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The decline of Internet advertising

By Eric Goldman internet advertising

In its quarterly earnings call in October 2013, Google beat analysts’ predictions yet again. But the downward trend in its return on the cost per click (CPC) of its Adwords program continued. The trend began several years ago and appears to be steepening its descent.

Google’s total advertising revenues continue to increase (new clients giving it more inventory), but profit from what used to be its core business – online advertising – continues downward.

The decline in online advertising’s revenue potential is not limited to Google. As Technology Review’s Michael Wolff said: ”The nature of people’s behavior on the Web and of how they interact with advertising, as well as the character of those ads themselves and their inability to command attention, has meant a marked decline in advertising’s impact.”

If I ran Facebook, I’d be pondering this one big time – Google at least has diversified away from one source of revenue. Online ads are becoming less effective, producing lower returns, forcing their media price down further to attract and keep advertisers enough to use them. Bad news for the media that run the ads but it does explain why I keep getting $100 Google Adwords gift vouchers in the mail.

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How to measure Facebook contest ROI

By Nick Steeves

You know how to measure the ROI of a PPC ad campaign: You can see the real revenue outcome from each ad and each click.

You’re not going to see direct sales from a Facebook contest, but it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to use social media to generate leads for your business. And by targeting your contest effectively, you’ll be able to make sure that every lead is actually interested in your business. I’ll explain how shortly.

In this article I’ll show you the different returns on investment to expect from running a Facebook contest and how to achieve them.

1.  Sales leads

The most powerful return on investment that a Facebook contest provides for a business is new leads. Every person who enters your Facebook contest gives you their email and contact details, making them a new lead to sell to. To maximize new emails and leads, you need to maximize entries. You can do this by making the barrier to entry as low as possible. Do this by asking only for name and email in order to enter. Minimizing your entry form to just one field will make it as fast and easy as possible to enter, maximizing your entry rate.

How do you make sure every lead is actually interested in your business?

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Purposeful customer service

Hope-CartoonBy Shep Hyken

I recently posed the following question to a group of business owners at the International Franchise Association convention: “How do you ensure a great customer service experience for your customers?”

There were some commonalities among the answers. Even with the diverse collection of businesses, from quick-serve restaurants to online businesses, most of them agreed that good customer service starts with people. Everyone recognized that a good hiring strategy is the heart of good customer service.

I asked one of the owners about his hiring strategy. His strategy was purposeful. Even for entry-level positions, applicants are screened and must go through three rounds of interviews. He prides himself on finding a good personality to fit in with his culture.

Then I asked my next question: “What do you do after they are hired?”

His response was what I expected to hear. He put the new hires through training. I asked him to elaborate on what they learned in the training sessions. All new employees must go through an orientation on how the technology works, logistics and the organization’s business process. He also assigns a mentor to help the new employee through the first week.

I asked the others in our meeting what was missing. Most believed that customer service training was missing.

His response was quick. He defended his omission of any customer service training because he chooses his employees for the right personality.

He said, “I made sure that I hired good people. I hope they know what to do.”

When it comes to customer service, hope is not a strategy. Customer service must be purposeful. You can hire the nicest people in the world, but you still must give them direction, teach the best practices, and continue to reinforce your customer service strategy so that employees are continuously reminded and motivated on what and how to deliver your brand of customer service. You must take what they already know and teach, very specifically, how to make it work for your business. And it starts with some initial training.

For example, Disney puts every employee (also known as cast members) through a training program know as Traditions.  It doesn’t matter if the cast member is taking tickets, selling souvenirs, helping people on rides, sweeping up trash or being brought into the corporate offices. All new hires learn what the traditions behind Disney are all about and how to “Manage the Magic,” which is a very purposeful way of creating a connection with the guest.

Don’t leave customer service to chance. Regardless of how good the employees’ people skills are, you can’t simply hope they will understand how to apply what they know to your business. Train them and train often. Reinforce the positive and learn from any problems. Consistently amazing customer service doesn’t happen by accident. It happens on purpose!

Shep Hyken is a speaker and bestselling author who works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic, The Loyal Customer and the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestsellers, The Cult of the Customer and The Amazement Revolution, which was also recognized as a New York Times bestseller.

Image: Chamber of Commerce

How small businesses can prosper from B2B marketing

b2b

By Heather Campbell

Small businesses account for a huge chunk of business revenue produced in our country. In fact, there are nearly seven million small businesses in America. This includes everything from mom and pop shops in your local town to freelance work done in your neighbor’s basement. All of these businesses are important.

Completing a business to business transaction for a large corporation may be no big deal. These big businesses market their strengths easily. In many cases, they have a budget set aside for these things. They are experts at it. What about a small business though? Does it have the same success? Can it have the same success? Does it complete small business to big business marketing or small business to small business marketing?

The concept of business to business (B2B) marketing is very simple. B2B marketing is the relationship of selling and promoting between two businesses. Read More

How to use inbound marketing for App Store Optimization

ipadBy Megan Totka

You may or may not have heard this recently, but SEO seems to have introduced a new sibling into the online marketing family. ASO (or App Store Optimization) is the online marketing of mobile apps through items like their descriptions, keywords and titles. Because apps are marketed somewhat similarly, but not the same way as traditional web content, the industry has dubbed this area of optimization accordingly by giving it the name ASO, and thus identifying the “store” as the means through which one attempts to market their app successfully.

Instead of optimizing content for a search engine, like with traditional SEO, ASO requires one to optimize apps specifically for app stores. The two most popular app stores currently on the market are iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system) and Google Play.

The proliferation and use of mobile devices is ever-increasing in today’s world, and accompanying that mobility is the demand for mobile web access, as well as access to mobile apps. The goal for marketing your business should be to reach your customers where ever they are, and that will likely mean going mobile.

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