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Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

In Marketing, What’s a “Channel?”

August 13th, 2014 No comments

Channel Definition | Investopedia
Definition of 'Channel'

  1. The system of intermediaries between the producers, suppliers, consumers, etcetera, for the movement of a good or service. 

Anyone can set up their own free channel on YouTube in maybe a minute. There are lots of “channels” that have nothing to do with video, when you use the definition supplied above by Investopedia.

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Image credit ambientmediaww.

Cable TV, Satellite TV, Radio, Web, Social Media, etc…

We've seen in the last decade the explosion of media outlets! Cable, satellite, internet, social media are just some of the new ways to 'channel' information between producers, suppliers and sellers of products or services to the public.

In many cases, we see 'product placement' being used on TV, in movies or online videos. A story is told, with the product's name or logo being visible. Marketers have figured out this is a good strategy that subtly tells viewers that the product does all the fun or cool stuff the stars in the show enjoy or benefit from using.

Influencing Media as Media or via Social Media

Some are such good bloggers, tweeters, YouTubers or other forms of social media that the mainstream media begins to pick them up and “follow” them. In some cases, the mainstream media responds in almost real time to a tweet from some public figure's Twitter feed.

Those who try to tell you 'how easy it is' to do social media, blogging, etc. are selling something! Many public figures, corporations or celebrities have one or more dedicated professional doing their blogging or social media for them.

But experts are correct in saying that when done properly, this works. Success requires planning and effort to achieve the kind of following that results in more business for your operation or location. We know, because for almost 5 years, we've built the largest audience of its kind in MH here on MHProNews.com.

Too small to do it all?

If your operation is “too small” for you to do it all, why not:

a) team up with others? For example, explore doing such efforts through your buyers group or association. Or..

b) piggy back with RSS feeds to MHLivingNews.com?

Relevant content – even in the form of links – is one proven way to bring more people back to your site. Since the good cash or credit shoppers often don't call or directly reach out for 6 months to a year (they have good credit because they plan ahead!), your website needs something is is routinely updating and changing.

UMH.com has at the bottom left of their website an RSS feed linked to ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. At 12:05 PM ET on 8.13.2014, it looked like this:

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Each of those topics could be interesting to someone shopping for a manufactured home, or someone looking for a community they may want to move their MH. Here is how RSS looks on the Welcome Home Ohio website, found at the bottom right-center column footer on their home page.

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A very robust RSS feed is found on the Indiana MH association's http://communitylivingindiana.com/ website.

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Some networks and media own multiple 'channels,' you should use multiple channels to distribute your marketing message too! In the second decade of the 21st Century, tapping into or creating your own channels is easier than ever, but “easier” still requires some time and effort.

If you want to sell more homes, especially to those who are cash or better credit buyers, using more channels is worth it. ##

/l-a-tony-kovach(1).jpBy L. A. “Tony” Kovach

Video and Social Media Statistics for 2014 for Manufactured Housing Marketers

May 14th, 2014 No comments

Ladies and gents, this post will be short and sweet, but not as short as a Tweet.

When you watch this video, don't jump to the conclusion that all that you should be doing is social media and video. IMHO, that would be a huge mistake.

But it would be an equally huge mistake not to invest some of your time and marketing resources into these areas. We do!

You should too.

When we say 'we do,' keep in mind that for all the limits on us in budget, time, etc. we dominate with our two main sites – MHProNews.com and ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com – in their respective niches.

We help our clients dominate in their local markets too. Watch the video above, see our own video report on this topic, see the video report by our colleagues at ManufacturedHomes and call us with any questions. ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Dare to Compare! Banner Ads vs. TV or other Media

May 9th, 2014 No comments

Last year, Ben Kunz – Vice-President of strategic planning at media agency Mediassociates penned a column in Digiday called, “In Defense of Banner Ads.” Kunz opened with a pithy set of points:

If you believe banners suck, you’re not alone. The poor things are so disparaged that the entire digital industry has repositioned them as display advertising to wipe off the banner stigma.

But the truth is, banner ads work just as well as most other forms of media, which is remarkable given their small size, surrounding clutter and creative limitations.”

In fact, some of Kunz's findings make banner ad results better than most other forms of media, and of course, can be more targeted and thus at a far lower cost.

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Compare to TV

“Nielsen, the typical U.S. consumer is exposed to 4 hours and 38 minutes of TV a day, about 40 percent of which is commercial time.” Kunz points out that with that giant screen, the response rate is still only .05% for TV. The average consumer sees about 6,600 commercials monthly.

Compare to Radio

The typical adult in the U.S. listens to 1 hour and 23 minutes of radio daily, 2,500 minutes a month, and at 15% of radio being commercials, that's 750 thirty second spots a month. Results?

.013 percent.

No wonder they repeat those toll-free phone numbers, over and over, and over…

Compare to Billboards

Kunz used NY Suburbs in his example, here are his numbers: “…$320,000 for 26 large 14-by-48-foot billboards (for a 50 GRP level). That provides 28.2 million impressions a month.” Response rate? 0.03%.

And Banner Ads?

Kunz states that Facebook ads were running .03%, and that the Direct Marketing Association and Google uses a range from .03% to .09%, with .07% being tossed about as 'typical' by others.

The bottom line is that banner ads would meet or beat TV, radio and billboards.

In an operation such as MHProNews.com, there would be no way to cover the nation with as many manufactured housing industry professionals other media for anything like the low cost of our banner ads.

So while all reports suggest that CTRs (Click Through Rates) stabilized at a lower level than they were some years back, they still compete very well with other forms of media, so sayeth Ben Kuntz!

DC Marketing Pro

Brooke Jordan in DC Marketing Pro, gave her 5 reasons for using banner ads.

1) “…Regardless of measured click-through rates, banner ads still create a favorable attitude toward the ad due to repeated exposure.” (Journal of Consumer Research)

2) Research shows that consumers engage with banner ads more than TV or outdoor ads.  Banner ad CTRs average at 0.07% (Digiday).  TV response rate is 0.05%, according to Nielsen. Outdoor has a 0.03% response rate (Digiday). Radio, which lacks the visual component of the other three media, has a response rate of 0.13% according to Arbitron.”

3.) “Banner ads have the ability to hyper-target by age, lifestyle, and geography better than most other mediums.  Maybe that’s why eMarketer projects the top five sellers of display advertising to generate $18.6 billion in the U.S. alone in 2013, a 20 percent increase from 2011…” 

4) “Video and display advertising are effective at driving a significant lift in site visitation and SEO, even in the face of minimal clicks on ads. (comScore)”

For me – and for most of you – the real hitter was Brooke's point number 5!

5) “It’s all about ROI.  Marketers continue to pour billions into banner ads due the sheer scale and efficiency.  Low CPMs, compared to other media, mean that marketers can afford a high volume of impressions at a relatively low cost.  When you combine the business generated directly by clicks with the “collateral damage” that occurs beyond the click, most advertisers find the investment is worth it.” (Bold emphasis added).

In yet another study, Smartinsights claims CTR rates are around 1 per 1000 impressions.

When Jordan was talking about the “collateral damage,” she is using that as a humorous, positive euphemism for “impressions.” An impression is defined by Wikipedia as:

“An impression (in the context of online advertising) is a measure of the number of times an ad is seen, whether it is clicked on or not. Each time an ad displays it is counted as one impression.”

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In a recent 90 day campaign for a client, we generated over 1.5 million impressions and some 900 click throughs. More important to the client, they grew their outcomes by 14.7%, which made it a good investment.

The exact record of their campaign results: 1,566,675 impressions and 946 click throughs.

A longer term client, the MMHF working with Show Ways Unlimited and the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, gave us a historic performance track record and testimonial, linked here.

Impression Gold?

Ad-Mays in a report on impression-based advertising stated the following:

  • 52% of Internet users actively respond to banner ads.
  • While 31% of users click on the ad immediately, a large percentage conduct searches for the brand or product, visit the company’s website, or respond through social media. This can be termed “the Silent Click.” 
  • The Online Publishers Association found that after viewing a display ad there was a 50% increase in brand name searches after one week, users spent an average of 12 minutes longer viewing the website, spent 10% more money and higher income audiences were attracted.

The bottom line? Banner ads work and both CTRs and impressions deliver great value. This is why the market is booming!

Looking for a great way to reach the business to business (B2B) market for manufactured housing? Based upon the both external and internal studies, you'd be hard pressed to find a better value that the banner ads, impressions and related campaigns we can create for clients on MHProNews.com. ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

Cave Man

October 21st, 2012 2 comments

Most of us are familiar with "man caves." You know, those rooms dominated by a flat screen TV where the guy hangs out to watch football, other sporting events or a movie while eating and drinking in the comfort of his home. But how many today think about the "Cave Man," in the context of communications, marketing and the related bottom line connection?

Before written or visual communications there was verbal communication. Those motivated enough could find the pictorial drawings on cave walls that were perhaps the earliest form of non-verbal communication. Where there some back then who thought that drawing or painting on cave walls would not catch on?

Fast forward from cave drawings through time to writing on parchments, carving or painting on wood, creating statues of stone, canvas painting, hand written books, stained glass used as religious or decorative communication, the printing press, mail, typewriters, radio, TV and the Internet. It seems clear we have – and still use – many forms of visual and audio communications.

So why do some today hesitate to embrace the latest forms of communications and marketing? Why do some go too far the other way, using only Facebook, tweets and texts as if all else was un-cool and thus not worthy of use?

What you need depends in good measure in where you are and how robust your business is. Is your business or organization missing something? If so, what are you doing about it? Who are you going to call to fix it, someone who doesn't know manufactured or factory built housing? Or someone that "gets it" our industry AND can help you get what you need and want online too?

I've met individuals who are – or once were – successes in retail, communities, installation or other aspects of the manufactured housing industry. Some of them resist embracing what is new. They might scoff at the cave man of thousands of years ago, but not realize that they have no reason to fear the modern forms of communication that could return their business or professional life to good financial health.

It is rare today to find a HUD Code or modular home retailer who doesn't use the Internet. But there are way too many who have a website that is 3-5 years old – or older! – and their website looks it. They may not stop and think that their website is the first – and perhaps only – impression they will make to a prospect who has good credit or could pay cash for a home. Retailers have to consider that such a good prospect may only briefly look once – statistically as brief as 5 seconds – at their website and then check that retailer on or off their list. All in those first few seconds; all because of the initial look and feel of their website.

Think about this fact. A good website may pay for itself in the very first sale. Doesn't that make having a good website a no-brainer??

It is sadly fairly common that manufactured home community owners have no web-presence of their own. They may be listed on someone else's website or online yellow pages. But they have no web presence that proclaims in a modern fashion why someone should call them vs. the other nearby community operator who has a great website. Then those souls with an older or no web presence wonder why they have vacancy issues…

If this is someone you know, take heart, take heed and do what others are doing!

When the parent body and management of the Louisville Show decided to have a website made, they turned to us to give them a modern look and a good presentation. Take a look at the link to the LouisvilleManufacturedHousingShow.com – then kindly return to finish this article.

Who you are in business is projected by your web presence; or lack thereof.

There is nothing wrong with having a man cave, but if you are not in step with the latest online marketing, then good business strongly tells us to step into the present!

Think about how hard it is to find that drawing made by a cave man, unless you find it online! If you do find that cave drawing, are you impressed enough to go see it in person?

Your web presence may be more important than your curb appeal. Some 94% of all home shoppers are online today hunting for their next home before they go and see an actual house, builder, retailer or neighborhood. 94%! Are you catching how important that could be for your business or that of a colleague of yours who may be struggling?

If you are fortunate and up to date online, but you have a friend or colleague in the business who needs help, please send them the link to this article.

If you have a great web presence but lack a social media campaign, that's important too! On any such marketing need, give us a call or send us a message. We know what that 'cousin of a friend' doesn't about both the Internet and the Industry.

Man caves can be cool. But don't be seen as a cave man by prospective customers who can afford to buy from you! ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for October and see the

other new stories and 'Purely Political' cartoons at MHLivingNews.com too.

l-a--tony-kovachL. A. "Tony" Kovach

MHLivingNews.com=Re-Discovering and Spotlighting the MHLifeStyle

MHProNews.comMHMSM.com = Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use

Services:B2BandB2CAds, Proven MH Marketing & Sales Systems, Websites other Industry Solutions.

Office –815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com

LATonyKovach.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach= connect with me on Linkedin.

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

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.