Pay-Per-Click, PPC, Not as Effective as Link Advertising

Working within the search engine marketing business, SEM, I’ve heard many theories and statements made with regard to search engine rankings and how best to promote a website to the top of the search engine. From new business owners to individuals who are blogging to their heart’s content, there is much confusion over how to dominate the search engines.

While Yahoo and Google do provides some opportunities for advertising your businesses, products or services, these advertising options should not be used alone. To effectively dominate the search engines, it is important to diversify your internet marketing and advertising campaign.

Link advertising has become increasingly more common in recent years. Unfortunately, many website owners, and bloggers, are unfamiliar with the power of text link ads and, for that reason, I’m going to try to describe why it is better than pay-per-click advertising.

Let’s say you own a pool supply company. When we look at the search engine tools and keyword search reports, it seems that over 30,000 people per month, are typing in the keyword “pool supplies” into the search engines. So, where does your company fall in the ranking of results? Since the search engines generally default to the top 10 search findings, your company, in all likelihood, is not on page one – and probably not on page two or even page three.

But, you say, you’ve been using the “highly touted” Google Adsense and Yahoo marketing programs. Why is your site not reaching these 30,000 Internet searchers? Because pay-per-click advertising is rotational, often in shaded top headers or sidebars of the search engines, it is pretty much luck of the draw in how many people will see your site. While you only pay for people who actually “click” on your search results, the goal should not be to count “clicks”. This is simply a waste of marketing dollars. We can compare that to people driving down the street and you only spend marketing dollars on those who actually drive to your store. This, in marketing strategy, makes absolutely no sense at all.

Instead, you want to advertise and market your company in a way that it returns in a more natural search result. Remember those 30,000 internet searchers who were looking for “pool supplies”? You want to reach them! To do that, it is important to get your website to return into the top 25, and even the top 10, search results. But, how do we do that.

Through a diversification of marketing campaigns, using inbound linking, your website can be promoted through the search engine results. Inbound linking can be static links, rotating site-run links, blogs about your company, even “billboards” attached to high quality sites. The options are virtually endless. While there are many companies that offer reciprocal linking and paid posting services, these services, alone, will not drive your website to the top of the search engines. To achieve optimal results, you must diversify your campaign.

Finding highly regarded search engine marketing, SEM, company is important to your investment in marketing your business. With thousands of internet searchers looking for your business, it is well worth the investment to develop an internet marketing campaign that will reach those same individuals through a more organic search approach. With over 80 percent of all internet searchers choosing to link to sites on page one of their search results, and often never clicking on side bar, pay-per-clicks, link advertising gives you the best rate of return on your investment.…

New York Radio Station WFAN Advertising Illegal Fireworks

WFAN is among the most popular radio stations broadcasting from New York City. Its sports talk format gives it a large male demographic of listeners who tune in to hear the latest news and opinions on their favorite sports teams. It is perfect for a company looking to sell fireworks for the Fourth of July. The only problem is fireworks are illegal to possess by most, if not all, of the radio station’s listening audience.

I am an avid listener to the WFAN radio station as I have a two-hour commute each way to and from work each day. I am a sports fan who enjoys the banter between the various hosts and the listeners mostly over the numerous professional sports teams that play in the New York/New Jersey area. While many times I will tune to another station at the first hint of a commercial, occasionally I will just sit through them as I navigate traffic.

It was during one of these times that I was a little shocked to hear a commercial for Pocono Fireworks. While I am not naive enough to think that fireworks are not obviously sold somewhere, I also know it is illegal to possess fireworks in the states of New York and New Jersey without special permits. Those permits are only issued to professionals in most cases.

Fireworks are banned in four states, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Massachusetts. New York laws state the possession of fireworks are illegal with a maximum fine of up to $250. However, if the fireworks are valued over $50 the offense is upgraded to a Class B misdemeanor with a $500 fine.

New Jersey’s laws are even tougher on the possession of fireworks. If you are caught using them the penalty is up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. An individual convicted of possession of fireworks with the intent to sell faces a fine of up to $7,500 and up to 18 months in jail.

Pocono Fireworks certainly knows fireworks are illegal to possess in New York and New Jersey. The lawyers for the WFAN should know the product being offered to their listeners is illegal. Yet the commercial is running on their airwaves.

Should we believe then with what everyone knows, and the fact that the audience of WFAN are primarily residents of states which ban the sale of fireworks that Pocono Fireworks is running the commercials in hope of luring these listeners to cross state lines into Pennsylvania for the possession of an illegal product. In addition does this make the radio station complicit in promoting an illegal activity?

The advertising dollar is not as easy to come by as it once was, but one has to wonder if a radio station as popular as WFAN really needs to run commercials from companies with a questionable motive. I just hope no one gets hurt from a firework bought from Pocono Fireworks by a listener of WFAN.…

How to Become an Advertising Freelancer

There are essentially three kinds of businesses in this world: Those that can afford to have an advertising agency handle all their advertising; those that can’t, but can do their own advertising and marketing in-house; and finally, those businesses that can do neither. That’s where an advertising freelancer comes into the picture.

 

A freelancer works on a project-by-project basis. No case too small. The benefit to the business is that they can have the freelancer work with their relatively low ad budget. The freelancer charges either by the hour or per project for their services. In doing so, they can provide professional advertising campaign management with a budget far lower than advertising agencies can feasibly work with. It’s becoming a better option for more and more businesses that simply don’t have the ability to do it on their own.

This creates an outstanding opportunity for advertising professionals who want to break out of the corporate conundrum, and get out on their own. Freelancers enjoy a greater amount of independence and self-determination than advertising professionals who work in a firm. They can take on numerous businesses as clients and have multiple streams of revenue. This means better financial stability for the freelancer.

So, say you’re an advertising pro and ready to cut the agency apron strings. Here are some simple, logical steps to get going:

1. Come up with a marketable name. Some freelancers make the mistake of working as a single person, (“Jane Schmo, Advertising Freelance”). This tends to “shrink” the freelance’s abilities in the eyes of a prospective client. Instead, come up with a professional company name (more like “Schmo Advertising and Marketing”). Present yourself more in the light of a project manager-type that will produce, supervise and manage a company’s ad campaign with the aid of other creative advertising professionals if needed. This will go a long way in projecting your image as an advertising professional who can take on any kind of campaign.

2. Once you have a name, have professional materials made up to build your image. This includes the obvious: business cards, stationery, brochures, etc. But also be sure to include other items such as advertising premiums – such as pens, key-chains, notepads, personalized calendars, and other “schwag”. You want to get your name and image out there and on the desks of the very business owners you want to work for. Image and name recognition is everything in advertising more so than any other segment of business. Get your name out there.

3. Produce an impressive info-pack – Be sure to include a detailed resume and history of past campaigns that you have worked on in your professional career. Be sure to highlight your more successful campaigns, the ones you think your prospects may have come across.

4. Put up a website – This is non-negotiable if you want to be taken seriously as a professional. You MUST have a website with a good, easy to remember domain name. Make sure ALL your materials have your web address. Your website will be your living, breathing resume. Don’t skimp on it, and update it regularly. Put up nothing less than a professional, clean and slick website and be sure to have your burgeoning portfolio on-line for your prospects to peruse at their leisure.

5. Determine your rates – Research your competition and see what the going rates are for the kind of services you will be offering. Price yourself somewhere in the middle. According to most advertising trade publications, freelance copywriters get anywhere from $350-450 per billable hour. Keep in mind that many business owners like to have a good idea of what the total cost of the project will be from the get-go. Look into pricing an entire project to get their business. Just make sure you don’t price too low and end up working way too much for too little.

6. Nobody can do everything great, so make sure your prospects understand that you have other professionals at your disposal. Such as, graphic artists, web designers and other creative specialists, to make their campaign a well-packaged success.

7. Know the ins and outs of on-line advertising! This is the future of advertising, and …

Advertising, Promotions, Marketing and Public Relations Managers

Public relations, advertising and marketing management are highly coveted jobs for the ratio of high wages to freedom of work environment. Those in these positions often can work from home, travel and have an office supplied to them. While many positions require a raw talent for marketing, some of the intricacies can be easily learned for a lucrative career

Job Duties

An advertising, marketing or public relations manager is responsible for the strategy, sales, promotion, pricing, public outreach, development and marketing of a product or company. Advertising managers focus on the ad campaigns and may work with the finance and promotional departments to find the most beneficial advertising campaigns available. A public relations manager is responsible for the design and implementation of public promotions including events on social media, through bloggers and writers and through the broadcast media.

Skills Required

This career path is full of schedule changes and requires an employee to be flexible as well as work under pressure. Anyone in the field of public relations, marketing and advertising must have excellent customer service skills as well as the ability to blend with special interest groups. Long hours, weekends and evenings are sometimes required, as are above average computer and media skills.

Education and Requirements

A bachelor’s degree, preferably in a business administration, is typically required for marketing, sales and promotions manager. In fields that are dependent on knowledge of electronics, a degree in engineering or science is preferred. Required coursework for these degrees include classes in advertising, public affairs, speaking, communications and political science, among core requirements. Many successful promotions, public relations and marketing managers are fluent in multiple languages, and an extensive knowledge of social media is preferred.

Courses Required

Many colleges offer four-year degrees specifically in advertising, promotions and social media. Typical courses required include advertising and society, mass communication, media writing, principles of advertising, digital communication, brand solutions, social networks, search engine marketing and design in media. These courses teach a broad range of current trends in mass media including print, broadcasting and digital media. Technology, sociology and psychology courses are also suggested electives for any position in promotional media career paths.

Outlook and Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of advertising, marketing, promotions and public relations will continue to grow by more than 13 percent through 2018. In May 2008, the average annual wage for an advertising and promotions manager was $80,200, more than $108,000 for marketing managers and $89,430 for public relations managers.

 
 

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, and Public Relations…

Winning a College Sports Marketing Sales Assignment

College marketing majors will likely need to sell something for a course. Many individuals don’t enjoy sales because they’re ineffective at persuasion, dislike communicating with strangers, and/or are terrified at rejection.

I enrolled in a sports marketing course during the spring of 2009. One of the course’s objectives was selling discounted tickets for a professional sports organization. Our professor encouraged project participation as it was a superb opportunity to expand our network and generate communication skills.

I didn’t personally know any fans of the organization. I felt awkward cold-calling folks and attending random churches. Instead of meeting face-to-face with potentially uninterested people, I tried to expand my market potential by utilizing an advertising approach.

I emailed dozens of students about my goal of selling tickets, informing them that they could reply for more information and the ticket order form. I used the bulletin boards in the main building and where I took all of my classes. I completed a sales presentation to one large classroom of students. The main thing, however, was continuously posting advertisements on classified sites, ie Craigslist, in order to reach out to a larger mass. I was reaching out to more people who may have an interest in the specific team or sport when I posted in the sporting events section.

I concluded the assignment with the highest monetary sales, finishing just under $1,000 of total sales.

There were a couple things that prevented me from higher sales totals. Some of the prospects wanted specific seats, but I didn’t have access to which exact seats were available at that moment. I’d have to contact the account executive. I started telling customers no as I thought the executive could be getting weary of my constant contact. 
I went with a foolish and untrue notion and should have postponed such action until he requested I stop contacting him.

I also had no cellphone. After establishing contact with the interested party, I had to communicate through E-mail. Verbal communication would have increased my effectiveness as it made things simpler and quicker.

I was the only student who attempted these strategies. Think outside the norm, use some creativity, and see what happens when conducting a sales or marketing project.…

Women in Advertising

Advertising teaches us from a very young age how to act, dress, speak, and relate to others, especially the “opposite” sex. It is gender construction and stereotypes; it is there to sell us a line. And that line is that you are imperfect. Not only are you imperfect, but it is your duty, as a woman, to strive for an unrealistic perfection that you will never reach. When you fail to reach this imperfection you internalize the failure and see it as your fault, something you did. This contributes eating disorders, low self esteem among women, and even violence against women. Advertising is teaching American women to want to be sexually provocative but to be sexually provocative through the clothes they wear and how they look to the male gaze looking at them. I chose this topic because it affects everyone regardless of age, gender, race, or class and certainly some of those more than others.

Women are vulnerable in a culture that uses them for their body parts. Women are not valued for their actions, their intelligence or what they say, but how they look and how they wear their clothes. They are used to sell products. Their sexuality is exploited to sell, sell, sell. This exploitation in advertising leads to other much more dangerous exploitations such as domestic violence, harassment, child abuse, murder, and rape. Advertising is everywhere and in everything. The image of women portrayed in advertising and the media at large is how we have come to see ourselves “what we take ourselves to be is how we perceive ourselves to be perceived” (Reichert 185). It is so pervasive that women who claim to not be influenced by advertising still find themselves dieting nine months out of twelve and buying expensive cosmetics to cover their wrinkles, dye the gray out of their hair, and dress twenty years younger than they are to appear attractive to men. It is a male construction that only young females are attractive but we buy into it every time we buy that foundation, or promise to lose those ten extra pounds gained over Christmas. We are taught to think that is what we are supposed to do so that is what we do. That’s why I have chosen this topic, its very penetration into the core identity of all women.

 

Advertising has deep roots in America. The first advertising campaign began in the nineteenth century and was used to entice Europeans to come to this wild and foreign country describing America as “The Garden of Eden” (Sivulka 7). Advertising in Europe had its beginning in the 1440’s when Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press with movable type in Germany on which the first printed book was the Bible. After that the first form of ads were handbills, posters, trade cards, and newspapers, which were the first mass produced medium. In 1477, William Caxton, a London printer, printed the first printed advertisement in English selling a prayer book. Soon magazines and newspapers picked up ads and carried them into the surrounding community. It was not until the 1700’s that advertisements became the main source of revenue for newspapers and magazines. The first printing press in America was established at Harvard College in 1639 (Sivulka).

Benjamin Franklin founded the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1728 and was the first known American to use illustrations in his ads. He was pioneer in the advertising field using ads on the front page, using white space and headlines. During this period most ads were focused on land, runaway slaves, and transportation. But it was the demand for news about the American Revolution that inflamed newspaper circulation, but also worsened the paper shortage at the time. The Civil War gave rise to a consumer economy and Isaac Merritt Singer’s sewing machine became the first heavily advertised machine made for the American home. As is customary with every war in history America has been involved in women were active in the workforce during the war. In 1870, “1 out of 6 workers were women all young and unmarried with money to spend” (Sivulka 20). Due to this women were the primary consumer’s spending their wartime paychecks. This is …

Advertising Degrees: Benefits of a Top Program

The great thing about having an advertising degree is that advertising never dies, it only transforms. Over the years, advertising has built products, companies, careers, and has transcended the ages. Its written and visual cues have distracted us on billboards, magazines, newspapers, or on the sides of buildings. We’ve laughed, cried, and sung the catchy tunes of the radio ads, the infomercials of television, or the interactive ads on the internet. As long as there has been business and commerce there has also been advertising, and as long as there is still a product left on earth to market, there will continue to be advertising. Talk about job security!

Understanding what comprises a top advertising program can be difficult though. What is it exactly that builds such a program into one that produces successful candidates for the world of advertising? These days a top advertising program must have the capacity to change and stay current with or even ahead of the swiftly moving trends of internet advertising. It must also have the ability effectively to balance a student’s curriculum between the creative aspects of advertising and its business side. It is also the role of a top advertising program to prepare students for the real world through professional networking, internships, mock presentations, and projects that mimic what will be encountered in the workforce.

But you might say to yourself, “I’m talented, with a quick wit and charismatic personality. Why do I need a top advertising program to get a job in the field?” While someone might indeed have a personality fit to the advertising world, there are things a top advertising program can do that will harness those skills and allow someone to more effectively and efficiently utilize their natural talent. Building public relation skills, studying the most recent computer development programs, and taking courses that will prepare you for creating constructive client relationships or developing marketing strategies, can provide an educational background that will allow you to begin an advertising career in higher level executive positions sooner than those without such a degree.

So what types of careers are available to someone with a degree from a top advertising program? The scope and range of career opportunities in advertising are wide ranging and spread throughout numerous industries. The possibilities broaden even further when potential candidates have the educational background with which a top advertising program provides them. Those with more outgoing personalities may opt for a position as a manager in promotions, sales, marketing or public relations, while those less comfortable in the limelight might select a career path that focuses on the creative side such as being a market research, product development, pricing or advertising strategy. In whatever advertising role you may be interested, there is plenty of latitude when it comes to deciding on what is right for you. From account executives to public relations officers to the aspects of development and design of advertising campaigns, promotions, and marketing there are niches for just about any type of personality or background within the advertising field.

Disclaimer:

This article is for informational purposes only. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is at the reader’s discretion.…

Charity Auctions Offer Hotels Marketing Opportunity

In today’s challenging economic climate it’s sometimes hard to find good news on the marketing front, but I have some.

 

After years as a hotel general manager, I am all too familiar with the onslaught of requests from the dozens of worthy charities and schools in our communities. The process includes sifting through the requests, processing them, responding to the approved and disappointed contacts and then supervising the on site presentations. This can become a tremendously time consuming community service that often times delivers little measurable marketing value. So, when I learned about an online charity auction marketing program I was impressed (and relieved!).

One company called BiddingForGood hosts thousands of online charity auctions and has determined that it is the commercial item donors (us) who are not getting much of a win/win. The company has set out to fix that. Their approach to charity auctions is multi pronged…they not only provide a turn-key marketing program that delivers advertising value, leads, and paying customers, they also provide an online item request tool that allows properties to streamline requests. Their marketing program enables consolidation of these events into a performance based opportunity that delivers measureable ROI. They then track the respondents and even provide follow-up outreach to auction participants…it’s a total marketing package to a targeted demographic which has been previously been relatively untapped in the hospitality industry.

What’s so special about Charity Auctions? The charity donor base is highly attractive with hundreds/thousands of influential members of the community. The power of the charity auction is that the marketer reaches these donors through their trusted causes. This is important because the decline of traditional advertising has ultimately offered us alternative marketing opportunities, such as these charity auctions. These auctions reach people just as they are making purchasing decisions which are many times in the travel category.

Who are these charity auction bidders? In general, they are influential, affluent baby boomers – typically, an upscale demographic with a high demand for travel experiences and traditionally, a very expensive market to reach. A recent study completed by BiddingForGood shows that 36% of bidders in online charity auctions have a household income of $150,000 or more (47% for private schools) and 31% have a net worth in excess of $1 million. They travel extensively with 51% planning to travel internationally in the next year and 91% planning domestic travel. These are consumers of travel experiences with travel being the largest item category in the $16 billion charity auction market. Since 40% of online charity auctions are schools (most of them private schools) many of the bidders are parents who are booking travel for 4, 5 and 6 individuals. While females comprise the majority of bidders (68%) males typically have bids that are on average 60% higher. These are socially minded consumers who are looking to support a trusted cause such as their child’s school fundraiser and they spend money against this goal because it also meets their travel, dining, entertainment needs.

How It Works; When hotels are contacted by local charities, the charities are directed to the hotel website where they are asked to fill out a request form. This administrative online tool (Automated Item Request System- AIRS) enables the hotel to accept or decline requests with the simple click of a mouse thereby sending an email response while tracking everything.

BiddingForGood works with the brand to develop an appropriate offer that enables upsell and cross sell to the winning bidder (their research suggests that properties are giving away too much). The auction network also works with the brand on an item page which tells the hotel story and thereby controls the brand presentation. The specially built item page enforces brand integrity and locks in the minimum bid to properly represent the brand in this marketing-rich auction environment. The page also allows for deep engagement awareness, often up to 50 seconds per consumer (essentially virtual trial). And, this item page typically includes rich media (imbedded video) and numerous photos (which can’t be done when an item is displayed on a clipboard). Lastly, the links from dozens/hundreds of these auctions to the property’s website improves the hotel’s all-important Google natural search rankings (i.e. where you …

Use the Library to Promote Your Business

A great way to build your business is through community outreach. Your local library can be a wonderful place to reach out and meet new potential customers. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

If your business is family-oriented or of any interest to children consider visiting the children’s department for story-time. You can read a children’s book that relates to your occupation, talk about your job, even perform a short demonstration. Kids love to hear about jobs in the real world and learn new things. And of course, all kids come with a parent. Show them that you are family-friendly while introducing them to your product or service.

Ask the librarian if you could donate books, videos or dvds that relate to your business. Furthermore, ask if they would consider placing a book plate inside the item that mentions your business, ie “donated by Shelly’s Dance Studio”. If you take some time to think about what books and movies your customers would be interested in, this can be a great way to get your name in front of them.

Often times libraries will have glass display cases in the lobby. Find out if there is any way you could create or sponsor a collection. Even if you don’t personally own a collection, you may be able to borrow or rent from a friend, using your business as the sponsor.

Giving a free lecture, demonstration or class through the library is an easy way to reach customers but will involve a little more planning on your part. The best part about the free class is the advertising that the library can provide on your behalf. Often times they have newsletters, websites, or regular listings in local newspapers. Even if a customer doesn’t sign up for the free class, they will have read your name.

If you’re looking for a unique way to get your printed name in front of potential customers, consider printing up some bookmarks. Talk to the librarian and find out what their policy is first, before you have the bookmarks printed. You could put together a suggested ready list that relates to your business, or simply encourage reading. Either way, having a basketful of bookmarks at the counter is a way you can get your name out.

And finally, most libraries are always looking for help with fundraising. Talk to the librarian and find out if there is a service you could offer with the funds going directly to the library. You won’t make any money off your service, but you’ll be helping to support the library and improving your image in the community. If you are a product-oriented business, ask if the library would be interested in raffling off one of your products as a fundraiser, or if you could donate items to an auction or tag sale.…

What is Advertising?

Advertising is mass paid communication by means of the media. The media are television, radio, newspapers, any other printed communication, and even word of mouth. Usually advertising is used to encourage ideas and acceptance of people or things.

The earliest record of advertisement is probably the Rosetta stone. It sought to tell people who could read it that Ptolemy was the Son of the Son, Father of the Moon, and the Keeper of the Happiness of Men. Other than the Rosetta stone, the earliest record of advertisement is probably a papyrus flyer stating that a reward will be given for the return of a runaway slave. Oftentimes in the years before Christ, signboards and criers were used to advertise goods.

During the middle ages, there were two important factors to advertising. People needed to be able to read and merchants did not want to advertise so openly that their goods would be stolen.

With the invention of the printing press, advertisements became more commonplace. Handbills and papers inserted into the pages of books were the earliest printed advertisements.

The growth of different media throughout the United States and Europe and eventually the world changed the way advertising worked. Merchants were soon able to make announcements about products to people that were never even in contact with the person or any of the workers advertising the products. Other methods were used throughout the times as well.

 

Retail advertising often took place within a store. Even if announcements were made in other places, the idea was to make a certain profit off of a product by putting it on sale rather than keeping it at the normal price.

Cooperative advertising is advertising done between a retailer and a manufacturer.

National advertising targets the whole population of a country and allows for a much larger profit intake than would advertising to a specific area.

Services can be offered that may not usually be offered. One of these services that is especially common is free shipping. A company can often afford to simply ship products for awhile from the profit that was made earlier.

Mail order advertising reaches millions of people. Many may throw away such things, but others order through these mailings and catalogues.

Industrial advertising tends to be about advertising heavy machinery to the industries that need them. They are often cheaper in these advertisements than they would be if they were ordered from different place.

Of course, there have been other technological advances in advertising. The most recent is the Internet and how advertisers can use it to their advantage.

While some may consider an unpaid promotional spot an advertisement, this is usually known as a publicity.…