Best Ways To Use Printed Banners In Your Business

Sometimes success in business centers around who can call the most attention to themselves for the least amount of money. At a trade show, the company with the huge light show gets all of the traffic because it attracts a lot of attention. But there are ways to call attention to your company that are more subtle and cost-effective than a huge light show, but equally as effective.

Large, printed banners offer a great marketing value because they can be used over and over again in a variety of situations. The key is to know when to use your banners to call attention to your company and get a strong return on the relatively small investment you made in having those banners printed.

Storefront Window

Your company name is on the sign out in front of your business and all your banner does is repeat that company name. But the advantage your storefront has over your sign is that your storefront is at eye level with the people walking down the street. There are zoning laws regarding your sign, but you can hang your printed banner in your front window and attract traffic all day long.

If you feel like investing in focused banners for your window based on events or promotions in your store, then you will attract even more traffic. The next time you are planning a sale or promotion in your business, have a banner printed for your storefront window and watch how much more traffic you get this year than you got last year.

Outdoor Events

When you are part of outdoor festivals and events, it is critically important that people know where you company’s booth is located. If you pay attention at outdoor events, you will see some companies with printed banners at their booths, and other companies without banners. The companies with the banners are always the ones attracting the traffic and taking full advantage of their event exposure.

Press Conferences

If your public relations people are doing a good job, then your company will host one or two press conferences each year that bring in good attendance. The key to getting maximum exposure from a press conference is to own the press conference and give the media plenty of visuals to take pictures of and talk about. A large banner at your press conference helps to enhance your brand name recognition with the media and it will also result in some free advertising when it shows up in the pictures and video from the conference.

Local Parades

Local parades are excellent marketing opportunities that companies often allow to pass by without using them. Contact parade organizers of the most popular parades in your area and offer to sponsor some part of the event. The result will be your company banner slowly moving down the street as it is seen by thousands of enthusiastic people.

A durable printed banner offers a lot of marketing opportunities to companies that know how to gain exposure. The return on the investment in a banner can be significant, provided you spend the time getting it seen by plenty of people. Even a simple banner with your company name, logo, and website address on it can gather attention and help to significantly enhance your company’s brand marketing efforts.

What Are Long-Tail Keywords And Why Do They Matter?

Over the past several years, Google has been changing the rules associated with keyword and search results. When the Internet was young, search engines were not very sophisticated and a website could get a lot of traffic by cramming as many keywords as possible onto a page. When users started to complain about content quality, Google responded by banning keyword stuffing and altering keyword rules. When users still complained about content quality, Google decided it was time to demand quality content from a website that was pertinent to the website’s chosen theme.

What Are Keywords?

Keywords are the words that users utilize in search engines when looking for websites in your industry. If you sell bowling balls, then putting keywords such as “ball” and “alley” in your content would improve where your website ranked in the search engine results. But as Internet marketing companies found ways to manipulate keywords and generate traffic without creating useful content, Google started to focus on long-tail keywords.

What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are phrases that are commonly used in content that is pertinent to your industry. With long-tail keywords, Google is not looking for an exact match when it comes to getting users the content they are looking for. Instead, Google searches your website’s content for words that fit into certain long-tail keywords that are common in your industry. When Google can match up significant portions of your content with the right long-tail keywords, then your content gets more exposure on the search engine results pages.

Why Do I Care About Long-Tail Keywords?

Instead of relying on lists of short primary and secondary keywords to determine the value of content on a website, Google has shifted to complex algorithms that are constantly generating and evaluating long-tail keywords. If your content is not finding its place among the long-tail keywords in your industry, then you are going to have a hard time getting good search results for your website.

So What Do I Do?

Utilizing long-tail keywords is something that is best left to Internet marketing professionals. The science behind Google algorithms would take a Ivy League graduate to figure out, but the way those algorithms work is the domain of the Internet marketing expert.

The primary purpose of long-tail keywords is to make sure that the content on your website has value to users. Google also uses long-tail keywords to make sure that your content is relevant to your business. If a baking website starts posting personal finance advice, then Google will know and Google will punish that website.

The challenge with long-tail keywords is that they are constantly changing and there is no real concrete rules about them just yet. Internet marketing experts spend hours each day analyzing content from various industries to determine what kind of content appeals to users the most and will click with Google’s search algorithms.

For website owners, it is important to focus on relevant and valuable content and start to forget about keywords. Google wants you to inform users and offer them information that they can use as opposed to manipulating keywords just to get traffic. Focus on quality content that is relevant to your industry and you will start to make some headway in the new world of long-tail keywords.

The Synergy Between Your Print And Online Marketing

One of the things we always talk about is the need for online as well as offline marketing to promote your website. We could talk for hours about the need to maintain a consistent marketing look along your website and marketing pamphlets to help boost brand recognition. But what does all of that really mean? How does your print marketing work together with your online efforts to create a strong marketing approach?

Some People Still Need To See It In Print

Online marketing is not quite as prevalent as you may think and it often needs print marketing to prop it up and make it effective. We want to believe that the younger generation gets everything it needs off the Internet, but that is not the case. We also tend to believe that older generations shy away from the Internet when it comes to getting new information, but that would also be inaccurate.

The dynamic between generations and their reliance on information makes for an interesting study. We may look at that in detail later, but right now it helps to know that younger generations still look to their local newspapers and entertainment magazines to get a big portion of their information. The older generations tend to not trust online advertising that is not reinforced with offline efforts. So it is safe to say that some people need to see your advertising in print in order to find it effective.

Print Travels Better In Some Cases

A potential business client who is getting ready to board an airplane may spend more time reading a magazine than surfing the Internet on their phone or laptop. Magazines and newspapers are easier to carry and so are product pamphlets. When a potential client is looking for some fast and convenient reading, it is not unusual for print content to be their first choice.

Print Can Be Bigger

A big marketing message needs a big medium and with online marketing you are limited by the size of the screens your target audience is using. Even the largest tablets cannot compare to the visual impact of a full-page print ad in a national newspaper. It can sometimes be more effective to kick-off a marketing campaign with a huge, full-color ad in a newspaper or large-format magazine than to rely on someone else’s smartphone screen to get the impact you are looking for.

Always Use The Two Together

Our marketing experts can roll out a complete marketing plan for you that would include printed materials to compliment your online advertising. It has been our experience that a comprehensive marketing plan consisting of offline and online elements is exponentially more effective than relying solely on one or the other.

Of course, the ratio of offline to online content depends on your message and your audience. In some cases, you may not need the ratification of a print advertising campaign to bring legitimacy to your online efforts, but you will still need effective pamphlets for your trade shows. Let our experts review your marketing needs and prepare the perfect mix of print and online content to exceed your marketing expectations.

You are putting a lot of money and effort into your website and it is showing excellent results. But we know from experience that you can enhance those results by also including a strong offline campaign as well. Give us a call and let one of our experts explain the synergy between print and online marketing to help bring the maximum amount of attention to your advertising efforts.

4 Keys to Looking Like A Rockstar At Your Tradeshow

A trade show is a place where you can meet new customers, network with industry experts and find out the latest information on industry innovations. But if you want to really find success at a trade show, then you need a booth that will attract and interest people.

We are experts at developing the ideal trade show displays that will bring you foot traffic and get results. When you are putting together your trade show booth, make sure that we are part of your planning process. We can give you four good reasons why your trade show displays matter and how our professional service can make your booth more successful than it has ever been.

Trade Show Visitors Are Looking For Bling

When consumers go to a trade show, they are expecting booths to pop out at them and make them want to talk to sales people. Business professionals are looking to network with companies that give the image of being proactive and show the promise of being an industry powerhouse.

A plain booth with some standard, vinyl signs is not going to get you the status that you need. But when you allow us to create your trade show displays, we will give you the kind of bling you need to get plenty of positive attention.

Good Displays Let You Compete With The Big Boys

Trade shows are like the Internet in that mostly everyone is on a level playing field. Aside from the major show sponsors who get huge spaces to utilize, you and your competition are all setting up in basically the same size space. What you do with that space will determine what people think of your company.

We can create displays that will make your company look like it is a top industry competitor. Even if your biggest competition is three times your company’s size, we can elevate you to their level with an effective set of trade show displays.

Your Trade Show Displays Answer Questions

Good trade show displays with attractive graphics and text that is easy to read can answer questions for traffic that will bring you more interest. When you use professional trade show displays, people will instantly know what your company has to offer and they will be able to make an informed decision as to whether they want to do business with you or not.

Professional Displays Establish Your Brand Identity

We will use your corporate color scheme and corporate logos to create trade show displays that work to unify your brand identity. A big part of brand identity is instant recognition, and putting your logo and corporate colors on a professional trade show display will make your company hard to forget. The next time that potential customer sees your logo, they will remember it and remember your company.

At Tom and Company, our job is to create the best possible image for your company. We do this by using our years of experience in marketing and trade show success. Let us put all of that experience to work for you and create for you a series of trade show displays that will get your company noticed and help you to maximize the return on every trade show you are a part of.

What Is Remarketing & Why Do You Need It?

If you spend enough time looking for a good Internet marketing firm, then you are bound to see all of the industry buzz words thrown around and used with reckless abandon. At Tom and Company, we are determined to make sure that our customers not only understand what all of those buzz words mean, but that they also know how those processes can be utilized to increase their revenue.

One of the buzz words you may have heard from other companies is remarketing. This is a process that should be part of your business process and utilized on a regular basis. By examining information from customers who showed strong interest in your site, you can focus in on the keywords and SEO tactics that will generate more revenue.

Remarketing Prevents Customers From Forgetting About Your Company

The concept behind remarketing is actually very simple. Let’s say a customer fills up a shopping cart on your website with $50 worth of products and even goes as far as to give you their email address as well. Then, before the checkout process is completed, that customer suddenly ends the transaction and leaves the cart filled.

With remarketing, we will examine that cart and create a focused marketing campaign designed at grabbing the interest of the client and getting them to complete that shopping cart and buy more product. We will use focused marketing to put links and ads in front of that customer which will make sure that the customer never forgets your company.

We Use Remarketing Information To Expand Your Exposure

Another effective use for remarketing information is to put together advertising programs that reach a more focused audience. For example, that customer with the $50 cart may have put together a collection of products that seem unrelated. But we look at it as a buying trend, and we will create a marketing plan that reaches out to customers just like this one. We will grab people who want that same combination of products and hope up an entirely new client base for your website.

Never Assume That Lost Customers Are Lost For Good

There are many reasons why customers fill up a shopping cart and then leave the transaction incomplete. But regardless of the reason, customers who abandon shopping carts are going to be easier to convert into buying customers than cold leads. When you do not have a remarketing plan in place from Tom and Company, you are leaving money and recurring business on the table.

Remarketing allows you to create focused marketing programs that are designed to inspire customers to buy from your site and become loyal customers. Since the customers we target in a remarketing program have already expressed a strong interest in your business, we can use the products they almost purchased as the foundation for an effective marketing campaign.

Give us a call and we will be more than happy to explain what remarketing is and how it can help you. We will also be more than happy to explain any of those other marketing buzz words you have heard that may be confusing you. At Tom and Company, we want to be your main Internet marketing resource and we want to be the one marketing company you trust to bring you the revenue you need.

3 Reasons Why You Cannot Create Your Own Keyword List

As a professional Internet marketing firm, we hear a lot of reasons as to why people try to save money by doing their own SEO and website marketing. The truth is that successfully marketing any website requires professional strategy and years of experience. You can either waste your time trying to do it yourself, or you can make the most of your time and hire our marketing professionals.

One of the most important elements of any successful Internet marketing campaign is the keyword list used in pay-per-click campaigns and the website content. Good keywords show up all over your website and they play a huge role in getting you a premium position on the search engine results pages.

Unfortunately, creating keyword lists is one of those tasks that too many website owners look at as a DIY project. There are three good reasons why creating your own keyword lists is doing more harm than good and limiting the exposure your website is getting.

You Need Long-Tail Keywords

Google has changed its search algorithm so much over the past few years that the mere idea of keywords has changed drastically. Keywords used to be one or two words used as primary or secondary keywords to drive traffic. There was a time when multi-word phrases were shunned by the Internet marketing world.

But long-tail keywords are now the norm, and they are not easy to create. It takes a professional’s touch to create keyword phrases that will drive traffic and give your website the exposure that it needs to increase your revenue.

You Need To Understand Google

Google currently has three primary algorithms operating (Panda, Hummingbird and Penguin) that all have different effects on how Google views keywords. Google has developed complex and advanced algorithms that are looking for very specific elements of your content that will help to match up search queries with what your website has to offer. If you don’t understand what Google is looking for with keywords, then you have no way of creating keywords that will be effective.

Our professionals follow each and every change that Google makes and we work hard to develop marketing plans that get your website the best possible position on the search engine results pages. It is our job to understand Google and believe us when we say that it is a full-time job.

The Idea Of Primary And Secondary Keywords Is Changing

Primary keywords used to put your website in a general pool of search results, and then secondary keywords helped to narrow down your appeal to a specific audience. Using primary and secondary keywords used to be an effective way to get your website plenty of exposure to all of your target audiences.

But as Google continues to change its algorithms, it is also changing the effectiveness of the primary-secondary keyword model. As a professional marketing firm, we understand this new dynamic and we can use our experience to help you expand your customer base and increase revenue.

Internet marketing used to be something that website owners could do on their own and find a small level of success. But as Google and the other search engines make things more complex in the search world, the concept of keywords changes and Internet marketing is no longer a DIY project for website owners.

Call our experts today and we will start a program to develop keywords that will drive more traffic to your site and bring your website the kind of exposure you need it to have.

Three Reasons Your Company Needs A Professional Social Media Management Firm

When we first bring up the idea of social media management to new clients, we are frequently met with blank stares. We understand the confusion, so let us ask the question for you:

Why does my company need someone to post things on Facebook for me?

It is a legitimate question and we have an equally legitimate answer. Social media management is so much more than just posting the occasional comment on Facebook. Your social media pages may not be costing you anything to have, but you are leaving a great deal of money on the table if you do not have those pages managed by our Internet marketing experts.

If you give us a call, we will be more than happy to do a full presentation on our social media management services. But to answer the question we asked at the start of this discussion, we offer three reasons why you need a professional social media management firm.

Social Media Synergy Is Extremely Important

Your company has an extremely exciting announcement to make and you want to reach as many prospective customers as possible. Do you post it on Facebook? What about Twitter? Since your Facebook and Twitter account are attached to each other, why not post it on one and let it be seen by both audiences?

The way you choose to release your messages on social media is just as important as the message itself. In some instances, Twitter is a much better alternative than Facebook. Other times, Instagram may give you much more exposure than any other social media platform. We understand the synergy behind the way the various social media sites work together and we can get your message maximum exposure.

You Don’t Know How To Maximize Your Social Media Experience

Many of the most prominent social media platforms offer business pages many more presentation options than they do to personal pages. When you maximize the features offered by social media platforms, you will also significantly increase the exposure you get from each site. 

We have spent years studying social media and we know how to get the most exposure for business pages on every social media platform. Let us use our years of experience in making your social media presence irresistible to web traffic.

Social Media Is Constantly Changing

Did you know that Facebook changed its business page rules and now only two to six percent of your captive audience actually sees your business messages? You can reach a wider audience on Facebook if you are prepared to pay for it, but that is a tough decision for business owners to make.

There are social media platforms that have millions of users which you may have never heard of. The landscape in social media changes constantly and we make it our job to keep up with those changes and offer you the best possible social media management results.

When you sign your company up for its first Facebook page, you have only begun to scratch the surface of what social media can do for your organization. If you really want to see just how effective social media can be at bringing in revenue, then give us a call and we will show you just how important professional social media management skills can be to your business future.

LinkedIn Personal vs. Company Pages

Personal vs. Company Pages

Depending on what you choose to do with LinkedIn will determine if you want a personal page only or if you need to have a personal and company page. Even if you are a small business and/or a business owner, you most likely will want a personal and business page. It is better for you to have both, especially if you have products to list on a product page that links to your online store. You cannot do this on a personal page. 

A personal page is only to be set up for your personal information, not a company name or company information. You have to be a real person with verifiable information to set up a personal page. It is about just you. Not your company information. It is used to network personally and professionally, but just to market yourself. And you can use it to link to your company page.

Your personal page is you key to connecting with other professionals and even customers. It allows you to network, establish sales leads, and prove yourself as a leader or expert in your field and even to sell yourself to potential employers. You should have an upstanding personal page to make your networking a success. Use your status updates to share information and allow your connections to get to know you.

A company page allows you to set up a presence for your company, even if it is a self-owned company. It allows you to brand your company and its products or services. If you do not have a business/company page you are missing out on opportunities to connect with your customers, future customers and even employees.

The potential reach you have to market and brand your company through the LinkedIn company pages is far and wide. It is definitely something you want to spend some time setting up and maintaining. As mentioned earlier, the searching ability in LinkedIn is not the only platform that you can utilize, SEO and traffic will increase your other search rankings as well.

 Company pages offer you excellent analytics to gage how you are ranking and where you should concentrate more. Unlike the other social media arenas posting too much is not a good thing. You want to post important items and great content, maybe once a day or 5-7 times per week. Don’t post just to post, it needs to be relevant and usable information for your audience. You also do not want to try to hard sell. You want to engage your audience not shove your brand down their throats. You want to offer content or information that is relevant to your brand and/or audience that makes them want to follow you, click through to your full website or blog.

So if you are a small business or a business owner you really want to have a personal profile and a company page on LinkedIn. They both serve separate purposes while being connected. Customers want to learn about your company but they may or may not want to know about you personally. Having both pages allows them to choose how deeply and personally they get to know you. You also may have potential employers who want to contact you personally that will go to your personal profile rather than your company page.

Marketing Where People Are Paying Attention

The world has changed a lot in the last 20 years. The Internet now dominates our lives, smart phones are the norm and and computers are now much smaller and much faster. The world of business and marketing has changed even more so. Marketing used to be about hitting the streets to promote your product and running ads on one of the big three mediums (TV, Radio and print). Those days are gone, because increasingly people aren’t on the streets nor are they watching TV or reading newspapers. Sure people are still on the streets physically, but that’s not where their engaged, that’s not where their willing to learn and to purchases. 

The new marketing para-dime is very much focused on online marketing because that’s where consumers spend most of their time. Social media sites are the new virtual streets where marketing can take place and business who don’t accept this reality will soon be left behind. And while its possible to attempt to engage in on-line marketing on your own, you are much better off engaging someone who understands how social media marketing works and here’s why.

Firstly, social media marketing is complex. Contrary to popular belief it is not something you can simply pick up and do. Social media marketing professionals need to both understand how the technology works, and how human beings interact with that technology. It is a mix of IT skill and psychology which makes social media marketing profitable. This requires both formal training and years of experience. 

2. Secondly, Social media is vital to the future of just about any business. If you want to attract new clients or customers you need to be on top of the social media game. In recent years we have seen a massive transition from conventional media to on-line media. This trend is set to continue as the Internet generation continues to grow up and become the dominate force in the business world. Advertising using conventional media is becoming increasingly ineffective as more and more people look to their social media sites to learn information. To put it simply, social media is where people are and if you don’t have someone who knows how to sell to them there, than you could well find yourself falling behind.

3. Thirdly, hiring a social media professional is important because the market is so competitive. Other businesses have realized the potential of on-line marketing and are investing heavily in social media campaigns. The arms race has begun and its up to you whether or not you’re prepared to keep pace. In such a competitive industry, it’s vital you have someone in your court who knows the industry back to front and who can give you a competitive edge.

4. Finally having a social media professional helping you with your online presence is vital precisely because the Internet is not static. It is constantly changing and its important that you have someone working for you who understands those changes. It is impossible for the average business owner to stay up to date with all the algorithm and rule changes which take place on-line every single day. And yet those changes could have a dramatic impact on the success of your business. When those changes happen, it’s crucial that you stay ahead of the game and are able to adapt quickly to the new situation. A social media expert will allow you to do precisely that. 

The Top Four Emerging Social Media Trends

We’re finally in a world where we feel that most businesses understand what kind of an impact social media can have on their bottom lines. That being said, even though social media has become an increasing priority, businesses are still taking their sweet time wading into the waters of social marketing.  Much of that sense of caution comes from the constant changes in the industry. Keeping up, never mind staying ahead of the proverbial curve is more challenging than ever. Making sure you’re kept abreast of what’s coming next isn’t just something that’s ‘nice to do,’ it’s becoming essential.

This week’s post takes a look at some of the emerging trends in social media and what we feel will be significant conversation pieces in the coming months.

Tweet Up, Facebook down

Don’t misunderstand us – Facebook is still king of the hill until further notice. They have 1.18 billion users, 58% of which are active daily. Facebook certainly won’t be going away anytime soon. That being said, they have hit a bit of a plateau and are even beginning to experience a slow decline among users from the younger 13-17 age demographic.

Twitter on the other hand? They’re going public and with it – they’re increasingly being thrust into the spotlight. Additionally, Twitter’s gaining users – especially in the key demographics that Facebook is losing them. Why? According to Pew Researchers – it’s because there’s A.) less drama on Twitter; and B.) It’s easier to fly under parents’ radars. In addition, industries are beginning to flock to Twitter in droves, consolidating its place as a strong customer service platform.

Marketing and Snapchat. Two great tastes that taste great together.

If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, it’s essentially a program that allows users to send out messages called ‘snaps’ out to a broad populace that self destruct after a set period of time. Just last April, 5 million active users were uploading over 150 million photos a day! People like the fact that the photos are deleted from the server and as such – Snapchat has moved into a nice niche for folks who aren’t as trusting of traditional social media platforms.

In fact, companies are just beginning to experiment with the Snapchat phenomenon, asking customers to share their stories or interact with them while they’re in a particular store, or destination. It’s also greatly helped increase engagement with in-store promotions. While the genesis is still largely crude, it won’t be long before you begin to hear more about Snapchat and it’s taking a seat next to Facebook, Vine, Twitter and YouTube as a significant mover and shaker in the Social Media realm.

Collaborative is mainstream

Last year was certainly the year of the sharing economy – or, if you will – the collaborative economy. Over the course of the past few years, individuals have gained the ability (and power) that comes from bypassing traditional channels to voice concerns or heap praise about a particular brand. Now, we have seen just how powerful that force has become as new technology has made it easier for people to directly deal with other people.

Where is this all headed? We believe that we’re just scratching the surface here and that business models will evolve out of fundamental changes brought about by the sharing economy. Folks won’t wait for brands to answer their needs, but instead address them through other novel approaches. Just in the travel industry alone, we’re seeing more guided tours, transportation choices, home-cooked meals from the locals and well… the incredibly lucrative business of renting out rooms or unique accommodation outside of your traditional hotels/hostels. Fundamentally, these services are brought about as exchanges with peers, rather than a retailer. Expect to see more of that in the future.

Video is scorching

YouTube is experiencing 100 hours of video being uploaded an hour. Vine and Instagram are doing almost half that. More and more companies are embracing these short videos as quick, completely inexpensive and efficient ways to tell their story. If a picture can tell a 1,000 words, videos can tell millions!