Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)

Table of Contents
What is Content Marketing?
What is Email Marketing?
What is Social Media Marketing?
What is Website Marketing?

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the approach for delivering marketing materials that are informative and educational to reach and engage specific groups of customers and prospective buyers. The content is delivered in a choice of media formats including websites, white papers, newsletters, articles, eBooks, reports, video and other materials. These materials are designed to communicate in a non-selling approach by providing information that educates prospective buyers about a product/service/solution that does or should interest them.

How can I use Content Marketing to market my business

Today’s buyers are more informed than ever before.  They use various internet sources to gather information and guidance for making purchasing decisions. Research shows that most buyer-seller interactions are initiated by buyers based on information readily available to them. You need good and relevant content that is readily available and accessible through various content marketing channels, for prospective buyers to find you and consider your product/service/solution.
View more information about Content Marketing.
Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™

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What is Email Marketing?

Email Marketing is the electronic version of direct marketing for sending advertising materials to customer and prospects via email rather than the traditional physical postal mail. In broad terms, anything you send via email to customers or prospects to influence them to buy something from you can be considered Email Marketing. Typical common uses of Email Marketing are:

  • Sending promotional materials to customers or prospects.
  • Sending newsletters or other informational updates to promote loyalty with customers and prospects.
  • Inviting customers or prospects to an event such as a seminar, webinar, conference, etc.
  • Placing advertisements or marketing messages in Emails sent by someone else.

However, unlike sending something in the physical postal mail to address lists you can buy, Email Marketing is permission-based. You must have permission from the person who owns the email address to send them any marketing emails. If you don’t, your email can be considered spam and you could have your website shut down, reputation ruined and be in violation of the law in some countries. Be sure to familiarize yourself with regulatory requirements in the countries you plan to do email marketing, such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the USA.

How can I use Email Marketing to market my business?
Email marketing is a very effective way to reach your customers and prospects. Many businesses in every industry and market have proven that it works. And it works really well if done correctly. Email marketing is very flexible allowing you to send different types of materials with tailored messages to targeted groups of people. And it’s cheap – you can reach someone for a fraction of a penny. You need to craft professional materials with good content and messages to be effective. Think about how you could accelerate your business if you were able to reach all your customers and prospects with specific offers based on who they are, every week or every month. That’s powerful and that’s what Email Marketing can do, if you do it right.
View more information about Email Marketing.
Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™

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What is Social Media Marketing?

Firstly, we should understand what ‘social media’ means. Media are communication instruments. Traditional media such as newspaper, radio and TV formats are one-way communication formats from the publisher to the reader, listener or viewer. Social relates to society and how it is organized with people interacting and forming communities. Social media are social formats of two-way media communication where the publishers, readers, listeners and viewers are all able to contribute to the conversation and form communities of specific mutual interests.

Social Media was enabled by so-called ‘Web 2.0’ technologies that surfaced circa 2002-5 to facilitate multi-participant communication, information sharing, interoperability, collaboration, communities, and user or consumer generated content (media) on the World Wide Web. Social media encompasses capabilities such as blogs, online chat, social networks, online communities, wikis, social bookmarks, forums, video sharing, photo sharing, virtual worlds, podcasts, social news, etc.

So it follows that ‘Social Media Marketing’ is the use of social media capabilities for marketing purposes. Not quite – traditional forms of marketing do not directly translate or work in the social media world. In traditional marketing you’re producing materials and campaigns aimed at your customers and prospects. In social media marketing you’re engaged in communication with your customers and prospects. You are using social media capabilities in the same ways your customers and prospects do, and you observe the rules set by the community you are communicating with. Those are major differences. Social media marketing can be very powerful and successful if approached and used correctly. Conversely, you can cause yourself a lot of pain if it is approached incorrectly or ignored.

How can I use Social Media Marketing to market my business?
Think about social media marketing as social influence communication via social media tools, online communities, social influencers, public relations, customer service, etc. The top 5 social media marketing tools are Blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Here are some of the many ways to use social media marketing for your business:

  • Exposure for your business/products/services/solutions – the number one benefit of social media marketing is getting more exposure to more people in more ways.
  • Improve your business/products/services/solutions visibility on the Internet – the second major benefit is increased traffic for your website and other web properties.
  • Generate more sales leads – the third major benefit is search engine ranking improvement which enables more people to find your business when they search for products/services/solutions like yours.
  • Increase customer loyalty by monitoring and participating in conversations about your business/products/services/solutions.
  • Gain insight from communities of interest for your business/products/services/solutions by participating in discussions and getting first-hand information about what buyers want.
  • Build your brand and authority by using your expertise to educate and assist people in your communities of interest.

Although social media marketing direct costs are very affordable, the time demands are significant and require continuous attention.

If you have any doubts, consider these statistics from several surveys – 73% of active online users read blogs, 57% have joined a social network, 83% watch video clips, 39% subscribe to a RSS feed, and according to Time magazine, social networking sites are more popular than pornography sites. If you’re not doing social media marketing, you’re not using the full potential of the Internet.
View more information about Social Media Marketing.
Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™

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What is Website Marketing?

Websites used to be the electronic equivalent of a company brochure – a digital business identity on the Internet. The information content on websites used to be about the company, who they are and what they did. It was mostly about just having website. The information was relatively static with a couple of updates a year. Fast forward to today, a website is arguably the single most important marketing asset for a company. Websites have evolved into sophisticated marketing machines that can generate or influence a significant proportion of a company’s revenue. Where does your company’s website fall in this range of possibilities? Unfortunately, there are still many company websites out there that are little more than an electronic brochure.

Think about how we buy stuff today – take a car for example – we don’t first go to the various dealer showrooms or manufacturer’s websites. We first find information, guidance and recommendations from informational and/or authoritative sources on the Internet. Next we’ll do more research to correlate these findings with our specific needs, circumstances and preferences. Then we’ll select the car we want and some possible alternatives. Now we’ll find a dealer or seller who has what we want at a price we’re willing to pay and contact them. We do everything on the Internet until we’re ready to physically take a test drive and buy the car.

The above example is the common scenario today for the vast majority of buyers in every industry and marketplace, and increasingly people are making the purchase online on the website. Consider the role your website needs to play in this process for your buyers:

  • Does it provide educational and informational content that buyers are looking for?
  • Does it have authoritative materials and/or other capabilities such as social media to influence decisions?
  • Does it have customer feedback and testimonials to support your credibility?
  • Can buyers actually purchase directly from your website?
  • And most importantly, once a buyer makes a decision, will they find your website to select your company as the source for their purchase?

The last point is the primary objective of website marketing. Regardless of whether your business is bricks-and-mortar or online or both, the vast majority of buyers find vendors/suppliers/stores for their purchases on the Internet. Website marketing is about ensuring that potential buyers find your website and consider buying from you.

How can I use Website Marketing to market my business?
The investment in your website, regardless of how terrific it looks, is a complete waste unless people find it, spend some time and buy something from you whether online or in your physical store. Your website can and should be a powerful marketing vehicle to engage with customers and buyers. The importance of websites in buying decisions continues to grow:

  • The Internet is an increasingly popular and important source for information, research and insights for making purchases.
  • Use of traditional information sources such as trade shows, events, salespeople, brochures, etc. continues to decline.
  • Buyers in every industry and market are searching for information and making buying decisions online.
  • If you don’t provide the information and resources buyers are looking for, someone else will.
  • Buyers will find someone to buy from – will they find you?

So, how does your website rate as a marketing machine? Do a simple test, put yourself in a typical buyer’s situation for your products/services/solutions and see whether your website shows up on the radar. Better yet, watch someone who is a potential buyer but doesn’t know your business, do it. This little exercise could be enlightening and put you on the path to getting more customers and sales for your business with website marketing.
View more information about Website Marketing.
Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™

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