Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Starting to Work!

I started this blog to journal my success and/or failulre with my foray into internet marketing. I am happy to say that after one month, which included a week long vacation, we're starting to see results.

It took much longer than expected to build our e-commerce site, but it's still amazing what we accomplished in roughly two months at C4Depot.com.

Although we haven't sold that much (one downloadable product at $39), our auto responder list is growing, which indicates the freebie incentive is working to get people to sign up. We haven't even gotten close to finishing our internet marketing program or launching anything on Facebook. We haven't done any Google adwords or landing pages either. The only thing we've really done is build a site and drop our name in some forums and a Linkedin group dedicated to Cinema 4D users.  I am confident that we will start to see some revenue if I can just get back to marketing.

Cheers

James Steidl
video

Friday, January 18, 2013

Facebook Strategy to Attract Your Target Audeince

If you've ever paid attention to the right hand column in Facebook, you'll see some strange little ads show up that are generic and not brand specific. An example would be "Click if You Like Gardening".       Although you still need to develop your business page and fan page to initiate a campaign of this nature, launching a "like campaign" is a great way to identify your target audience for subsequent campaigns that are more product specific.

My Facebook page is only going to be for users of a particular software program. To that end, I need to find those people.  By creating a "like campaign", I can place an ad which says "Click if you Like Cinema 4D."  Once I collect enough of those likes, I can then advertise our software enhancements to those laser-focused leads who "liked" my ad.

By launching your "like campaign" first, you are really qualifying your leads so that your subsequent marketing efforts will have essentially zero "waste circulation."  In theory, this means better bang for your buck with more conversions for the money spent on your ads.

Cheers

Jamie

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SEO Mistakes

Below are some common SEO mistakes and land mines to avoid when trying to promote your site.

Avoid Generic Labels
Important parts of your site including page tabs should be keyworded appropriately. Never use "Home" for your home page. Use a keyword or keywords that describe your page such as "Rapid Weight Loss" or whatever it is.  Links should also be described using appropriate keywords instead of "click here". In short, everything revolves around relevant and descriptive keywords.

Failing to Validate your Site
Be sure someone runs your site through the W3C Validator to be sure your site's code isn't a mess

Duplicate Meta Tags
Don't copy and paste your meta tags from your home page to every other page on your site. Each page is different, so make sure your meta tags reflect this.

Irrelevant Domain Names
Your domain name should describe your business. If you must live with a random or generic company name like acmeproducts.com then at least buy other domains that do describe your business and create landing pages using keywords that people will actually use in a search.

Invisible Text
Stuffing a page full of keywords that are the same color as the background can get a page flagged as "spamdexing" and have it temporarily or permanently blocked.

Keyword Stuffing
Using keywords that may attract visitors which are unrelated to the site's content. For example, using the adjective "nude" next to a popular celebrity's name inside a web site for auto parts.

Doorway Pages
A doorway page is a landing page which contains no valuable content, but only keywords and a button to "enter site".  Unless a landing page contains relevant content, it could backfire and cause demotion.

Duplicate Content
Cloning a web site is a big mistake. It may sound like a good idea, but Google can demote sites which display duplicate content.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Squeeze Page Script Outline

I just found a site with what I believe has a great outline for a squeeze page script.

I encourage you to go to the link to check it out, but here are the essentials.  I think this is a great guide to keep you focused when you're creating your video.

Step 1:  Here’s who I am and here’s what I do that can help you!
Step 2:  Have you ever had any of these challenges?
Step 3:  Me too!  Here’s my story of struggle.
Step 4:  Here’s how I found the solution.
Step 5:  Here are the results that I’ve gotten and helped other gets.
Step 6:  Here’s the difference between the old world and the new world.
Step 7:  Here’s the solution!  The process, system or framework…
Step 8:  Here’s the most common mistakes people make
Step 9:  Here’s what you should do right now!

The thing I like about this formula is that you can get really bogged down in finding the right place to start. Remember, this is not an ad during the Superbowl. Your audience will appreciate you being real, offering to help them rather than sell them.

Cheers

James Steidl

Information from KCMG Marketing

Friday, January 11, 2013

Something Finally Worked!

Today, I finally have something that produced instant results that I'd like to share with you.

If you're not aware, my vertical market commerce site is C4Depot. I've been going through the standard grind of SEO stuff people tell us to do, but today something actually worked — instantly. I went to Linkedin and Facebook and identified community groups that are dedicated to Cinema 4D.

These groups, collectively have well over 50,000 members. "How do I get in their face?", I asked myself. As it turns out, you can just post a video or anything on the Facebook sites. That didn't really do much. Linkedin was a different story. After getting approved to the Cinema 4D users group on Linkedin, I was able to post a self-promotion on the group site. This morning, I received an e-mail notification with my post in it. Shortly afterwards, I had almost a dozen opt-ins on my site for the free Studio Kit download we have made available.

As I said, building a community and list is what online marketing is all about. Now I have the beginning of a community. I'll give it a rest and then offer a coupon code for a discount on the site. We'll be cooking up other freebies as well so we don't have to keeping selling the same old stuff each time.

So the moral of the story is: find out where your target audience hangs, and leave a trail of bread crumbs that leads to your site. Start with Linkedin and Facebook, then move out to other forums and special interest sites. Ideally, I would recommend addressing your site in the third person as in: "I found a free download for doing XYZ at this site."

Cheers James Steidl

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Psychological Triggers

If you've set up a site and are getting visitors but no click-throughs, opt-ins or sales, you've probably overlooked the psychological triggers that are needed to win your visitors over. Again, times have changed, and getting in front of people is not enough to make them fans; you need to be more clever than that.

Potential customers need to be approached in much the same way that a nature photographer approaches a wild animal. If he just runs up to the animal, he'll scare it away. In much the same manner, potential customers get turned-off if they feel like they're being sold. They know you're trying to manipulate them and like a donkey, they'll reflexively dig their heels in just to show you that you can't sell them. Goodbye sale.

Some of the basic triggers that motivate people are obvious:
• Money: make more money or spend less money
Power: do more with less (save time and/or money)
• Love: make yourself more appealing
Fame: get noticed

Some things to keep in mind when you're writing a video script or copy are the following:

Sell with FACTS. The more you can substantiate your claims with facts, statistics and testimonials,the better.

Be human and build a relationship. Do not be the disembodied voice hiding behind a camera. Let people see your face and hear your name so they understand you're face is not hanging in post offices around the country.

Demonstrate how the product meets your customer's needs

Get an endorsement from a trusted name if at all possible.

A strategy that we're currently using is to market our product off-site using a different identity on YouTube. The approach is to HELP your potential customer by showing them how to SOLVE a problem. Here's the shell of a script I'm going to be using for my video.

Hi, James here. I'd like to show you three SECRETS I've learned in how to improve your ___________.  It's taken me years to learn this, but I'm going to give these PROFESSIONAL TIPS to you for FREE so you can  get ASTONISHING RESULTS with almost NO EFFORT. 
The three (or four, or five) secrets to better ___________, are: (briefly list the secret tips by name). 
(Take a moment here to describe the problem you are going to solve for your customer. Go over the frustrations they have had in the past. Talk about the wasted time and money you have experienced dealing with this problem. Let them know how much you've suffered with this, but how you are now a free man with the secrets/product you have discovered).
The first tip is very basic, but is overlooked by almost everyone including professionals. Most people, when they __________, they simply go straight a head and _______________, but this is where even the seasoned professionals mess up.  What you want to do, is (explain tip #1 and repeat for all the rest of the secret tips). 
Now, some of these tips can take quite a bit of time to do correctly, and the most important tip that I can give you today is to streamline this process with a product that does all of this for you.  Not only does this product solve all of the problems we've discussed, but does so automatically saving you tons of time. 
There are a number of ways to get this product, you can get a free (trial, download, coupon, etc.) here, but I STRONGLY recommend buying the full version for only $XX as it will pay for itself almost immediately. Here's the link. Thanks, and I'll see you next time.

If you do your video correctly, you will give the viewer real information that is truly helpful and educational, but as the script says, the most valuable tip will be what the product offers and how it solves the problem most effectively. By helping the viewer understand something better, they will appreciate the information, but most of all, you will have built credibility by demonstrating your expertise in an important field. By building trust, you disarm the defensive reflexes of potential buyer by positioning yourself as being in cooperation with them instead of competition for their money.

I'll be sharing the video as soon as it's done.

Cheers

James Steidl



Monday, January 7, 2013

New Site is Launched: C4Depot

Our new site, C4Depot (c4d3dmodels.com) is officially launched. This is a site that sells content to users of Cinema 4D, a 3D modeling and animation program.  This is our guinea pig for online marketing.

This morning, I went to Facebook and left some posts with the video below on some Cinema 4D interest groups.  No sales yet, but we did get about 60 page views.

http://c4d3dmodels.com

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Is this a Coincidence?

I noticed that two posts I made have garnered an unusual number of page views. One post had a video in it, and the other post was updated nearly a dozen times in the process of editing it.

If you update your blog, Google counts it as a page view, so subtracting my own views, it appears that updating my own blog multiple times influences page rank.

My tenuous conclusion is that if you want to get more views on your blog, make a short video and update the post several times and see what happens.  If you're a blogger and just don't have time to write a new blog, let me submit that it's better to go over a previously written one and update it with something new rather than putting it off until you can write one from scratch.

Cheers

James Steidl

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Online Marketing Axioms

After a lifetime in advertising, I've noticed how the landscape of advertising and marketing has changed, not just technically, but also culturally and conceptually. It used to hold true that reach and frequency was the only thing that mattered in advertising. If you could get into people's face with your brand, that in itself could be enough to get sales. Today, all that has changed and advertising is driven by these facts:

• Nobody cares about your brand
• Nobody cares about your company
• Nobody cares about you, what you've done, what you're doing or plan to do
• Nobody cares what you have to say

  UNLESS...

• You can GIVE something of tangible value for free
• You can EDUCATE your audience with something of importance
• You can ENTERTAIN your audience with something virally engaging

In short, this is called Content Marketing. There is simply too much competition for the consumer's attention and consumers have more options and information to help them make a purchase decision than ever before in history. Even if you can give something away for free, to do so successfully requires you to establish credibility first, as nobody wants to be taught by a fool (so why are you reading this? You ask yourself). People don't even want to take something for free unless they know it has value. Try walking down the street handing out coupons and see what kind of reaction you get.

Establishing value comes from credibility; that you can be trusted and have a track record to prove you know what you're talking about or have something valuable to offer.

Bragging Works

So you don't have a Nobel Prize yet? No PhD? Hmmm, that could be a problem. However, I've noticed how powerful an enthusiastic testimonial is in advertising. If I told you that I made $5,000 online in one week starting with nothing, I'm pretty sure you'd be interested to know how I did it. If  I told you the general strategy, you'd probably want to hear the specifics. This is how a lot of online marketing works, particularly in the world of SEO where everyone has a secret to sell. When you watch a video of an eighteen year-old kid telling you how much money he made overnight, nobody is going to research his credentials because it's obvious he doesn't have any. Enthusiasm and a good story of how you solved a problem can still be very persuasive.

 To that end, I'm embarking on my own journey to share with you what works and what doesn't. I am now in the process of launching my own product site C4Depot, and rather than trying to sell you some 3D models for Cinema 4D,  I'll journal my success and failure so you can learn from my effort. It will be interesting.

 Cheers

 James Steidl

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Importance of Multimedia in Selling Online

Since posting this over a month ago, it is no surprise it has been the most viewed post on my blog. This is a clear affirmation that including video into your site and blog posts, does in fact, drive traffic.

If a picture is worth a thousands words, then how many words is a video? Incorporating video content in your marketing plan can't be stressed enough. This particular post is the only one to date with any video content in it, and statistics show that is it is also the most read article in my blog.

In this MTV/Video Game era, people are reading less and less. People who have grown up on television, would rather watch television than read something. To that end, be sure to have video content on your blog and in your opt-in message. Click on the 3D Models tab above to see what I'm talking about. Be sure to either offer something free, something entertaining, or teach something valuable.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's All About The List

In real estate, it's location, location, location. In internet marketing, it's the list.  Most all internet money making schemes are about building a list. Traffic building is done for one reason: to build a list. Opt-in forms were created for one reason: to build a list. Facebook ads and fan pages are built for one reason: you get it.

There are a variety of ways to build lists: social media, pay-per-click advertising, SEO, landing pages, etc.  The funny thing is, that most people never consider just buying the list. Buying a marketing list is not that expensive for people who are just starting out. I'm not talking about direct mail either, I'm talking about e-mail lists you can legally deploy to drive traffic to your e-commerce site.

There are laws and regulations about how you can go about this, but it's nothing really, if you know where not to step. Additionally, you can shoot yourself in the foot big time if you deploy your list incorrectly. The map which tells you where to step and where not to in the list acquisition and deployment arena is all mentioned in this short e-book:

How to Make $100,000 or More a Year Without any Investment Working Online From Home by Tommi Pryor.

Tommi Pryor is someone I know personally and is one of the smartest people I've ever met.  This e-book is filled with important bits of inside information that to my knowledge, is not available anywhere else.  This book teaches you how to:

• Earn money as a data reseller
• Understand list pricing
• Acquire Niche Market Lists
• Deploy an e-mail List
• Avoid being flagged as spam
• Maintain legal compliance
• Tons more

This step-by step manual is really a must for anyone who wants to jump start an e-commerce business and is one that I will be following as I plan to launch my 3D modeling site this month.  Going straight for the jugular and getting your list off the bat will save you months of organic list building as promoted by other gurus and systems. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to make money online. 

So, where do you get this book? You can't — not yet. I'm currently reading the manuscript before it goes to press, so if you would like a copy now, please send me an e-mail to: james@jgroupstudios.com and I'll see if I can get you one before it is released on Amazon.

Happy New Year

James Steidl