When To Hire A Marketing Expert For Your Website

Hire A Marketing Expert For Your Website

A successful business knows when it's time to ask for help. When your efforts to attract more site visitors and customers to your cheap hosting site fail, how do you know when to ask for a little help in the form of a marketing consultant?  Hire A Marketing Expert For Your Website

Here's a list of 10 scenarios you might find yourself in that beg the assistance of a marketing professional:

  • You Don't Stand Out.

It doesn't matter how great your SEO is, nor does it matter how many fans ‘like' your posts on Facebook. If you aren't setting your business apart from the rest, you aren't going anywhere. Simon Clough, global marketing director at Clear, says it best: “The battle cry ‘differentiate or die' has never been more relevant.”

 Hire A Marketing Expert For Your Website

There are three questions you can ask yourself in order to differentiate yourself from your competition: what is the purpose of my product or service, and how will it change people's lives?; is my marketing practice loveable; and am I offering a consistent overall experience across all platforms (website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?

  • You Don't Know That SEO And Content Marketing Go Together Like Peanut Butter And Jelly.

In today's world of complex SEO, how would you? As little as five years ago, SEO was completely different. All you needed to know were some keywords and best practices, and you were set. Now, it's all about good quality content marketing. Do you know if your content is optimized for customers? Do you know how to turn that list of keywords into content customers actually stop to read? If the answer is no, a consultant can help.

  • You Don't Know Your Customers

Are you certain your marketing is targeting people you actually want to buy your products or services? While it's clear to you who you want to target, is your content doing this? Do your marketing campaigns really aid you in targeting this audience?

  • You Don't Know What Your Prospective Customers Are Searching For.

No consultant believes keyword-rich content is worth a thing when it's strictly done for SEO purposes. You need to worry about content first and foremost, assuring it addresses these keywords that are hot in your industry right now.

  • You're Not Using Social Media To The Fullest Extent.

Forbes said it takes approximately 32 hours per week in order to maintain just one social media account properly. As such, brands are entrusting this maintenance to an outside source. This person is responsible for Facebook posts and tweets that will reach a vast number of users and draw them to your site. If you aren't showing your social media sites enough love, maybe you should consider hiring someone who will.

  • Sales And Marketing Don't Play Nice.

It is imperative your marketing and sales teams work together in order to grow your business. Sometimes (and more often, the majority of the time), this isn't the case. Solve that by getting a consultant to draft a sales/marketing service level agreement (SLA), if other efforts to get them to play nice with each other fail.

  • You're Not A Fan Of Marketing Metrics

If you want to succeed in marketing, you need to get used to dealing with numbers. If you can't decipher them, get a consultant to sort it all out for you.

  • You're Ignoring The Competition.

Are you capable of conducting a competitive analysis? It's alright if you don't. But consultants are often a big help in this area, giving you the upper hand against your competitors.

  • You Can't Come Up With Blog Content.

This is tough. It's hard to write blog post after blog post, keeping it all fresh and original. Don't make the mistake of ceasing blog activity or covering old topics again and again. Get help in the form of a professional writer!Your Idea Of “Offer” Is “Coupon”.

There are plenty of other things you can offer besides a coupon code. If you can't think of any, contact a consultant. They're bound to have some amazing ideas!

Does your company need a little help in the area of marketing? Would you consider enlisting the help of a consultant?

How To Make Affiliate Marketing Programs Work

Affiliate Marketing Program

Whether you are just starting your cheap hosting with domain company or have been in business for some time now, you've heard people talking about how valuable affiliate programs are. People say the Internet is a place for anyone to make money, where you can reach a worldwide audience and capitalize on it. On the other hand, the Internet is also full of scams and get-rich-quick schemes. Affiliate Marketing Program

Affiliate marketing programs often promise to make you hundreds of dollars, some claim even more revenue, but is this really possible? Is it really that easy to earn revenue by simply including a banner or box on your site for visitors to click over to their website?

Affiliate Marketing Program: What It's All About

It seems pretty simple: you simply include some sort of link on your cheap hosting with domain website, typically a banner or box in the sidebar with the affiliate's logo or special offer on it, and every time a user clicks on that link to purchase services (called a conversion) you make a certain amount of money.

As lucrative as it sounds, you should know that for as many people who've done well making money from some form of affiliate program, there are just as many who have failed to earn even a dime.

Affiliate Marketing Program: How To Assure Success

Although nothing is guaranteed, there are steps you can take to make the program work better for you and earn revenue for your hosting company:

  • Increase your traffic. Think about it: the more people are visiting, the better your odds some of them will click the affiliate links!
  • Do your homework. Don't just jump on the first affiliate program that comes your way.
  • Seek out those affiliate marketing programs that pay a high commission. Also assure their other customers are satisfied, and that you get paid in a timely fashion. If it takes forever to get the money, look elsewhere. This isn't helping your business.
  • Only go with those programs that are offering a product or service that is of value to your customers. Would you buy the product that company is selling? If not, your customers probably wouldn't either.
  • Sign on with an affiliate program that offers a product or service directly related to your site's content and also assure it is something your customers will actually be looking for in relation to your hosting services. You wouldn't click a link about cars on a pet-related website, would you?
  • Consider inserting links into the text of your site rather than using images. Sometimes, these work better.
  • If you rely on Google AdSense and want to add another affiliate, be aware that the revenue of your AdSense might decrease.
  • Consider relying on Google AdWords for your affiliate program. If your affiliate program lets you advertise on your own for this program, you can set up AdWords accordingly. Their pay-per-click model allows you to make some decent money if you do it right.

Affiliate Marketing Program: Bottomline

To make sure you actually gain revenue through an affiliate marketing program for your cheap hosting company, all you need to do is go through each option with a fine-tooth comb. See if you can contact anyone who's used the affiliate program in question, and find out if it worked well for them, and what they might have done differently.

In the end, the only way to ensure you are getting some form of value is to try it out for yourself. If it doesn't work, move on to the next on the list. What works for one may not work for another. Don't forget to try different ways of inserting links, either.

Just like starting up your hosting company, signing on with an affiliate marketing program is hard work that requires careful research and planning.

Have you had any positive or negative experiences with affiliate marketing programs? We'd love to hear about them!

Effective Marketing Strategies For The Growing Small Business

Effective Marketing Strategies

Effective marketing: the one thing that can set your business apart from all the rest. But how do you effectively market a company that is constantly growing and changing? Effective Marketing Strategies

This is the story of Danny Katz and Ivan Marin, two friends who started the company Complete Ticket Solutions, and their quest to find the perfect marketing campaign to grow their business. Tips they were provided could help you reach new customers in your cheap hosting business!

Effective Marketing Strategies : The Beginning

The pair worked together at the old Dolphin Stadium, working their way from ticket salesmen, to being responsible for hiring and training new part-timers for events. It was when promoters for these events started reaching out to hire them specifically to manage ticket operations off-site that the light bulb went off. In June 2000, Complete Ticket Solutions was born.

They started small, with three employees based in Katz's home. The plan: take care of the box office responsibilities for a variety of events like concerts, festivals, and sporting events. Three weeks after launching, they got a big contract: provide staff and set up the box office for a fan event at the Super Bowl in Tampa, the NFL Experience. Marin agreed to do it, although he wasn't exactly sure how to make it happen.

Effective Marketing Strategies : Growing Steadily

They were successful in making it happen, and went on to work with the Homestead Speedway and the University of Miami. At this point, they expanded their offerings: custom printing of tickets and wristbands, online ticket sales, and setting up call centers to sell event tickets.

“We don't say, ‘you have to do all of this or nothing,” said Marin in an interview with The Miami Herald. “We offer A to Z services, but you can pick and choose.”

Now based in Fort Lauderdale, Complete Ticket Solutions has 11 full-time staff and deals with the many facets of ticket operations for an average of 65 to 80 events each year. They sell tickets online for 60 more events, and they've worked for some pretty big events (the Olympics in Greece and five Super Bowls) as well as local events in FL (the Coconut Grove Art Festival and Sun Fest in West Palm Beach.)

Effective Marketing Strategies : The Problem

Because they grew so quickly, they weren't able to plan accordingly. “One of our problems is expressing to existing clients what other services we offer. We don't know how to properly market ourselves to our own clients,” said Katz. Up until now, the two have relied upon word-of-mouth to attract new clients. In fact, their first full-time sales person was only hired three years ago.

The two turned to The Miami Herald as part of their Small Business Makeover series, hoping they could offer some guidance. The newspaper connected them with Broward-based SCORE, a nonprofit that mentors owners of small businesses.

SCORE offers what's called a turnaround team, a group of experts to work with them. In this case they brought in Miguel Hernandez, the president of Genesis Financial Associates and excellent with strategic planning, funding, and growth; Phil Sanfilippo, a consultant with 30 years of experience under his belt, dealing with many aspects of running a business like developing training programs and marketing; and Nancy Leve, owner of Virtual Fundamentals bringing her 30 years of marketing and advertising experience, specializing in SEO, Web, and digital marketing.

What did they notice about Complete Ticket Solutions? It doesn't have a good feel for its target market. Without some form of organization of its clients and contacts, it becomes difficult for the company to contact the right clients about new products and services. Said Sanfilippo, “People who own a business wear a lot of hats. They get caught up in the day to day and don't have time to step back and look at the big picture and do strategic planning.”

SCORE's Solution

  • Figure out your target market. SCORE suggested they figure out exactly how big they wanted to grow. “Where do you want to play — just Florida? Internationally?” said Sanfilippo. As such, they plan on thinking a bit more strategically when offered an event to run. Katz pointed out that the out-of-town events are often worth their time and effort, but some of the events like the NFL Experience don't make them much in terms of revenue. “We've found we can't just say yes to everyone,” said Marin.
  • Take a look at your marketing budget. SCORE said they should attend more trade shows, as well as adding marketing and public relations. Katz agrees with this, and says the company will most definitely attend more trade show events such as golf tournaments and air shows. “We have sales guys for a reason,” said Marin. “We have to be out there.”
  • Survey says…When in doubt of what customers want, ask them! The SCORE team recommended giving customers a survey, either pre- or post-event or both, to assess customer needs. This will help them pinpoint cross-selling opportunities, giving them a chance to promote other services they offer.
  • Create a database. If a database was created containing all of their current and prospective clients, employees would be able to access the information instantly and better sell services that fit the needs of that specific client. If clients are categorized properly, you'll know the type of information they will find valuable in terms of services offered. Katz plans on relying on their software system, AudienceView, and its content management system to track important client data.
  • Email marketing blasts. SCORE recommended they reach out to customers via email at least once per month. Another handy tip from Leve: “If you have a large database, then break it into three.” She recommends sending out three different versions of the email in order to see which version receives the most reads. Whether you choose to send it out at three different times, three different designs, or even three different subject lines, take note of the results so that you can coordinate the most effective email marketing blast possible.
  • Re-evaluate your image. SCORE pointed out that they needed to start from scratch in terms of their marketing materials. They offer various services beyond ticketing, but their marketing materials don't convey this whatsoever. “Think ‘How do we communicate with the outside world about what we do?'” said Sanfilippo. “Your brochure just talks about ticketing. If you want to do more than that, you have to communicate that better.”

Are these tips useful for your cheap hosting company? Do you think your customers truly know all that you offer them?

Should Web Hosting Companies Offer Marketing?

Should Web Hosting Companies Offer Marketing

Plenty of hosting companies offer cheap hosting and domain package options, but one of the newest trends is combining marketing in a cheap hosting and domain package. Is marketing something that you should be offering your clients? Let's take a look.  1287370_seo_1 Should Web Hosting Companies Offer Marketing

Benefits of Adding Marketing to Packages

People that are setting up websites for the first time know that they have to create a URL and purchase a web hosting package. What they don't know is how to market a website. Marketing, as you probably know, is the key to making sure that a site stands out. But, is marketing the domain of the web hosting provider?

It depends on what kind of marketing you are talking about. If you have the capacity to hire Internet marketers, you might offer this type of hosting package at a premium. If not, you could offer something called an “optimized website” feature.

Should Web Hosting Companies Offer Marketing: Optimizing Websites

Essentially, an optimized website feature will compress files before those files are viewed, so that a website becomes, well, optimized. Your clients will like this feature, since it will save them a ton of headaches. But, what about actual marketing of the SEO (or other) type? Is this part (or should it be part) of a hosting package?

Marketing and Hosting Packages

I'll caution you against offering marketing if you can't deliver on that promise. If you can guarantee a high page ranking or SEO tactics that work, marketing to go along with a hosting package might be just the thing that your clients are looking for. You can add site names to registries, help clients with SEO by offering various SEO tools, and recommend site strategies.

By adding these services to any cheap hosting package, you can also up the value of that package. Combine marketing, a domain name, and hosting in one package, and you have a premium package that many people will likely choose – simply because it's an easier option. Just make sure that the marketing promise you're selling adds up to the hype. There's no faster way to ruin a reputation than to offer something that you can't deliver on!

What do you think? Should marketing (SEO, etc) be part of a cheap hosting package? Or, is marketing something entirely separate that hosting companies shouldn't offer? Sound off below.