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Application-MarketingBy Tom Murphy – Online Marketing Strategist, Sanctuary Marketing Group

Now in the year 2011, it’s a pretty safe bet that nearly every company has some sort of website.  The question is, how much are they taking advantage of that website?  It has become glaringly apparent that a common weakness in many websites that I’ve come across is a roadblock between their company and the consumer.  That is, they don’t speak the language of the consumer.

 

Think of the last time that you visited a website and thought to yourself, “what the heck does this company do!?” or “What would I use that for?”  My guess is that it probably wasn’t very long ago.  You see product photos and all these product numbers but don’t have a clue what they’re used for or how they’ll solve a problem.

The Common Mistake

Lets be honest, companies love their products and love all the industry jargon that goes along with those products, but it’s not practical information for the consumers looking for a solution. Consumer’s go to the web because they are looking for something in particular – they’re looking for solutions.

For example, let’s say I need to start packaging golf tees.  Your company might have the perfect product for me to package golf tees, but I will never know it unless you tell me that product can do it.

If I’m on your website, more than likely I see “the G9000” and “the r4500” and all the specs that go along with those machines.  Nowhere do I see it boldly stated “this is what the G9000 is used for and what problem it solves.”

How does this relate to conversion and sales?

With the proliferation of web searching and the shrinking of corporate and government structures, many web searches are no longer performed by engineers and experienced product managers.

Often times, especially in the manufacturing and building industries these searches are initiated by staffers whose expertise may be in accounts payable, or administration – not engineering or manufacturing. We can’t discount the everyday Joe Shmoe that hops on the web to go surfing for something that caught his attention while sitting on the couch at night. (more…)

Speak the Language of the Consumer: Application vs. Product Marketing

Part 3:
Sanctuary Marketing Group Founder, Chris Auman and Online Marketing Strategist, Jason Jividen field common questions received from our customers seeking to improve their Online Marketing Strategy.

Question: When you have discovered a link that someone is pointing to you, is it advantageous to link back to that Website?

Chris: The value there would be if that is content that is related to what you do. Not all links are created equal. If you get a link from some random site and you make widgets and they make a completely different type of widgets, that link may not have as much value as another Web site in your same industry.

Jay: If it is related content and you feel it’s of good quality, it could add value (indirectly) in that you’re providing more information for your readers even though it doesn’t add direct SEO value or weight.

Chris: Yeah, what I would say it has to be related and what you can do is incorporate that link with a keyword on your page and if they are a highly regarded, reputable site that linking is going to build some sort of weight on your page too.

Additional notes:

  • There may be some indirect value in linking back to a site that links to you, even if there is no direct SEO value.
  • The link presents and opportunity to establish and build a relationship among related businesses in your industry that may share the same customers.
  • Search Engine Optimization is just on component of a successful online marketing campaign.
  • Linking to high quality, related sites can increase the chances that customers will find you organically — whether through a Google search or through the network of connections formed by one valuable site, leading to another valuable site, leading YOUR valuable site.
VIDEO: Does it Make Sense To Link Back To Other Web Sites?

A recent poll by MarketingSherpa reveals where many online B2B (Business-to-Business) Marketers are finding the most success.

The poll reveals the the top 3 tactics to be:

  1. Implementing unique landing pages for various marketing campaigns
  2. Optimizing design and content for conversions
  3. Regularly optimizing Web sites for SEO purposes

I found this most interesting in how closely tied the top 3 tactics were to one another and to traditional Direct Marketing tactics.

The key to each of these tactics centers around designing relevant content for the end-user. Unique landing pages for a specific marketing campaign should be designed to draw on the key elements that drew a visitor to the site in the first place.  Continuing the conversation from an external marketing campaign allows you to convert the visitor to buyer. And a good SEO campaign is centered on presenting content that is both focused and consistent with the needs of the person searching for information in the first place.

The main point being — successful marketing is about have a ‘one-to-one’ (vs. a one-to-ALL) conversation with your target market.

For those from the Direct Marketing world it correlates to LIST, OFFER, & CREATIVE being the priorities in a successful marketing campaign.

LIST – being the Search Engine Optimization component (keywords = list selection).

OFFER – what is the unique offer you’re making to the people finding your site targeted on those specific keywords.

CREATIVE – optimizing design through clear ‘calls-to-action’ to increase the chances you will convert Web site visitors to buyers.

Top Web Site Design Tactics Online Marketers Employ

According to a recent survey of conducted by MarketingSherpa ,64% of business expect to invest more in 2011 than in previous years on their Web site. Judging by the source, we take this to mean increasing conversion and sales effectiveness of the Web sites overall.

On the whole, more companies were planning to INCREASE spending on online marketing efforts such as Search (SEO / PPC), Social Media, Email, and Online display ads) and DECREASE marketing budgets for ‘traditional’ media channels.

That’s not to say more money is being spent online than offline, just that more companies are planning to increase the spending compared to their 2010 efforts.

Still, the trend continues. Advertising dollars will continue flow to the media channels that can deliver the right audience for the product or service in question.

And while the shift from traditional media will continue to increase, we don’t expect it will go away anytime soon.  An effective Web marketing strategy will incorporate the strengths of ALL the media in your marketing arsenal and continue to push ROI higher across the board.

Tuning your marketing mix to eek out the best return across the entire portfolio is a process of testing, measurement and continuous improvement. It’s a never ending challenge but if done correctly, it can yield tremendous increases in both sales and profitability.

64% of Marketers Expect to Increase Spending on their Web sites in 2011

These days, the question should not be whether or not you should be using social media marketing, but how much you should be using and how to make sure that it blends well with your existing marketing campaigns. Can you really afford to ignore the social media platforms?

Social Media Marketing Opens the Conversation

Advertisements are just messages that are crammed down our throat, blasted out over the airwaves to confront us wherever they may be found-leaving us little choice but to make our statements with our wallets and checkbooks. It’s a one-way, cram down your throat, force-fed messaging system  — shouting what a great buy their product or service is.

But, what if you only needed a minor change in things to make the ad acceptable or the product better?  What if you could engage potential and existing customers in a way that they came to you and asked for your advice?  What if you could learn how to better sell to them in the future? What if they helped you decide WHAT to sell (and at what price) — and the result was more effective marketing and a better bottom line?

Wouldn’t it be better to be able to reach your audience and have them be able to respond?
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Social Media: Advertising vs. Customer Engagement

Facebook AdvertsingAmong social media networks, Facebook and, to a slightly lesser degree, Twitter are the kings. While it is true that there are countless other social networks, including smaller, niche sites that cater to special interests and have limited memberships, it is not every company that will want to advertise via those. Facebook advertising, on the other hand, can work for everyone in every industry and across every genre.

The Critical Factor

Brand recognition has been identified as the number one concern for those who are interested in advertising on Facebook, whether they are planning to do so locally or globally. If you are a local business, you might think that using Facebook may be a waste of your advertising budget, but you can be seriously loosing out on some very targeted ads that can be directed at the very people that you need to reach at a time when they may need you the most.

The Demographics

A quick glance at who is actually using Facebook and what they do while there may be all the enlightening that most marketers need. After all, there is no way to argue with the numbers when they include these facts:

  • There are 500 million active users on Facebook.
  • Half of those users log on to their Facebook account every single day, accounting for 700 billion minutes spent on the site every month.
  • The average Facebook user has around 130 friends.
  • There are 900 million individual objects to interact with on Facebook including community pages, groups, events and more. (more…)
Sanctuary Marketing Group’s Guide to Facebook Advertising

A website is supposed to do two main things: educate and make a sale. It is simple, beautiful, almost elegant in its way. Some sites may look more complicated than that, but they are all dedicated to those two main goals. And both of those goals are related to one another as well.

In the world of senior living facilities, the competition is fierce. After all, consider this: the senior population is the largest growing age group so products and services that are aimed directly to them or to the family that is responsible for caring for them can be very big business, indeed. But, in a market that is that choked with choices, you have to be able to stand head and shoulders above everyone else to get anyone’s attention at all.

It is the rare business that does not have at least some information on the internet these days and online marketing is quickly replacing other forms of communication to get the initial interest and the chance to hook a customer’s attention. But the old adage still applies – you only get one chance to make a first impression, so your website has to zing and pop. It has to:

  • Spell out its basic premise quickly and succinctly
  • Have visual appeal and ease of use
  • Deliver on its initial promise
  • Give the customer the chance to leave contact information for more details (more…)
In a Crowded Market, You Either Lead or Get Swallowed: Increasing Traffic for the Senior Housing Market

As business leaders, we’re all working to increase sales. Given the confidence and a practical approach, we’ll invest the time and resources on those activites which will provide us with the best return-on-investment for our marketing dollars.

For most of us, the hardest part is getting started and trusting that you have the information and tools you need to make the right decision for your business.

For businesses looking to launch and manage a successful Online Marketing campaign, we’ve put together this overview:

Step One: Planning, Planning, Planning

Before you build a house, you have a plan. There will be the blueprint that describes in great detail the finished house by size, by shape and where it will be placed on the lot. There will be surveys done to make sure that the house will fit on the lot and that the ground on that lot will actually be able to handle a house of this kind. There will be planning that takes into account the laws and regulations of the area where you are building and a million other details to attend to before the first shovel of dirt is lifted.

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Six Steps to Transform Your Online Marketing Efforts in 90 Days

After months of design and refinements, Sanctuary has launched the newly redesigned and updated Sorbothane.com with a fresh new look, redesigned blog and a website that’s geared toward being extremely search engine friendly. www.sorbothane.com

Sorbothane®, a one-of-a-kind visco-elastic polymer, was first introduced in 1982. Primary applications included the development of shock absorbing insoles for the athletic and orthopedic markets. Sorbothane® insoles have been highly recommended by doctors, sports medicine specialists and professional trainers for decades. Sorbothane® insoles have proven to be the best defense against foot pain, back pain and impact-related injuries. Manufactured in the heart of the “polymer valley” in Kent, Ohio, Sorbothane® quickly gained worldwide recognition for its ability to achieve remarkable shock absorbing levels. This new material reduced shock so dramatically that it was actually featured on national TV programs such as “THAT’S INCREDIBLE” numerous times. (more…)

Sorbothane launches new website

Sanctuary is first and foremost an internet marketing company. What this means is that we provide online solutions to help you market and grow your business online. The most common form of internet marketing is obviously the website and our experience and talents in this area can easily be seen in the quality of our portfolio and the kind words of our satisfied clients. We believe that constructing a website is much more than a flashy presentation and the right web address. Your company’s online presence should be a major part of your online marketing initiative and it all starts with planning and a discussion of your goals. Our job is to provide the solutions for you to meet those goals. (more…)

Website Design and Development

Delmio.com is the ultimate source of news, discussion, and reviews for book lovers. The goal of the site is to extend the book experience online and allow readers to interact with each other, learn more about the book and the related topics and possibly even interact with the author. SMG has been approached to set them up with a new website and provide a solution that allows them to easily update their site, manage blogs by multiple users as well as running active forums. (more…)

New website design for Delmio.com

To visit the site click here: www.rsvpfoodandparty.com

Through our relationship with Acme Fresh Market–the leading Grocery Supercenter in Northeast Ohio–Sanctuary has been chosen to design a new custom website for RSVP Food and Party Center. (more…)

RSVP Food and Party Center New Website