Thank you to all who participated in our survey!
In an industry that is constantly changing and updating its great to know the latest news and to gain an insight to what other businesses are doing with their Online Marketing. This is what we are going to offer you in our 2013 Online Marketing report!
The winner of the 32gb iPad mini is……….
Congratulations also to our surprise second draw winners who will receive a bottle of TBO wine!
We are very excited to share the report with all of you, it is full of data that may change the way you plan to structure your Online Marketing for 2013!
Jump over and see the full results Here.
Some key findings included in this report:
This survey of Australian businesses was conducted during the end of November to the first week in December 2012 in an effort to understand how businesses are using the online marketing.
The survey is made up of small and large businesses that sell B2B (business to business) and B2C (Business to consumer). It involved hundreds of businesses from many different sectors of various sizes, driven from a range of sources including, email marketing, social media, search engines and phone contact.
We believe in fair exchange and so in exchange for the dozens of hours our team has put into delivering this report to you, all we ask is that you share it to get instant access to the report.
Once you click share below the page will open so you have instant access to the report.
You say "needs", we say "solution". It’s time for your voice to be heard in Think Big Online’s Survey, where your opinion could earn you not just a heightened improvement of service, but an iPad Mini.
Today Think Big Online launches it's Survey hoping to gain insights into what businesses really want from marketing solutions.
Already making a name for itself, Think Big has been built from the ground up on solid and humble grounds and now looks to the public for it's opinion.
“This is not just for our benefit, We hope with this survey we can continue to please our existing clients and gain insights that will help us stay at the forefront of online marketing in Australia” said Samuel Junghenn Founder of Think Big Online.
The survey will run until the 1st of December with the IPAD Mini winner announced on the 10th. The results will be announced shortly after the lucky winner is drawn.
To Enter simply go to http://www.facebook.com/TBOMarketing/app_190322544333196
Sam’s Corner – Newsletter #3
PART #1: Business Update
Welcome to the November edition of the Think Big Online newsletter, apologies it’s a little late getting out but it’s been a great month here. We’ve welcomed some new clients taken on a few new initiatives and been producing some amazing results.
In fact the small team here at Think Big Online isn’t so small any more and with our new expanded capacity we’re ready to help more businesses. So if you know of someone who needs a website, some traffic or just a hand to realize their online dreams don’t hesitate to ask them to contact us.
Instead of giving you a long business update this month I wanted to get focused straight into the big news of the month so you can get updated and make the changes necessary in your business to adapt.
PART #2: Industry News
It seems like nearly every month I am dedicating a lions share of my time to writing about updates by either Google or Facebook. Unfortunately with this evolving technology environment both major online players are making significant changes which affect your business.
So let’s get into the changes…
GOOGLE RELEASES FURTHER REVISIONS TO IT’S MAJOR UPDATES
During the last month Google made 4 announcements about updates to it’s previous Penguin and Panda updates. Essentially the updates were to further help improve the search result quality and remove low quality sites.
Think Big Online clients have nothing to worry about as we always focus on quality sites and content rather than spammy link building or keyword stuffing techniques. If you’ve found your site has been affected then I’d strongly suggest looking at your SEO strategy and remove any techniques which could be considered spammy.
Also during this month Google made another major update which was it’s link disavow tools which essentially allows webmasters to report links to their sites which they don’t want to count to their SEO. This should help to reduce the number of competitors using less than ethical strategies to affect websites.
FACEBOOK PAGES A HIT WITH SMALL TO MEDIUM BUSINESSES FACEBOOK MAKES MORE ADVERTISING CHANGES
Facebook seems to be on a quest lately to introduce new and innovative ways of delivering advertising experiences to their business users. This is a positive thing especially for business and Facebook page owners who are starting to see a benefit.
The latest changes that have been made are just in testing mode at the moment so none of them are available across the Facebook advertising network. With that said though if some of the changes are implemented it should drastically increase the advertising reach for businesses.
At this point the major one to be looking out for is the Pages advertising which allows Page owners to target advertisements to any users, whether they are connected to the page or not. This dramatically increases the reach of the site and page for the advertiser.
PART #3: Top Learning From This Month
This is my favorite part of the newsletter as it allows me to share with you what I think has been the most important business lesson from this month. So here’s this months most important lesson:
Do The Right Thing And Everything Will Turn Out Fine
Now I know, this sounds a little corny and you are probably wondering exactly what it has to do with Internet Marketing? Well it speaks to one area of Internet Marketing and one of the most important areas…
…If you want to build a long term business online that returns profitable results you need to invest in building a quality SEO strategy. That strategy should be built on the premise of “doing the right thing”.
So many companies are worried when Google does an update, or take to forums complaining about their loss in rankings when it could have all been avoided. All they needed to do was the right thing and follow the SIMPLE rules of Search Engine Optimisation.
If you were penalized by Google then you deserved it, you were too aggressive or you were doing unnatural things to enhance your rankings. To achieve consistant, long term quality rankings you need to deliver a quality user experience and quality content.
Essentially do the right thing by Google and your Users and you’ll find it pays off long term!
The easiest way to increase business and drive new sales is to ensure that all leads, prospects and customers go through your complete marketing cycle. When I talk about complete marketing cycle I’m not talking about just the lead to sale cycle, but what happens after the sale and what happens if the sale doesn’t occur.
While businesses 10 or even 20 years ago could be forgiven for not implementing a complete lifecycle marketing campaign because it was too expensive the same cannot be said now.
Traditionally to complete full life cycle marketing 10 or 20 years ago you would have had to send out direct mail, which is expensive, or make calls which is also expensive.
Now with email marketing you can replace these expensive tasks with automated marketing campaigns, which cost nothing to deliver and potentially drive new sales for your business.
What Is A Complete Customer Lifecycle?
A customer lifecycle can be broken down into the following phases:
Phase #1: Lead Generation
This phase is where you are generating people to your lead generation mechanisms. In terms of online marketing you are generating visitors to your website and having them complete forms or buy products online.
In this phase you would need to create the lead generation mechanism, either the website lead form or the product sales page. From there you would also need to create three separate follow up sequences.
The first follow up sequence would be the lead to sale sequence, which would email your customer over a course of a few days and drive them to buy from you. At the end of this sequence you would either have a buyer or a lost lead, and each would then move into a separate sequence.
The two sequences would be Buyer and Lost Lead and the Buyer sequence would email the buyer with retention emails and the Lost Lead sequence would try to convert the lead into buyer.
Here’s a visual representation:
Phase #2: Lead Management
This phase is where you deal with 2 different styles of people buyers and lost leads. They both have been through 2 sets of email sequences, the first being the lead sequence and the second being either the buyer or lost lead sequence.
After they finish these sequences they then need to go into two separate long term nurture sequences. These sequences should focus on monthly contact at least and include special occasion contact as well.
The nurture sequence for a customer will be slightly different as it offers the opportunity for upsell whereas the nurture sequence for lost leads will push them to buy your first product.
The following image represents this phase:
Unfortunately what happens is that most business owners stop at the first sequence, they don’t follow up lost leads and they don’t nurture current customers. By implementing a campaign, which does both for you, can significantly boost your customers and extract more sales from your current leads.
Once you’ve paid the cost of paying the lead you need to maximize that lead for a sale or a referral. This process outlined in this blog post is the beginning of a complete customer life cycle, which should help you to do that.
It’s Samuel here, I’m glad that you’ve made it to this page as the Mind Map example which I’ve created for you is really going to help you SUPERCHARGE your Online Marketing Campaigns…
…I’ve been doing Internet Marketing for sometime now and I’ve helped hundreds of businesses both here in Australia and internationally as well. The one thing that I see in all these businesses is they are not taking an Integrated approach to their marketing.
I’m hoping that by sharing with you the tips, strategies and ideas I put into the chapter you’ve just read as well as this Mind Map that you can start seeing better results online.
But if you’re struggling, if you’ve got questions, if you need some expert advice then you can always give me a call…
…My goal in writing the chapter was to truly help struggling business owners and I believe with online marketing campaigns every business can drive more sales.
Matt Cutts the head of anti-spam at Google announced in a video (shown below) that Google has just released a Link Disavow Tool. This tool has been sought after by the Webmaster community for some time in attempt to protect a site from links originating from poor quality sites.
Let me explain, up until now any site could link to your site without your permission and essentially affect your search engine rankings. If the site was a good quality relevant site then the affect would be positive but if the site was low quality and irrelevant then it would have a negative affect.
By releasing the Link Disavow Tool Google is helping business owners to mark sites, which are linking to them without permission, as links the site does not want. This is a positive step forward for Google and businesses that rely on Google as you now have a tool to combat unethical practices. Practices where competitors will link spam links to your site in order to lower your rankings.
You can get the full details from Matt Cutts himself in this video below:
Why Is This Announcement Important?
If you’re an SEO client of Think Big Online this announcement doesn’t really affect you as we only undertake ethical and Google Guideline compliant SEO. The main sites this update is affecting is the sites who were too aggressive with their SEO and built low quality links.
Sites which have been penalized for this and that have been working to remove these links can now use the Link Disavow Tool to help them achieve their goal. With that said it also has a purpose of protecting sites from malicious links from aggressive competitors.
If you’d like to discuss this more for your particular situation just leave a comment below and we’ll get in touch.
Sam’s Corner – Newsletter #2
Welcome to the October edition of the Think Big Online newsletter, we had lots of great feedback from our September edition so I’m excited to share with you this edition.
There have been a lot of changes over the last month in the online world, Facebook has introduced new advertising methods, Google’s done a minor update and Yahoo/Bing have rebranded their shared advertising platform.
Before we get into the changes and how they are going to affect your online business let me share with you some company news…
1. Amber Affair:
As you know we take great pride in our work and we often take on projects to help the local community. During September we built a brand new website for the Amber Affair which will be held on October 18th 2012. This is an event designed to raise funds for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation. We’ll be attending the event and we’d love to see you there as well, you can get the full details here: https://www.thinkbigonline.com/amber-affair-supporting-sydney-childrens-hospital/
2. E-Commerce Design:
Recently, we’ve launched a specialized E-Commerce design service aimed at specifically helping businesses increase sales from their E-Commerce Stores. A recent report revealed that 63% of all online stores fail, considering the significant growth in online sales this should not be the case.
Our new-dedicated e-commerce design service will help online stores to reverse this trend and drive new sales for their business. If you’re considering bringing your products online and setting up an e-commerce store then you can get the full details on how we can help here: https://www.thinkbigonline.com/ecommerce-website-design/
Obviously there’s been a lot going on here at Think Big Online as we stay abreast of the latest changes and innovate our services to ensure our customers are delivered cutting edge solutions.
In fact this month one of our team has been in the US attending trade shows and events to ensure that we are staying up to date with the most recent technology changes.
Also, to those of you who I saw at the recent trade shows in Sydney or at one of my speaking engagement I thank you for your support and hopefully you enjoyed what I had to share.
PART #2: Industry Trends
It seems as if almost every week we are reading about Facebook changes, over the last few months they have been very active and the month of September was no different.
During this time though Google also made a few dramatic changes, which will affect businesses, especially e-commerce stores.
Keeping up with these changes would be a full time job for business owners, so as a shortcut for you here are the major changes, which you should be aware of, and how they are affecting your business:
GOOGLE UPDATES ALGORITHM AND REMOVES GOOGLE PRODUCT SEARCH
Towards the end of September two major announcements were made by Google which will affect all website owners, but will have the most dramatic affect on e-commerce stores.
Matt Cutts made the first announcement on his twitter account where he told followers that Google was updating the search algorithm aiming to remove exact match domain name sites with low quality from the search results. This change was expected after the recent updates targeting low quality content sites and as such we’re not expecting any affects on our clients sites.
The thing to take away from this change though is that Google are extremely serious about ensuring sites are delivering quality user experiences. You must re-focus your content and marketing efforts into delivering quality experiences to users if you wish to stay on the top of the search engine results.
The second announcement was a follow up announcement from a press release in May, which stated that Google Product Search was being removed on October 1st 2012. Google Product Search would be replaced with Google Shopping and would only show PAID search results not free search results any more.
In the announcement Google stated they were only showing paid results in an attempt to improve the quality of the products shown. The philosophy was if a business is paying for the placement then they are more likely to keep their products updated.
This change would have affected websites receiving traffic from Google Product Search, in most cases e-commerce stores. If you’ve experienced a dip in traffic then it may be worth paying for a Google Shopping product listing.
FACEBOOK PAGES A HIT WITH SMALL TO MEDIUM BUSINESSES
In a recent survey of 300 small businesses it was found that 52% of them were using Facebook Pages as a major driver of new business. In fact in the survey out of the top 7 marketing methods used, 6 of them were using online methods.
This survey was a great boost for Facebook, which is still struggling to win over major brand advertisers. This is not the case for small businesses though, it was reported throughout September that small to medium size businesses are seeing the best return from Facebook Campaigns.
It wasn’t all good news for Small to Medium Sized businesses though as the recently announced regulation of business Facebook Pages by the Advertising Standards Board claimed it’s first victim in September.
A company promoting underwear were cautioned over their Facebook Campaign which invited fans to post pictures of their selves and their friends in their underwear on the page. This was seen as being a breach of the advertising code of ethical conduct and as such the Facebook Page owner was warned.
This was the first time this has occurred since the Advertising Standard Board announced that the owner of a Facebook Page was responsible for the content they posted and their fans posted.
EMAIL MARKETING LIVES ON!
It’s easy in all the Social Media hype to forget about the traditional online marketing streams like email marketing. The American Direct Marketing Association states that email marketing ROI for 2012 is $47 for every $1 spent.
A strong reminder of this was delivered this month with Twitter activating numerous email marketing initiatives. The one which most online commentators are discussing is the activation of the Twitter “People You May Know” email.
Once a week Twitter, using it’s newly acquired email technology system RestEngine will email you a list of people that you may know on twitter. The feature is very similar to the people you may know function on Linked In.
It’s clear that Twitter sees it’s future growth to be email based and this new feature combined with other twitter email marketing campaigns is just the first steps in their road map forward.
This month I’d like to share with you a client learning rather than a personal learning as I think it will help you in growing your business:
Invest In Quality People!
Too often small businesses owners allow their budgets to constrain their business growth. They make decisions on the people they hire into their business, the contractors they work with and the service providers they engage based on what they can afford.
While I’m not advocating that you spend more than you make, often you’ll be better served to hold off making an investment and save for a quality provider. The number of business owners who we talk to on a monthly basis who’ve spent thousands of dollars on sites, which don’t return, is staggering.
The one thing they all say to us is that they wished they’d made a better decision about the company they worked with initially. Most of the time they chose the company as they had a good price, rather than a good reputation and proven results.
The old adage of you get what you paid for is true, so if you want to ensure that your business is growing, then invest in having the right people around you.
PART #4: Client Case Study
This month we’ve worked on a range of different clients and projects, so it was difficult to choose just one to case study. With that said though I decided to share a case study showing how powerful video is when used effectively.
THE 21 SECOND VIDEO TEASER
For a few months now we’ve been working with a UK based Chiropractor to help drive new patients to his door. The Chiropractor is quite savvy with his marketing and runs positive ROI newspaper ads.
When he engaged us to work on his campaign he was very strong about ensuring that the campaign returned quickly. As such we suggested to him that we build a landing page and sales page to drive new patient enquiries.
Simply put we created a short, to the point page, which captured the email, phone number and name of the person on the page. In return for these details we gave them access to a video where Peter (the Chiropractor) revealed some tips and strategies people could use to overcome back pain.
The page was converting well and driving new patients to his Bedford based Chiropractic clinic. To improve conversions and lower his cost per lead we set up a few split tests on his site.
A split test is where we change a single element on the page and then show 2 versions of the page. Half of the visitors see version 1 while the other half of the visitors see version 2.
The results of the split tests showed that by placing a 21 second teaser video on the landing page we could double conversions and decrease the cost of lead acquisition. Here are the major learning points the client took away from this campaign:
Target Market Segments
Instead of focusing his online marketing efforts on a range of market segments we created specific landing pages for each of the ailments and were able to drive most cost effective traffic and achieve a higher conversion rate.
The cost of creating the extra landing pages was quickly recovered in increased conversion rates and lowered lead costs.
By placing a 21 second teaser video on the landing page, which was just the first 21 seconds of the actual video we were able to spike conversions by over 50%.
This simple change took less than 1 hour to complete and the payoff was significant highlighting the importance of running split tests to improve conversion and profits.
If you’d like to have our team work with you on increasing conversions, driving new business or optimizing your online marketing campaigns then contact us at: https://www.thinkbigonline.com/internet-marketing-consultant/
I know, this post hasn’t got much to do with Internet Marketing, but when you find a cool piece of technology or a great gadget you’ve got to share it. Today I was browsing over at Mashable and saw an article about a suitcase, which automatically follows you.
It’s pretty amazing actually, you can check it out here: http://mashable.com/2012/10/08/hop-suitcase/
Recently we’ve been working with a group of clients to optimize their Facebook Advertising and we found something surprising across all of their accounts. While they had good budgets, good ads and had targeted their demographics correctly there conversion was low.
Initially they thought it was something to do with their offer, but upon further investigation we discovered their budget was running out very quickly. For example, there daily budget reset each night at midnight and before 6am their local time each day the budget was spent.
The rapid spending of their budget meant their target market wasn’t actually seeing the ads at a time where they were likely to take action. Instead the budget was being wasted on late night clicks where resulted in very little action.
As a fix to this we suggested moving them from using just the Facebook advertising interface to a Facebook ad management software solution. The reason being that Facebook doesn’t offer a time based advertising solution like Google Adwords.
In Google Adwords you can select specific times that you wish your ads to run to ensure you’re ads are displaying at the optimal times for your business. Unfortunately Facebook does not have this feature, but many Facebook Ad Management solutions do.
The move to the managed solution meant they had more control over their budget and when their ads were shown. This resulted in an increase in their return on investment and ultimately a better advertising campaign.
Many business owners steer clear of using paid Ad management systems because they can be expensive, but often they don’t realize that they will pay for themselves. We strongly recommend that when undertaking any paid advertising that you seriously consider ad management solutions as they often offer features which can save time and money.
In this specific case the ad management solution made an unprofitable campaign profitable.