Archive for March, 2009

Social Media Marketing for Everyday Business

Why is social media so important in your everyday business and marketing efforts? What role does it play in reaching your target market?

These are both questions that many website owners and businesses ask, and determining the effectiveness of social media will be a part of your internet marketing strategy.

Social media is quickly becoming one of the web’s fastest growing online activities, a place for customers in a variety of markets and niche communities to learn, educate others, and interact with other buyers. As a result, it is in your best interest to track and gauge different patterns. Consider social media just one channel to accurately gauge your customer’s interests, tastes, and preferences.

Each contributor is essentially volunteering testimonials on products, likes, dislikes, and other information that was once only available from direct market surveys or interviews. Social media platforms offer you some insight on what the customer truly wants at any given time.

Developing your website so that it uses at least two to three of today’s leading social media technologies can help boost traffic with less and less direct marketing efforts. Consider the value for social media activities such as:

  • Wikipedia
  • Social networking communities
  • Video sharing
  • Virtual reality and events
  • Online audio episodes
  • Livecasting
  • Media sharing

Global Marketing Strategies and SEM

The global market place affects pretty much everyone. Any business model that ignores this fact is outdated. It used to be that you wouldn’t have to worry about global marketing strategies unless you were a large multinational conglomerate, but this is true no longer. International brand positioning and identity are imported from the ground up. With the increasing skills of national and international brands at capturing niche markets, niche brands in turn have to be aware of global markets. In the long run, this is the best way to stay competitive.

That is why even narrowly focused marketing companies try to be aware of the global scene. There is simply no other way to go about it. Using globally positioned brands names allows them to stay ahead of the curve. Otherwise, it is very easy to miss a regional marketing strategy that is making inroads in your own market. After all, who is to say that global marketing strategies used in small-town Canada won’t work in small town America? By watching the trends before they affect you, you can be prepared for when they hit your locality.

One of the most important global marketing strategies in the current age is global search engine marketing or SEM. Globally positioned markets try to dominate search traffic even in areas where they have not yet penetrated the consumer market. This is one of the best ways to increase brand recognition. If you are selling a brand of soda pop for example, and every time someone Googles soda pop your brand comes up, they will already recognize it by the time it makes it to the local grocery store. Though this advertising doesn’t come free, it is much cheaper than an international ad campaign. If you optimize for search traffic, you really can effectively advertise everywhere at once.

Many of the most interesting and effective global marketing strategies are currently being developed on the Internet. Viral and guerrilla marketing is easier than ever using electronic communication. After all, you can make a virtually unlimited number of copies for absolutely nothing. People who would change the channel automatically when the commercials come on still may be willing to look at a clever video that your company has put together. If they like it, they will even send it on to their friends. By studying Internet consumer habits, you can develop global marketing strategies that take care of themselves.

Music Social Networking Plugs Many Artists Directly With Fans

With so many artists looking for a career in the music business and only so many recording contracts to go around, there was bound to be new avenues created to allow those on the outside looking in to come inside. This new way of getting people to hear your music without a big recording company behind you has been a work in progress for many years. However, the progress of dispensing unknown music of unknown artist to a large potential audience received a big shot in the arm thanks to the popularity of the Internet. With such a large pool of potential music consumers, music social networking was born.

To understand just what some of the music social networking organizations are offering to unsigned artists it is important to know what the major markets are for listening and purchasing music today. Let’s look at two such places — iTunes and Amazon. These two retailers have radically changed the way people listen to and purchase music. With these two powerhouses leading the way in music sales, any artist that can have their music heard or have their music available for purchases on these two sites are majorly cool. While these sites use to be exclusive to only major label recording artists, many music social networking organizations have made a concerted effort to bring their unsigned artists to major music retailers, and their efforts have begun to pay off.

Many music social networking groups like Pure Play Music have reached agreements with some of the largest online music retailers. Agreements that will bring thousands of unsigned artists and bands and their music to the forefront of the music retail business and allow the artist music to be purchased by anyone who hears it and likes it.

While the recording business is as strong as ever, it is also in a state of flux. In the past, being able to go down to your local record shop and buy a record, tape or CD largely depended on what the record companies deemed worthy of listening. Today, with some many ways to get music to the public, and so many artists producing purchasable music, listening and buying music really depends on what you like and not what the record company tells you to like.

Web 2.0 Is Taking The Net By Storm

Building a network of like-minded users and visitors is the basis of Web 2.0 applications on the web today, and social bookmarking is just one element of this growth. Web 2.0 sites are based on a few key principles that encourage interaction and sharing information with ease. By using tagging and breaking down information into keyword structures, everything is organized in a way that makes it easy to search and find specific information. From blogs to shopping sites, Web 2.0 has allowed new, media-rich applications to serve as platforms for all users. Sites such as Digg.com, StumbleUpon, Linked-In, ThisNext, and scores of others are building communities and creating networks.

Web 2.0 applications are essentially doing what market research departments have been working on for decades; filtering information on consumers, and segmenting the market. Market segmentation is an essential part of consolidating demographic information, and has often been compiled through surveys, focus groups, and other market research initiatives. Web 2.0 applications allow many marketers to simply skip these steps; if your consumer market is voluntarily sharing information about their tastes, preferences, and other ideas through social bookmarking channels, it becomes much easier to learn and develop new tactics to keep them engaged.

Many industries can gain significant insights and information from experimenting with social bookmarking and networking tools. This concept of creating a knowledge economy is growing rapidly in areas such as:

Retail banking
Pharmaceuticals
Education
Research and Development
Communications
Retail and Shopping
Music and Entertainment