Online Marketing Blog

Our DeCarlo Studios online marketing blog – learn about SEO, Website Design, Graphic Design, and Inbound Marketing here!

Simple Steps to Create a Buyer's Persona for Your Business

Simple Steps to Create a Buyer's Persona for Your Business

What is a Buyer's Persona?

Buyers personas are a crucial part of marketing. What is a buyers persona? It is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. Think of it as writing a short story all about your perfect, dream customer. It's a mix of real data and a little creative speculation in a fun, informative story format.

What are the Benefits of Having a Buyer's Persona?

Once you know everything about your dream customer and have created a buyer's persona, you will have a roadmap for targeting all of your marketing. You will be working smarter, creating better marketing, and connecting more directly with your customers. This will naturally create a higher success rate in your campaigns. You will become their trusted go-to source for information and assistance because you know their values and needs, and you have the answers to their problems. Many companies have multiple buyer personas to target different clients.

How Do I Research for a Buyers Persona?

In order to create the perfect buyer's persona you need to do a little research. Ask yourself a lot of questions about your target customer and answer them. Interview some of your current customers. Talk to your sales department about what types of customers bring in the best sales and find out what their common issues are.

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Writing Marketing Content Isn't as Scary as a Stephen King Novel

Writing Marketing Content Isn't as Scary as a Stephen King Novel

No one is a master of suspense more than Stephen King. Stephen King expertly weaves his tales of horror and keeps his readers glued to every word, gripped in fear. Many clients admit that they are terrified at the prospect of writing content for blogs, e-newsletters and social media. But writing marketing content doesn't have to be as scary as reading a Stephen King novel. We know that these forms of marketing improve your website's SEO (Search Engine Optimization), builds relationships with your clients and establishes you as an expert in your field. So what's a non-writer to do when faced with the daunting task of writing for marketing materials?

Read and Write Often

Stephen King is a huge believer in reading a lot, writing a lot and not being afraid to fail. Good writing takes practice and a leap of faith. The more you read and write, the better you will become. Research others who are doing what you want to do and see what they are doing to be successful. If you want to build a Facebook presence, check out other companies who are doing it well. You will be surprised at how many new ideas this will spark for your own Facebook page. Sometimes the hardest part is simply getting started and a fear of failure. Fear and procrastination are two things that impede the creative process. Make it a priority to set small goals every day with your writing, and it will become easier every day.

Put Yourself in Your Customer's Shoes

Are you looking for ideas and topics to cover in your marketing materials? Speak directly to your customers and answer the questions that they often ask you. What are the topics that are most important to them? Strive to address and answer these concerns in your blog, e-newsletters and social content. "How-To" articles are a great way to answer questions. It is not enough these days to simply say how great you are on your website or marketing materials. Customers want to see testimonials from other customers, they want to see details about your business and they want to be reassured that you are the best person to help them. There are plenty of other businesses in competition with yours. Make sure your content is detailed and you will come out the clear winner and prompt a call to action.

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Successful Internet Marketing Tips

Successful Internet Marketing Tips

Inbound internet marketing is much different and opposite to traditional outbound marketing. Today it’s about getting the consumer’s attention online. I’ll start with a description of traditional outbound marketing.

Traditional Disruptive Marketing

Outbound “disruptive marketing” used to be easier. Spend a lot of money on advertising, TV ads, promos, direct mail, newspaper and print ads, cold calls, radio spots, special offers and tradeshows, and watch the leads pour in.
Today it seems like everyone is bombarded with a million marketing messages per day and consumers know how to block out disruptive marketing tactics. The whole outbound marketing thing isn’t doing the job as effectively anymore because of modern defense tactics.

  • 4% of junk mail is discarded without being opened.
  • 72% of Americans are on the national do not call list.
  • More TV viewers are switching to online entertainment.
  • Paid circulation has fallen by 50% since the mid 60's.
  • We use DVRs to record shows and skip commercials.
  • We use spam blockers to purge email.
  • We screen our phone calls.

It's About the Internet

Today the internet is transforming how people shop and buy. It’s the great equalizer and has taken the power away from traditional marketing and sales and put it in the hands of consumers. Consumers find reviews and statistics, they research products and do comparative shopping online – at any time and any place they choose.

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How to Get Leads Online

How to Get Leads Online

When it comes to generating new leads on line, most business websites miss out on great opportunities to gain leads and customers. Let's discuss the essential things business websites need to put in place to get leads and customers. We begin by placing ourselves in the visitor’s shoes.

How Do Visitors Find Your Site?

A visitor is on your site, but how did they get there? Did they meet you and get a business card? Did they Google your business name because they met you at a networking event? Did they see a piece of marketing material or a commercial advertisement? Did they find you through a review site like Angie's List, Yelp, Facebook, social media, or did you come up in a search? There are many ways for visitors to find your site, but most new visitors who don't know your business should find you through an online search. I say "should" because your site should be optimized for search engines and should be registered with search engines. You need to have a way to keep track of how visitors find you online, like Google Analytics.

In 2012 Google had 1 trillion 817 billion searches. That is more than 5 billion searches a day. That's why search engine optimization is so important. A successful business website should do everything it can to make sure it's optimized for search engines. But great SEO can only deliver a visitor to your site. Then you have to know the answer to the following question.

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How to Set Up a Lead Generation Campaign

How to Set Up a Lead Generation Campaign

Lets face it, all businesses need a website. A website is the perfect place to generate a continuous stream of leads for a business. Unfortunately, most businesses don’t see their website as a lead generation tool. Let’s explore ways to improve and automate your website lead generation.

Three Percent of Visitors are Ready to Contact

Three percent of website traffic is ready and interested in contacting businesses about helping them with questions or purchasing. So three out of 100 visitors are ready to talk to someone. Simple math says to double three contacts to six contacts, the site would need 200 visitors, etc. So, to increase the contacts we need to increase website traffic.

A few ways to increase site traffic are:

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Why You Need a Business Blog and the Fundamentals to Get Started

Why You Need a Business Blog and the Fundamentals to Get Started

Take the Fear and Procrastination Away – Start Your Business Blog Today!

Starting a business blog can seem daunting. Here's an article to help take the fear and procrastination away and to help you get started! Because a business blog is a valuable marketing channel. It establishes you as an expert in your field and brings traffic and leads to your website. Businesses that blog get 67% more leads per month than those that don't, and blogs affect a buyer's purchasing decisions. A business blog will help you earn your website visitor's trust by showcasing your expertise and helping them solve their problems. Let's walk through the fundamentals of a business blog and show a few ideas to help you get started.

Why Does Your Business Need a Blog?

What Factors are Important in a Blog Post?

Simply blogging will not automatically transform your site into a marketing machine. You need to meet certain criteria to benefit from your efforts:
  

  • Frequency: The more blogs that you post, the more indexed pages you create for search engines. And businesses that blog 16-20 times per month get twice the leads and traffic than those who post 4 times a month.
  • Keywords: What keywords do you want to rank well for on your website? Take those keywords and write blogs about them. Make sure that your blog titles are optimized as well.
  • Calls to Action: Blogs should lead to Calls to Actions, to capture your leads and help your customers take the next step in the buying process. They can be banners or ads in the sidebar, or hyperlinks to offers.
    How to Generate Blog Content
    This is actually one of the questions that we are often asked – you are not alone if you are intimidated by the thought of having to generate blog content on a regular basis.

  • Repackage:  Take some of your internal content or communications and repurpose it for your blog. It's a perfect starting point to showcase your company. Consult with your customer service department and find out what types of questions they are asked on a daily basis. Blogs can answer these questions.
  • Brainstorm:  Start a brainstorming session. Write down every idea that comes to mind (even if it is outlandish). Let others build off of the ideas and add to the list. The idea is to keep creativity flowing, and then go back to your list and narrow it down for more concrete ideas.
  • Guest Bloggers:  Invite other experts to do a guest blog on your website. Look through your existing network. Check out college students who are looking to get experience. Invite trusted professionals in related fields to share their knowledge. Guest bloggers gain exposure for their writing and it helps them rank well in search engines.

Keep Your Blog Posts Organized

Use a calendar to keep track of your blog posts. Schedule them out a month or so in advance so that you are always prepared and can create a good balance of blog stories. If there is breaking news that you want to write about in a time-sensitive manner, move your articles around to accommodate this or leave room for such additions weekly. It's always important to be flexible in your schedule.

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Turn Facebook Fans into Paying Customers

Turn Facebook Fans into Paying Customers

Businesses who want to leverage social marketing need a Facebook page in addition to a great business website. Let's learn how to turn Facebook fans into paying customers.

Plan Your Facebook Strategy

It pays to have a marketing plan for Facebook instead of posting and reposting random pieces of information. Facebook is about more than just having a large fan base – you need to see the benefits of having those fans become actual customers. A great place to start is with your current Facebook analytics. Look at your current traffic and visitors to create click through goals, prospect to lead goals, and lead to customer goals.

Make sure that your page is connecting with your target audience. A great way to help you determine your target is by creating a buyer's persona. Here’s a free buyer's persona template tool. Once you know your target audience, you need to create a unified Facebook campaign that works with the rest of your marketing.

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Is Your Website a Marketing Funnel?

Is Your Website a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is a must-have if you want to generate new business from your website. Here is a look at a successful marketing funnel model.

Top of the Funnel

The top of the funnel is the part that draws online traffic to your site. Here are great top of the funnel tools and offers that draw visitors to your website:

Blogs

This is a great way to get found on search engines and to become a thought leader in your industry. A blog is great for boosting your search rank. The blog should be helpful and interesting to people searching for solutions you provide. The blog should be optimized around the keywords you want to rank for, but remember that you are writing for people first, then search engines. Free Ebook Learning SEO from the Experts.

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6 Steps to a SMART Online Marketing Plan

6 Steps to a SMART Online Marketing Plan

Here’s a quick 6-step plan to get you started with your smart online marketing plan.

1. Define Your Objective

What is the goal or end result you expect your online marketing plan to achieve? Write the goal down but take your time and think about it. Define your objective on paper and make it simple and clear.

2. Define Your Target

Who are you marketing to? Be very specific about identifying who they are. Is it more than one type or kind of target? How does your product or service benefit them? Where do you find your targets “hanging out” so you can get your message out to them? The clearer you are about describing your target, their habits and hangouts, the better your message will be received by your target. Here's a great power point template to help you define your marketing target. It's called a Buyers Persona Template and it’s designed to help you clearly define your target audience. 

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Conducting Your Online Marketing Symphony

Conducting Your Online Marketing Symphony

Marketing, when done right, is like a well-conducted symphony orchestra. It's sweet music to the ears of prospective customers because it engages them and touches their emotions. 


The keys to a successful orchestra are: 1. musicians knowing how to play their instruments well; 2. playing together in the correct key; 3. reading the music; 4. playing well with the rest of the orchestra and – most importantly; 5. following the conductor. How does this relate to online marketing?

Marketing Instruments

Today, marketing employs many different instruments like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, SEO, pay-per-click, websites, e-mail marketing and more. These modern marketing instruments should work together in harmony to draw the consumer in. When conducted correctly, great marketing causes people to take action, rise to their feet, call for an encore and return wanting more!

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What is Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and Online Marketing?

What is Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and Online Marketing?

As the web continues to become the main way we search for information, more and more businesses are focusing their efforts and dollars at online marketing and with good reason. Let's explore how smart businesses market the inbound way.

What’s Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is about earning the attention of prospects online, making yourself easy to be found online and drawing people to your website by producing useful content they value. The goal of Inbound Marketing is to position a business as a thought leader and expert in their industry while building trust to make them the obvious choice with whom to do business. This is in contrast to conventional outbound disruptive marketing such as buying attention, cold calling, direct mail, radio, TV ads, sales flyers and spam. Unlike outbound methods, Inbound Marketing’s goal is to earn their way into prospects minds instead of begging or buying their way in through advertising.

The Inbound Marketing model is illustrated in five separate stages:

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