all over again.

There are even more tactics I used like my use of semiotics. I used pictures of the globe, a whole bunch of marketing platforms and brands, and even tried to mimic the physical appearance of my target audience (towards the end of the commercial). This was all done to help my consumers identify with me, by being able to identify themselves, and also to hint on the international exposure and complexity of online success, nowadays. The most important thing to note, though, is that great online marketers expect to test and tweak everything they do. Point being, this commercial is only as good as my best guess. Sure, it should be based on analytics and experience, but it’s still only a guess. The only surety is the fact that persuasion tactics will be used in any new or revised versions of my efforts.

References

Giles, D. (2003). Media Psychology in Context. Retrieved on June 9, 2011 from Media Psychology

Giles, D. (2003). The Future of Media Psychology. Retrieved on June 9, 2011 from Media Psychology

05/23/2011

Search Engine Optimization and the Blogs that Love It

seo, blogging, digital asset optimization, social media

Google. (n.d.). Google Images. Retrieved on May 23, 2011 from http://techsharing.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/seo-blog.png

SEO, Blogging, and the money that follows
As you may know, the world of search engine optimization is often changing. Therefore, your opportunities to increase revenue are also changing. Since we love to stay on top of our profits, we should also love to stay on top of SEO. Unfortunately, many marketers/businesses aren’t as on top of search as they should be. That being said, I decided to speak a little on the current state of organic search.

Below are some factors/details of the way the search engines are being optimized by those who try very hard to stay on top. The below observations/suggestions are merely a basic list of today’s SEO world. Hopefully, I can get your mouth watering, and motivate you to look deeper into my thoughts.

What is today’s SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing publishable/marketable information (content) for the purpose of getting listed high in organic search results. The goal for doing so is to get consumers to notice and choose your site over your competitors, for the purpose of eventually exercising a call to action. This is done by conducting several main steps such as market research, keyword research, on-page optimization, site structure, link building, brand building, viral marketing, adjusting, and staying up to date on the latest developments in you niche.

Why is it important?
SEO is one of the most influential forms of online marketing today. It’s the reason why we’re conveniently able to find true quality information, products, services, etc. in the first place. Without SEO, there would be no way of weeding out all the bad, poor quality, irrelevant Web pages that would surely overwhelm the probability of finding the sites with the most to offer consumers.

Google. (n.d.). Google Images. Retrieved on May 23, 2011 from http://blog.enrii.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/enrii-blog-structure.jpg

Things you as a blogger should do to optimize the structure of your blog
As you might imagine, there’s a time and a place for everything. This certainly holds true in the blogging world, as well. For instance, you may have seen many blogs (heck, most of them) displaying their newest posts on the homepage. Guess what—that actually may not be the best way to structure your blog pages. Sure, that helps to highlight the newest posts, but it might actually be off-putting to readers who are new to your industry. Instead, you should use your homepage to guide those who are new in your field through your blog. While doing so, be sure to highlight your best content so that your site visitors are just one click away from your best stuff.

Wait, there’s more. Did you know that hosting your blog as a subdomain of your site, off of blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger is actually a no-no? That’s right; these platforms often offer limited sets of features and may even prohibit placing ads on your blog. Here’s another doozy; using these outside platforms can actually rob your site of the page ranking that comes from receiving quality links. In other words, the juice that your blog gets may not actually pass link juice to your main site.

Things you as a blogger should do to optimize the text content of your blog
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that SEO for blogging, compared to regular Web sites, is more focused on giving people something to talk about and creating something worthy of their attention. That being said, some of the best ways to optimize written content would be of course, keyword research. Without relevant search terms to create content around, you really have nothing. Keyword research tools like Wordtracker, Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, etc. are all good places to start. Just keep in mind that these tools are best used in conjunction with each other rather than by themselves. Also remember, the keyword phrases that were relevant in the past may not be so important today. SEO is a constant effort—make sure you’re continuously searching for the most current search terms of today.

Great. Now you’ve found the search terms relevant to your audiences’ interests and it’s time to start writing content. Let’s start with the title. Be sure to use keywords in your article title—near the beginning is best. A good rule of thumb is to use the keywords that best sum up the purpose or details of the article. Next, be sure to include the most relevant, attention-getting keywords in the body of your article as well. Just remember—it’s extremely important to write in a natural manner—one that a human can understand. Your page should be crawled just fine if you add important keywords (predominantly enough, without stuffing) to your content, but your readers also have to understand what you’re saying.

That being said, here’s the final suggestion under the topic of text content optimization. Express an enticing voice while you write. (Please keep in mind that there are numerous other ways to optimize for text content on blogs, but for simplicity purposes, we’ll just cover these today.)

Anyway, be yourself when you write your articles. As mentioned above, people have to be able to understand what you write. More so, though, people have to be enticed by what you write. You have to be charismatic, funny, compassionate, and educational. You have to have a voice that comes out when reading. People like honesty and authority. If you have quality information about a topic, let them know in a way that entices them, and also let’s them know that they should be listening up and gaining something from you. Heck, let them know (without actually saying) that you’re the man (or women) that has the answers they need. Trust me, they’ll come back for more.

Google. (n.d.). Google Images. Retrieved on May 23, 2011 from http://imagewire.net/images/pages/overview.jpg

How video, images or other media can help your optimization efforts
Ok, so we all know that blogs have interesting articles (hopefully), as well as images, audio, and videos, nowadays. But(!), did you know that these multi-sensory forms of media can be optimized, and more importantly, increase your position within the search engines. Well they can—big time! Oh, by the way, increased search engine positions probably means more revenue for you—just throwing it out there.

Anyway, the process is called Digital Asset Optimization (DAO) or SEO 2, as some call it. What this means to you basically is that through the use of meta tags, alt text for images, specific widget titles, optimized file names, Sitemaps, targeted keywords in your video/audio titles, etc. your non-text based files can now be optimized to increase your presence in the SERPs.

This process can be implemented to all your videos, images, podcasts, maps, social networking content, PDFs, and other non-text based files. By applying Digital Asset Optimization, you can gain:

• Multimedia indexing
• Increased page rank
• Increased traffic
• More targeted audience
• Increased customer insight
• Increased links back

Believe me when I say, as far as today’s search engines are concerned, this is definitely one of the most important processes to initiate in your SEO efforts. Just to be clear though, digital asset optimization is not separate from search engine optimization. It’s essentially just very thorough SEO.

Beyond ‘traditional’ optimization; using social media to enhance your blog SEO
Alrighty, my final topic for today is Social Media. Often referred to as Web 2.0, social media is becoming extremely influential in SEO. It is basically revolutionizing the way consumers communicate with the brands they’re looking to acquire information and goods from. More importantly, it enables consumers to communicate with each other and either comment, vote, link to, and/or share their thoughts and experiences on the news, products, and/or services they feel are worthy of mention.

Through optimizing the content of blogs, social networks, videos, images, audio, etc. for search engine indexing, the likelihood of consumers finding your brand increases greatly, therefore increasing the opportunity for more profits. Social media works because it allows consumers to not only find what they’re looking for, but also to interact with the results they find in the search engines.

When an online business optimizes their blog, social network, video, audio, etc. content to be indexed in the search engines, the likelihood of increased exposure occurs amongst a more diverse pool of media platforms. Providing more ways to be found enhances the interest in your content. The more interest your consumers have in your content means the more interest they’ll have in spending money on your sites.

…and on that note, take care.

References

Barone, L. (2009). Intersection of Search and Social Media. Retrieved on May 23, 2011 from http://outspokenmedia.com/internet-marketingconferences/
intersection-of-search-and-social-media/

Croll, R. (n.d.). SEO1 Review. Retrieved on May 23, 2011 from http://course.online.fullsail.edu/index.cfm?fuseaction=lms.activitiesASSIGNMENT&activityId=358192

Fishkin, R.(2006). 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic. Retrieved on May 23, 2011 from http://www.seomoz.org/blog/21-tactics-to-increase-blog-traffic

Odden, L. (n.d.). What is Digital Asset Optimization? Retrieved on May 8, 2011 from http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/07/what-is-digital-asset-optimization/

Wall, A. (n.d.). SEO Basics. Retrieved on May 23, 2011 from http://knol.google.com/k/seo-basics#

Wall, A. & Wall, G. (n.d.). The Blogger’s Guide to SEO – by Aaron & Giovanna Wall. Retrieved on May 23, 2011 from http://www.seobook.com/bloggers

10/15/2009

My Organic SEO Passion

Hey everyone, I wanted to talk about another one of my passions—Internet marketing. I’ve been dabbling in the Internet marketing world for about 3 ½ years now and have picked up many successful techniques. Since this is my blog, and it requires continuous blog posts to keep it going, I thought I’d give a little insight on how to properly approach blog posting in the Internet marketing world.

Please note, blogging may allow a different approach, if you’re posting to a personal blog. However, if you’re either selling something on your blog, or directing consumers from your blog to a web page in which you’re selling something, a strategic approach is most likely in order.

First things first, an understanding of the purpose of your blog, in regards to your marketing and business efforts is needed. If you don’t know how or what to expect from your blogging efforts you won’t be able to successfully target profitable goals. You’ll be shooting in the dark. You won’t know for sure what will or won’t work, nor will you be able to properly gauge what you’re doing correctly or incorrectly.

For the sake of conversation, I’m going to talk about how I approach blogging in regards to the business expectations I have towards my blogging efforts. For instance, when I blog, I do so with the expectations of ranking well organically within Google and attracting targeted traffic to my offers. In order to approach Google correctly, keyword research is in order.

The way to identify the best keywords to target, is to use keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Tool and/or Wordtracker. These tools are great for getting an idea of the types of keywords that will actually get you good rankings. For instance, if you target a keyword that’s too broad, chances are you’ll never get to see your targeted keywords make it to the #1 page in Google. If you target a keyword that’s not often searched for, you’ll most likely not get a lot of traffic from it. What you’re looking to target are keywords that have about 20,000 – 50,000 current indexed pages in Google. In addition, you’re looking for keyword specific phrases that represent an actual solution to a consumer’s needs. For instance, if you’re looking to sell your ‘music lessons’ service; you won’t target the keyword ‘music.’ Music is too broad and you’ll never rank for it—it’s too saturated. Instead you’ll target something like ‘music lessons online’ or ‘music lessons for beginners’ or something even more targeted.

Once you’ve identified possible keyword specific phrases, you’ll need to verify the amount of indexed pages that exist for your chosen keyword possibilities. The way to find this is by typing these words into Google’s search engine. You’ll have to use ‘exact search’ to get the accurate amount of current indexes. If you’re not familiar with exact search, all it means is that you place quotation marks around your words, just like you are quoting them. This will bring up just the indexed page totals displaying the exact words you quoted. If your total indexed results are between 20,000 – 50,000, then you may have found a valuable keyword phrase to follow. Please note, some may debate whether 20,000 – 50,000 indexed results are the right amount to consider. The best way to determine if this is right for you is to test it out and make your own decision. The purpose of targeting indexed results in these amounts is to get you ranked on page 1 of Google, in the shortest amount of time. The higher the amount of indexed pages, the longer it will take to rank well for them.

So by now you’ve identified some good keyword phrases using your keyword research tools and verified there aren’t too many current indexed pages in Google. Now it’s time to verify if these keywords have commercial viability. Commercial viability simply means how much evidence there is that people are actually paying money for products or services and using these specific keywords to find them. A simple way of doing so is to scan the amount of sponsored links or pay per click links (same thing) that are currently displayed on the same pages as the keywords you’ve been researching. If there’s only a few sponsored offers, than there probably isn’t enough commercial viability attached to these particular keywords. If you find a good amount of sponsored offers, 10-15 or more, than there’s good evidence that people are actually spending money in your market, and using these specific keywords to do so.

Once you’ve done the above 3 steps, it’s time to create content around these keyword phrases. This can be achieved by simply writing article posts or recording videos about the keyword subject. Either way, you want to make your content informative so people actually learn something or at least see credibility in affiliating with you. If you can solve a problem in people’s lives, they WILL spend money. Additionally, you’ll need to actually include your researched keywords in your content, so Google’s spiders can find and determine what your web page is about, if you’re writing articles.

In addition to creating quality content around the keywords you’ve researched, proper tagging of these keywords is also important, from an SEO standpoint. Make sure to tag your content with other relevant keyword phrases you’ve found using the same methods above. This way, if someone hasn’t typed in the exact keyword phrase you’ve targeted, they can still find your site, because of your additional keyword tagging.

There are some additional things to consider when using this method of SEO. First, one post or video will not get you ranked on the 1st page of Google. You have to continuously create content for these researched terms in order to gain momentum and rank on page 1. Once you’ve verified your page 1 ranking, move on to other valuable keyword phrases and continue the above process. The plan is not to have 3, 4, or 5 page 1 rankings, but rather to have many page one rankings. This method is a great technique in securing keyword specific buying phrases, verifying people are actually spending money when searching for these phrases, and getting to page 1 in Google in the least amount of time.

That’s all for now, stay tuned for more valuable content in regards to Internet marketing.

Take care,

Dave

Blog at WordPress.com.