Maximizing Your Marketing Communication

July 9, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

No matter where you look, the television, the newspaper, the internet; there is always a story talking about how the global economy is slowly recovering. The operative word here is slowly. While there may be some truth to these statements, for many businesses it’s not happening fast enough. That means the hefty marketing budgets of the past continue to remain elusive. As such marketers must remain at the top of their game to search out ways to make the most of the budgets they have.

When I first set out to market my first business I needed to find ways to really stretch my marketing budget. Heck, I didn’t even have a budget back then. If I decided to go forward with some type of marketing activity, it meant I really had to get the most from the dollars I was spending.

Today, I am in a different situation financially and I understand the importance of having a marketing budget and strategy. But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped looking for ways to maximize my marketing dollars.

There are many practices and technologies that you may be using now, or have used in the past. The question is, are you fully utilizing these services? Let’s take a look at how you can really make the most use of the opportunity without incurring additional costs.

Tap the Benefits of LinkedIn

There probably isn’t anyone who doesn’t know about Facebook unless they’ve been hiding under a rock for the past seven years. You may or may not have a Fan page for your business. That’s a separate discussion. What I see as a potentially untapped resource for many people is the value of LinkedIn, or as some would call it, the Businessman’s Facebook. Here are a few facts that may be of interest to you.

• LinkedIn has over 47 million members in 200 countries and territories around the world
• A new member joins LinkedIn almost ever second
• About half of the members living outside of the U.S
• Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are Linked In members.

So what does this have to do with maximizing your marketing budget you ask? Well given the number of businesses using this social media platform, it’s a great place for you and your business to be seen.

Go the Distance on your LinkedIn Profile page.

One of the first things to consider is completing your profile. This is where most professionals go to read about you and your background. List your work history, experience and education in detail. Include the associations you belong to and any awards you may have. Upload a professional looking picture, not the image of you at the latest cocktail party.

Ask for LinkedIn recommendations. Contact clients or past employers that would be willing to endorse you. One big no-no….asking people you don’t know to recommend you.

Create a well thought out Profile Summary. This is where you list your strengths, the benefits and solutions that you provide for others. Lastly under your profile, create your own personalized LinkedIn email address that gives your name.

Once you’ve finalized your profile, make sure you make your page visible to the world by making your profile public. When people are searching for products or services on the internet, your profile just might pop up depending on how you’ve listed yourself.

Using Applications

Within your profile there is a section that allows you to include LinkedIn Applications.

If you currently have a WordPress blog, this can be dropped into your LinkedIn Profile page and you can sync your blog posts with your profile, keeping other people up to date with what you are saying.

Repurpose the PowerPoint’s that you use to demonstrate to new prospects. Upload your existing presentations on both SlideShare or Google Presentations and embed the presentations into your profile.

Run your own poll to collect data from other LinkedIn members.

Maximize your Skype account

Skype is a great way to reach out to your international clients or call back to the office without the expense of IDD phone calls. Most people are aware of and utilize the Skype-to-Skype feature, which is similar to MSN messenger.

Skype using your mobile phone

iPhone, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Android phone users can take advantage of Skype on their mobile phones to make calls. As long as you’re calling to another Skype user, the call is free, otherwise Skype out charges apply. Still paying 2 cents a minute is significantly better than 19 cents a minute, or over a dollar if you are roaming abroad..

Skype Conference calls & Video conferencing

Forget expensive video conferencing services when you can make Skype calls to more than one person for free as long as everyone’s got Skype. When one person upgrades to Skype Premium or you acquire a group video subscription from Skype Manager, you can participate in face-to-face conference calls of up to a maximum of 10. For the best quality calls, Skype recommends up to five people.

This is a perfect solution to have in your pocket when Mother Nature strikes unexpectedly or medical epidemics make it impossible for people to travel and business still needs to get done.

Screen Sharing

Increase the value of your client or prospect call when you can make a presentation using screen sharing. This feature allows you to demonstrate to your client without having to send them your presentation to them in advance. You simply share your screen with them and they can see what you are doing.

Send files

Most companies are familiar with using YouSendIt to send large size files. Not everyone has a YouSendIt account (although it is free to sign up). Make your free Skype account go further and use it to send large files, images or presentations.

Use Google as your free SEO & Marketing Partner

When setting up a website, many companies believe that their web designer has optimized the back end of their website when chances are they have no clue about search engine optimization (SEO) for your particular business. By registering for a free Google Analytics account, Google can assist you in your SEO efforts and become your marketing partner as well.

So how does Google Analytics help you and what should you be looking at? If you have a website, you need to understand the traffic that is coming to your site, how many unique visitors you have and how they found you. Google Analytics gives you a breakdown on the following:

– Visits and Pageviews – How many people visited your web site and how many pages they checked out
– Visits by New and Returning – Brand new visitors and old ones back for another look
– Visits by Source – How they got to you
– Geo Map Overlay – Where in the world are they from

When you use the Marketing Summary you’ll learn the top five sites linking to you and shows the top five keywords which visitors used to find you. This is vital information as it allows you to see what you are doing that is driving traffic from particular sites. For the keywords, occasionally I find people searching for my business using keywords that I had not thought to include in my website keyword meta tags. I then take the information and add the new keywords to the site.

The Content Summary is advantageous as it shows you where your visitors commence and conclude their visit. You’ll begin to identify where the most popular pages are, where it would be most worthwhile to add a new product image or include a promotional link.

In using Google Analytics as your free SEO partner, you will start to discover and subsequently identify strong and weak points, which are your successful keywords, and visually see the impact of your campaigns which leads to you becoming better informed about the effectiveness your own web site.

There are a multitude of free online products and services available in the market which offers useful solutions. Many of the value-adds remain free or require a small subscription. When taking advantage of new technologies, make the time to check out their websites in full, and also check relevant blogs for advice and recommendations. Make the most of several small freebies could eventually have a bigger impact on the amount of business you bring in. Remember that the economy may be slowly recovering, but it is unlikely marketing budgets will recover along with it.

Pamela Wigglesworth is a Singapore-based corporate trainer, keynote speaker and founder of Experiential Hands-on Learning. She conducts public or in-house trainings that help entrepreneurs and companies to accelerate their business objectives in branding and marketing communication. For information call +65 6241 9834, email courses@experiential.sg or visit http://www.experiential.sg

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=P_Lorraine_Wigglesworth

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