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Getting Technology Out of the Way

April 17th, 2011 No comments

You hear this a lot lately. It’s a philosophy that Apple has successfully employed since 1984. Get the technology out of the way and empower the user to imagine and create.

The truth is that hiding the nuts and bolts of advanced technology from the user reduces intimidation and allows a wider variety of people to use the gadgets we take for granted.

The same is true of your online marketing. When the technology behind your marketing tools is complicated or too time-consuming, they are not used to their full capacity. You end up getting a lot less value for your investment of time and money.

At MHMSM.com, we have always promoted a 1-2-3 Online Marketing Strategy™:

  1. Your website
  2. Your email marketing campaign
  3. Your social media strategy

Each of these three parts needs to be carefully planned in order to come up with an overall solution that allows the client (you) to manage their online marketing with maximum effectiveness and minimal expenditure of time and money.

A simple interface that is no harder to use than a word processor, use of automation wherever possible and integration of functionality allows even a non-techie to manage the day-to-day necessities of a powerful marketing system is essential to the success of any online marketing program.

Creating an online marketing strategy that accommodates these requirements takes some planning and is at the heart of the MHMSM.com 1-2-3 Online Marketing Program™. This plan didn’t come into existence full-blown, but has evolved over the years from our beginnings in the web marketing business in 1996.

Let’s take them one at a time.

1-Website and/or BlogYour website
Using the popular (with good reason) and easy-to-use WordPress platform to deploy your website enables you to have a traditional page-based website with the ability to place fresh content on your site on a regular basis. This is important to achieve and maintain good ranking in he search engines for your keywords.

If you can use Word, you can use WordPress to create or update content, insert or change images and manage an interactive website that truly incorporates social media.

The WordPress platform is Open Source (free to use) and the self-hosted version is extendable by the use of plugins to do much more than the core version does right out of the box.

This is currently the world’s best platform for developing a new website or for refreshing older, static websites.

Automation possibilities include automated backup, search engine updating, discussion management, connection with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and much more.

2-Email MarketingYour email marketing campaign
An effective email campaign is still the best way of maintaining regular contact with your current and prospective customers. With an average Return on Investment (ROI) of over $45 for each $1 invested, email marketing in projected to be a major play in marketing for many years to come.

You need a solid platform to run your email marketing program, one that allows you to create multiple mailing lists, design and send an email as easily as WordPress allows a post to be created and supplies you with the tools to monitor the effectiveness of your Email Marketing Campaign simply and accurately.

I have used and tested all sorts of email marketing programs, applications and providers and I have to say that there is no better than Aweber.

Aweber is the granddaddy of Email Marketing Service Providers. Economical and easy-to-use, Aweber pioneered many of the services that emailers take for granted these days.

Offering over 150 templates to make your emails look their best and videos to guide you through the process, Aweber is as easy as it gets.

You schedule emails to go at any time you like so you can set up emails to go while you on vacation or a business trip and the system handles them automatically.

A completely automated autoresponder system lets to send a series of emails at predetermined times after a subscriber signs up.

You can even set it up so that the application sends an automated email every time to post to your blog.

Your first month’s service is only $1 and you only pay for the number of subscribers you actually have. Only at Aweber.

3-Social MediaYour social media strategy
Having a great social media strategy gets more important every day regardless of the demographic your customers fit into. For example, the age segment showing the fastest growth of Facebook users are the “over 55s.”

Once more, using available automation techniques and plugins can make your life easier. They can’t do ALL of the work for you, but they can make many functions fully automatic.

When we set up a 1-2-3 Online Marketing Program™ for our clients, we use WordPress plugins to not only allow visitors to easily “like” your Facebook Fan Page and quickly send your post to their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr accounts, we also set it up so that every new post is sent to Google, Bing, Yahoo, About.com, Facebook and Twitter – and you don’t have to do a thing to accomplish it.

And we offer ongoing training to make sure you always get the most out of your online marketing investment. Things change fast in this business and keeping you on top of those changes is what we do.

For more information on MHMSM.com services, visit the MHMSM.com.com website.

“Dominate Your Local Market” Comes to Louisville

December 12th, 2010 No comments

"Dominate Your Local Market" Seminar at the Louisville Manufactured Housing ShowA couple of years ago, I created the “Dominate Your Local Market” program for clients of my Online Marketing Consultancy Orange Cat Productions LLC. The program is designed to make use of the latest technologies affordable to small businesses operating in a defined geographical area. The goal is attain the best possible Search Engine ranking and use it as the basis of a strategy to gain more leads than the competition and handle those leads in a way that leads to sales.

The essential parts of the “Dominate Your Local Market” strategy are packaged into what we call the Local Business 1-2-3 step-by-step program. We have been very successful in getting our client’s website ranked on the first page of Google for important keywords.

This year, at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, I and MHMSM.com Publisher, Editor and Marketing Director L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach will be presenting a seminar on the “Dominate Your Local Market” strategy.

So if you plan to be in Louisville on January 12-14, be sure to come by, have a look and what we are doing and get some of your questions answered. We’ll be in Booth #932 for the duration of the show so stop by, say hello and talk some Business Development Strategy.

If you won’t be attending the show, there is a possibility that we may conduct a Webinar on this subject sometime this winter – but the surest way to see it is to come to Louisville.

More information on the Louisville seminar can be found on the “Dominate Your Local Market” page at MHMSM.com.

Finally a Simple Home and Home Site Listing Solution for Retailers and Community Owners

November 10th, 2010 No comments

WP-Property logoIf you’re a Manufactured Housing Retailer or Community Owner you know the frustration of putting together a website to properly present your homes or home sites online.

You want a solution that will allow your home to come up in Search Engine rankings for your area and you know the power of WordPress to accomplish this goal.

WP-Property sample listings page
Property listings page in WP-Property. Multiple listing would appear as a list
like the listings index page at 4MyChicagoHome.com
.

But presenting your homes in a way that makes sense requires the use of a WordPress plugin. Up until now, that meant sifting through the dozens of available plugins that leave much to be desired or cobbling together a home-made solution from bits and pieces of plugins and custom code. That can be expensive and time-consuming – and probably creates a “less than perfect” outcome.

Because of past experience with real estate type plugins – and real estate listing software – I’m a bit wary of these sort of things.

Nevertheless, I decided to give the WordPress WP-Property plugin a try. It required a small amount of customization using the plugin’s admin area to get it to do exactly what I wanted – display a home for sale.

Once it was setup and I added my first property, I was hooked. Here at last was a solution that could accomplish what up until now was next to impossible – adding a home or home site listing to a WordPress-powered website easily without spending a ton of cash. In fact, the WP-Property plugin is free.

With the economy starting to show signs of life and manufactured home sales starting to pick up, now is the ideal time to stake out your turf in your local market. And WordPress and WP-Property can help you do it effectively and economically.

To see WP-Property in action, have a look at the Sample Property Listing at WP4RealEstate.com. Or see a real live site in action at 4MyChicagoHome.com. Orange Cat Productions can get you set up with a WordPress-powered website with WP-Property installed and configured for less than you think. Orange Cat offers complete Web Consulting and Training services on-site or online.

Here is a reduced-sized view of a Property Details page in WP-Property
WP-Property details page

Orange Cat Productions is offering a limited time offer on a WordPress-powered solution with WP-Property installed and configured PLUS 1 year of free web hosting at $200 off the regular price. This offer is only good for readers of this blog and will end in just a few days. Lock in your $200 discount by calling Bob at 859-544-9005 or use the contact form at OrangeCat.com.