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Small Business Taxes Gone Wild In California

I estimate that 99% of Californians do not understand the implications of the new small business tax that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law yesterday. This law would mandates online sellers like Amazon.com and Overstock.com to start collecting sales taxes on items shipped to California if they have some sort of relationship with an affiliate. [...]

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You Got the Opt-in, Now What? Here Are Some Top Email Strategies

The first part of email marketing is to get your visitor to opt-in your email list. Once they opt-in, the visitor becomes a prospect. The second part of email marketing is to move the prospect along your marketing funnel towards them becoming a customer. An important element of that is relationship marketing done via trust. [...]

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Linkedin Company Page Follows the Leaders Facebook and Yelp

There was a time when Linkedin was cool. Well, maybe “cool” is too strong of a word for this early social networking site. Let’s just say that Linkedin was *the* place to network as a business professional. You sign up for Linkedin, you make connections with people you work with, you ask for a recommendation, [...]

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A Way to Promote Your Business with Facebook Events

Let’s assume you’ve already set up your own Facebook profile and a separate Facebook Page for your business. Maybe you’ve also created a Facebook Group that relates to a type of product or service that your business provides. What are some ways that you can promote the special events your business sponsors? One way is [...]

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How to Remove Antispyware Soft

Marketing online is fraught with risks. One category is business risk. The other category is technical risk. Business risk is when you try to execute a digital marketing strategy and it fails. Technical risk includes the risk of not implementing your websites and/or scripts correctly. But technical risk also includes the risk from cyber-attacks. One of the most common form is viruses pretending to be a friendly program ... like a trojan horse. This blog is about how to remove Antispyware Soft. … Read More...

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Advertising on the Internet – Scam or Legit?

There are really very few places you can go nowadays where you cannot get internet service. Shuttle pilots regularly use it to communicate with people on the ground. We may also remember the researcher in Antarctica that used a web stream so she could operate on herself; and of course there’s you and all the other people like you wandering around with your iPod streaming this that and the other using all those wonderful apps. So whats in it for business?

The major attraction for businesses wanting to advertise on the internet is the cost. Rather the lack of it, per gained customer. Broken down this means that a company can readily reach a target market, if it’s done right, much quicker and at a lower cost than any other media out there. What companies do to achieve this is nothing short of remarkable, with whole industries now in vogue to simply fill the rapacious desire of all for a quick and profitable return on their ads. These ads range from full page, “in your face” pop-up or pop-under ads, you have tear type ads (those with the peeled corner look to them), simple text links, sponsored links, text embedded links, content as advertising, paid reviews as advertising… the list seems endless. Which it probably is, because as soon as a new wrinkle in technology comes about, then a new form of advertising on the internet comes into being to utilize it. How many of you have NOT gotten an unsolicited text message about something or other?

As with everything, there’s good and bad advertising on the internet. First let’s look at good advertising. Most consumers do their research on products and services online. A smart advertiser would use review-type sites to give readers useful feedback on the product being researched on. One tip would be to give “social-proof” type reviews. These are reviews done by actually users of a product or service. Reviews can be the side-by-side comparison or they can be the blog type where a user blogs about their experience with a product.

Now let’s look at bad advertising on the internet. A recent trend is to use fake blogs to entice readers to click on a link. These fake blogs (flogs) owners try to deceive their readers by providing a fictional account of them using a product or service. These flogs typically get compensated by sending the readers to a CPA (cost per action) offer. We see this a lot with “make money at home”, “teeth whitening”, and “acai diet” offers.

Another more recent form of bad advertising are the fake newspapers (phony gazettes). These landing pages are made to look like a legitimate online news site. To the casual reader, these phone gazettes have all the normal elements of a news site: city name, headlines, weather, videos of Barbara Walters… The only problem is that everything is fake. Like flogs, these phone gazettes monetize through CPA offers like “make money at home”, “acai berry diet”, and “colon cleansing”.

Then there is the old classic standby: emails from the UK or Nigeria claiming that there is an unclaimed pot of money that has the email recipient’s name on it. Sure the spam filters most of these emails out of the reader’s inbox. But the filters are not perfect because I still get emails telling me I’ve won the UK lottery (that doesn’t exist, incidentally) even though I’ve never entered such a thing.

When done right, using the right demographics and no Black Hat (this is the term used for using not so legal methods for market gain, audience attraction etc. that’s looked down upon by the majority of web denizens) techniques then advertising on the Internet should be the way for all smart marketers to go, whether for your teen’s dog grooming after school business (think local) or that corporate giant struggling (think Palm). It will work for you and your business. Just test, adjust, and test some more.

Advertising Headlines Exposed

In my last post, I talked about how magazine headline writers are the best. There are many valuable lessons an online marketer can learn simply by reading the millions of magazine headlines in existence. Don’t think that you have to read them all. Read as much as you can and see if you can spot the following patterns.

Numbers Count. Many people hate math. Their minds grow numb at the sight of adding numbers longer than 3 digits. But for some psychological reason, people seem to trust information that is presented to them more when there are numbers attached. For example, the first ad said, “617 pieces that will change your life.” Notice that the ad didn’t just say, “Pieces that will change your life.” The ad was very specific. People also trust numbers that aren’t neat like 600. Rather, 617 implies that someone actually took the time to count the pieces so the information presented must be trustworthy.

Sentence Length Matters. The longest “sentence” out of the 8 ads that I showed you last time from the magazine’s front cover was 21 characters long. It read, “(and we should know!).” There is a reason for this. People scan for sound bites when they read. You have to create short sound bites that grabs your prospect’s attention as they are bombarded by information coming from the hundred other magazines on the rack.

Notice that Google took a page out of magazine advertising strategies when they created their online advertising platform, Adwords. Each Adwords ad is limited to 3 lines of text and 1 line for the display URL. In the 3 lines of text, you are limited to 25 characters for the first line which serves as your headline. You have 35 characters for the 2nd line and 35 characters for the third line. The reason behind this is simple…sound bites. As with magazine advertising, you are bombarded with information when you get the results back from doing a Google search. People will make a decision on what to click within seconds.

Bolding and CAPS. The ads that I showed from the magazine utilized three style elements: one is bolding, two is capitalization, and three is color. The goal of using bolding and caps is to avoid monotony for your reader. It’s also to point out an important element like a number, for example. For search engine PPC advertising, you will only have one style element to work with – CAPS. But this is not a hindrance because a lot can be done with CAPS. We’ll cover this in another article.

Instant and Easy. The truth is most people are lazy. We’ve been program to want instant and want it now. Nobody wants to exercise and eat less to lose weight. They want a weight loss pill. Nobody wants to buy the giant 65″ plasma TV three years from now when they’ve saved up enough money. They want to take the TV home today with the easy payment plan. And nobody wants to build up their look, they want, “Instant Glamour: The Only Makeup Item You’ll Need.” Only one makeup item? That’s hard to believe… I’ll take two.

These four advertising headline tricks should get you on your way to creating your own swipe file of the best magazine ads out there. After reading through a few of these ads, you will undoubtedly begin to see the patterns that are repeated over and over again. You’ll see the same patterns in sports magazines, kid magazines, women magazines, car magazines, and so on. The reason for this is they work. Plain, simple, and easy.

DONOTCHANGE

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Magazine Ad Sales Down But Not Out

Yes it is true that magazine ad sales are down. According to recent figures, magazine ad pages, a measure of magazine ad sales, is down around 12% year over year. So where are companies spending their advertising dollars? While the recession has taken a big bite out of ad spending, many companies have also shifted their advertising dollars to online media. There is direct evidence of this in the rise of Google Pay Per Click rates over the last few years.

Even though offline channels like newspaper advertising, and now magazine advertising, have gone down, their advertising methods have not. As business owners and online marketers, we can still learn a lot from these offline channels. Let’s take a look at magazine advertising, for example. Before a magazine can sell advertising, it must first sell itself to customers perusing the magazine aisle in supermarkets or in bookstores like Borders.

The way that magazine writers do this is to create compelling mini-headlines. Cosmo magazine is the master at doing this. Here are some examples of the type of eye-catching headlines that you would see on a cover. There are a total of 8 mini-headlines that try to convince customers to pick up a copy. This is very much like what online advertisers do with PPC on Google.com.

The mini-headlines on the cover of might read:

617
pieces that
will change
your life

SPEEDY
TIPS FOR
PERFECT
HAIR

WE’RE GIVING
AWAY MORE THAN

$475,000
worth of
free gifts!
PAGE 236

How just
5 pieces
can get you
through
the week
PAGE 212

Update
your look

in one
simple step

NEW SECTION:
THE BEST
ONLINE SHOPPING
(and we should know!)

INSTANT
GLAMOUR:

THE ONLY
MAKEUP ITEM
YOU’LL NEED

Jenny Lauren
The strong
and sexy type

I tried to preserve the colors, caps, and bolding schemes that Lucky used to capture people’s attention. Study these mini-headlines and sub-headlines. This is the kind of wording that magazine advertisers have to try and capture and hold a passerby’s attention. Usually, you only have 3 seconds or less before people choose.

Study these examples. They represent excellent copy writing. In the next blog post, we’ll study these headlines in more detail.

DONOTCHANGE

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