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Spear Networking Corporation http://spearnet.org Increase Online Visibility and Traffic Mon, 02 Mar 2015 21:39:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Go from Traditional to Internet Marketing with an Online Marketing Consultant http://spearnet.org/go-from-traditional-to-internet-marketing-with-an-online-marketing-consultant/ Fri, 04 Apr 2014 09:48:02 +0000 http://spearnet.org/?p=983 Time and again, today’s advertising industry insiders have said that traditional advertising methods are no longer as powerful as they used to be, but to what extent? Search Engine Journal contributor Bernadette Coleman provides some insight on the decline of traditional advertising methods in an article dated August 16, 2013.

  • Only 18% of TV ad campaigns generate a positive ROI
  • Newspapers are facing circulation declines
  • Not many people listen to the “Radio” now unless it’s their own station on Pandora

Given these facts, it makes sense for business owners to work with an experienced online marketing consultant to help them get started on internet marketing campaigns. By promoting a product or service online instead of traditional methods like newspaper print ads or TV or radio spots, businesses are able to reach out to their target audience on a much wider scale.

Go from Traditional to Internet Marketing with an Online Marketing Consultant

In addition, TV ad campaigns often cost thousands of dollars (even millions, when advertising during much-anticipated events like the Super Bowl). By contrast, an accomplished internet marketing specialist like one from Spear Networking Corporation can launch an online campaign at competitive costs using different forms of internet advertising.

In pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, business owners pay the agreed-upon rates only when a potential customer visits the website or looks through the information on the product or service being offered. To launch a successful PPC ad campaign though, marketing professionals have to utilize the right keywords first. This means these pros have to know the actual keywords used by internet users when the latter do a product or service search on Google and other search engines.

Social media optimization, another form of online advertising, is also a cost-effective way to build product or service awareness. Social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter are social media platforms that can be used for free, keeping advertising costs at a minimum. If these social networks are used wisely, business owners can engage with their customers and build a loyal customer base successfully.

“In with the old and out with the new” is often heard when people herald the New Year. It’s an adage that also applies to traditional advertising and online advertising. As the utilization of newspaper print ads and TV and radio spots are in decline, maybe it is high time for businesses to concentrate on online advertising strategies instead.

(Source: Internet Marketing Statistics You Can’t Ignore [Infographic], searchenginejournal.com, August 16, 2013)

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Good Social Media Management Practices Equal Successful SEO Marketing http://spearnet.org/good-social-media-management-practices-equal-successful-seo-marketing/ Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:37:16 +0000 http://spearnet.org/?p=979 There’s no denying the power of social media. For business owners who want to take advantage of social media to attract more customers, a Forbes.com article by business and technology insider Ellen Lee provides three tips to ensure a business’ social marketing is a success:

“1. It’s all about timing

Schedule your emails, tweets, status updates and blog posts at the right time—when you have a captive audience. You want to catch your audience not only when they’re checking their messages and news feed, but when they might have a few minutes to click through a link and check something out.”

In social media marketing, the philosophical thought “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” has merit. A Tweet or a status update posted by a business owner at 2 AM, a time when everyone is most likely asleep, won’t likely be seen by anyone.

Good Social Media Management Practices Equal Successful SEO Marketing

A good social media management technique is to post Tweets and status updates when everyone is likely to be logged on to social media— that is, during lunch hour or after office hours. Doing so will increase the chances of having those posts shared across different social networking platforms.

“2. Issue calls to action

If you want to engage with your customers on social media, you have to ask for it (in moderation, of course).

Facebook posts with questions generate 92 percent higher comment rates than posts without questions, according to the Buddy Media report.”

Most business owners will likely have a knack for selling a product or service. Thus, it likely won’t be hard for these entrepreneurs to come up with a Tweet or status update with a subtle call-to-action message.

However, while these queries as Tweets or status updates are easy to do, business owners will likely be unfamiliar with how to respond to comments from potential customers. An expert social media consultant can show business owners how to respond to comments properly and maybe even start a positive discussion going.

It takes great social media marketing techniques to increase awareness for a product or service, but it takes great social medial management practices to win over customers and build loyalty. Fortunately, the social media experts at Spear Networking Corporation can help with both marketing and management through social media.

(Source: Three Easy Tips For Effective Social Media Marketing, Forbes.com, March 31, 2014)

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Hiring an Online Marketing Agency: Qualities to Avoid & Look For http://spearnet.org/hiring-an-online-marketing-agency-qualities-to-avoid-look-for/ http://spearnet.org/hiring-an-online-marketing-agency-qualities-to-avoid-look-for/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 23:50:21 +0000 http://spearnet.org/?p=919 Qualities of an Effective Online Marketing Agency: Guide for Business Owners

Spear Networking Services Overview

To give your business a solid online presence, you need the help of an online marketing agency. Research shows that in 91% of small businesses, the CEO also serves as the primary marketer. Playing double roles doesn’t come as a surprise as 96% of these businesses have a staff of five or fewer.

Unfortunately, business owners and managers like you simply do not have enough time to dabble and experiment online. The core business – be it a bakery, carwash, dental clinic, or restaurant – needs you. You need to be running operations. Trying to learn the technical aspects of online marketing and sacrificing time for the business is not worth it.

So why burden yourself when you can leave the technical stuff to an agency, right? Correct! But now, here’s the challenge: how do you choose the right provider for your business? Here’s some helpful advice.

But First, Be Wary of Unrealistic Promises

Internet marketing consultants or companies typically make the same promise to business owners: more traffic, leads, and sales online. What business owner wouldn’t want those results, right? But the question is, can they really deliver? Are they telling the truth, or merely making promises to peddle their services? Just remember, if the promises are too good to be true, they probably are.

It’s easy to plunge into this pitfall as many businesses are in dire need of services, and are assigning these needs to providers. For instance, one research found that 63% of marketers will spend more on content creation this year. That’s how bad they need new content. Meanwhile, 50% will spend more on search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing efforts delegated to agencies.

But while you may badly need these services, remember that falling for “we’ll give you the moon and the stars” type of promises is the biggest pitfall small business owners make when hiring an Internet marketing agency. Be careful when choosing your online marketing provider. After all, that company will represent your business online. If they create a faulty and spammy website, publish irresponsible Facebook status posts, or write articles with terrible grammar, it’s your business that will bear the brunt.

So how do you choose the right online marketing service provider for your business? Here are two qualities you need to look for.

Expertise: Testing and Experience Combined

Unlike major corporations, small and medium-sized businesses have small and medium-sized marketing coffers, too. As an owner, you want to ensure that you will get your money’s worth when entrusting online marketing activities to an agency. And to ensure you get a return on investment, one of the things you should search for in an agency is expertise.

“Expert” level Internet marketing agencies typically possess these characteristics:
• Carry out research and development
• Conduct testing
• Continuously improve services
• Frontliner in the industry
• Have sufficient experience

Agencies that are experts in what they do are always on the lookout for new techniques and strategies to help promote your business online. They do not merely rely on previous experiences. They keep on improving services by combining experience and results of new tests they conduct. They stay sharp through research.

That is why they understand what Google Panda and Penguin updates are, what the Hummingbird algorithm is, and what all of these terms mean to your SEO strategy. They understand how to maximize online maps, local directory listings, check-in sites, and review sites to boost your local online presence. They know that sharing content via social media is better than building cheap links and spamming. If a provider is a front liner in the industry, and has sufficient experience, there’s a good chance it can also handle and steer your business to online marketing success.

Passion: How Bad They Want You to Succeed

Passion, they say, is a subjective quality that you cannot measure. But if you ask any entrepreneur, they’ll say that passion is a crucial factor in the success of any venture. And for an online marketing agency to be able to help your business succeed online, they must be passionate in helping you achieve your marketing goals. How can you tell if they have this passion? Ask yourself these three questions:

• Does this agency listen to my needs?
• Do they provide In-depth consultation based on these needs?
• Do they align their services toward my marketing goals?

If you answered yes to all these questions, and you’ve determined their expertise based on the characteristics we mentioned earlier, then you might just be looking at the online marketing agency you’re looking for. The important thing to remember here is that passionate agencies do not simply offer specific packages without first listening to you and analyzing your business. No one knows your business better than you do!

That’s why it’s important that the agency takes the time to listen to you and give you an in-depth consultation based on your needs. Knowing your marketing goals and business needs is always the first step to achieving online success. It’s also a very good indicator of the agency’s expertise and passion in helping your business make the most out of SEO, Local Marketing, Google, Social Media, Facebook, Responsive Web Design and online marketing in general.

We’re not shy to say we’re experts at what we do and we’re passionate in helping businesses succeed online. Send us a message now at info@spearnet.org or call us at ### to find out how we can help you meet your business goals through online marketing today.

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Simple Online Reputation Management Tips for a Squeaky Clean Image http://spearnet.org/simple-online-reputation-management-tips-for-a-squeaky-clean-image/ Wed, 05 Mar 2014 03:51:44 +0000 http://spearnet.org/?p=951 If you read a terrible online review from Rotten Tomatoes about a new movie, how inclined are you to drive down to the theater to watch the movie? Truth be told, there is a good chance that you wouldn’t even watch it at all.

Online Reviews

Online reviews can easily tip the balance to favor a business, but they can just as easily harm a business. An article from Search Engine Land explains further:

“Research consistently shows that the vast majority of consumers — as high as 9 in 10 consumers, in one survey — say they are being influenced by both positive and negative reviews during their decision process.

Yet, despite this clear trend in consumer shopping behavior, a surprising majority of small business owners continue to ignore or delay development of an online reviews strategy. Yodle’s inaugural “Small Business and Online Reviews Survey” of 300 SMB owners nationwide in December 2013 found that many SMB owners underestimate the value of reviews and are not completing the basic tasks to remain competitive in today’s reviews-focused marketplace.

Maintaining a squeaky clean online reputation should be a priority for business owners. Fortunately, this can easily be achieved by hiring a reliable online reputation management service. In addition to hiring professional help, here are a few more tips to help you achieve a sterling online reputation:”

Do Not Lash Out

Negative reviews often draw out knee-jerk reactions from business owners, resulting in a tirade directed at the person who wrote the review. This reaction should be avoided at all costs as it makes your business look petty and unprofessional. At the same time, avoid completely ignoring the review.

When faced with a negative review, it is best to focus your energy on reaching out to the angry customer and resolving any issues he or she may have with your business. Although you might not be able to resolve the issues, other customers will see that you care about customer satisfaction.

Advertise Positive Reviews

Positive reviews tend to neutralize the effects of negative reviews, especially when they severely outweigh the negative ones. That said, do not be afraid to let potential clients know where your positive reviews are posted. Not only do potential customers get to see those positive reviews, you also save them the time and energy of searching for these reviews themselves.

It can be difficult to monitor all the review sites on the Internet, especially if you do not have a team dedicated for online reputation management. If you find yourself in such a situation, do not hesitate to contact an experienced online marketing consultant like Spear Networking.

(Source: Time For SMBs To Tackle — Or Be Tackled BY – Online Reviews; Search Engine Land; March 3, 2014)

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Tips to Help Your Business Achieve Effective Social Media Management http://spearnet.org/tips-to-help-your-business-achieve-effective-social-media-management/ http://spearnet.org/tips-to-help-your-business-achieve-effective-social-media-management/#respond Tue, 04 Mar 2014 03:39:57 +0000 http://spearnet.org/?p=947 According to studies, 83 percent of all American consumers will check the Internet for reviews before purchasing a product or service. This statistic may lead business owners to scramble for SEO services to assure their website is among the first sites potential customers will see when researching online. However, search engines are not the only platform people can use to research a business’ products and services.

Key Elements

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have transcended stereotypical social media functions and have become portals to information. Many users “share” articles of interest on their profiles, allowing an article to spread faster than it normally would. As such, businesses would be wise to take advantage of this change. That said, here are a few tips to help you harness the power of social media websites:

Follow Back

When you notice someone has added your business’ social media profile, be sure to follow them back. Doing so increases your base audience exponentially. At the same time, share positive posts about your business on your profile to let everyone know that you take the time to read what people say about you and that you appreciate the kind words.

Stick to the Plan

If you have consulted experienced social media marketing companies, you probably already have a social media strategy in place. If so, Andrew Hutchinson of Social Media Today advises that everything you post on your social media profiles should be in line with your strategy:

“You need to have a strategic plan for social media, measureable goals for achievement. Once these are established, any and all content you create needs to be cross-checked against them to ensure it fits into the overall strategy.

Maybe you choose to do a story about the company’s sponsorship of a local sports team. Maybe you focus on the benefits your brand has delivered to a community. Whatever it is, once you have an idea down, you need to ensure the desired results align with, and reinforce, your strategic objectives…”

Using social media effectively requires you to constantly monitor your profile and post stories frequently. If you already have several social media accounts but feel that you can stand to benefit from better social media management, do not hesitate to contact a reliable social media marketing service like Spear Networking.

(Source: Five Key Elements in Writing High Quality Content; Social Media Today; January 13, 2014)

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Spear Networking Corporation Services Overview: How Does Our Company Actually Work? http://spearnet.org/spear-networking-corporation-services-overview-how-does-our-company-actually-work/ http://spearnet.org/spear-networking-corporation-services-overview-how-does-our-company-actually-work/#respond Sat, 01 Mar 2014 23:45:28 +0000 http://spearnet.org/?p=915 The necessity for your business to have an outstanding online presence and website has never been greater. For this reason, many local business owners like you are trying their best to find digital marketing agencies that can assist them in their online business goals. However, those who have yet to work with a consultant or a marketing group have little idea on what exactly these types of companies do. So how does an online marketing and web design agency actually work? Using our agency as a case study, here’s how.

Watch our video now:

An Overview of Effective Online Marketing Company

An online marketing company can bring your company’s brand to the masses and ensure your online image is nothing short of extraordinary. However, you need to ensure that the company is continuously aware of the current and historical online marketing industry statistics and trends as well as customer behavioral trends that affect your business and brand. The company needs to be aware of trends like Google algorithm updates and the developments in mobile-friendly web design. This company must also be at the forefront of the industry, constantly testing online marketing techniques based and the research behind those techniques.

But more importantly, the online marketing and web design company must have the desire to make your business successful.

Good Marketing Companies Actually Listen: Intake Stage

No one knows your business and your goals more than you do. That’s why your marketing company must take the time to listen and understand your business, products, services, and who and where your customers and competitors reside. They must take note of your past marketing activities to gain a clearer understanding of how to help your company. This is the intake stage and we use it to learn more about you.

Engagement via In-depth Consultation

When you are looking for an online marketing company, make sure they can provide a unique consulting experience to you. This is done through a comprehensive consultation. Through extensive engagement, your company can create a customized plan to expand your online presence and increase the attractiveness of your brand.

We are proud to say that we are  company that provides detailed consultation to our potential clients. While the client gets to understand the value of the services they are looking to use, we also get something out of the consultation phase. We are able to better understand our client and their business – making it easier for us do all the technical work later on.

Effective Project Management

If your online marketing company cannot manage projects effectively, you’ll encounter great headaches in your partnership. Effective project management entails ample capacity because if the agency cannot handle the load of your desired services, it cannot effectively meet your needs. See to it that the internet marketing company can scale with you and can prioritize your projects, big or small.

More importantly, ensure that your responsibilities in the project are clear before you get started. This will improve management from the intake stage down to the completion stage. For instance, in a typical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign, some of our pre-launch responsibilities to you are: managing your marketing expectations, communicating our customer support structure, and giving you a list of the requirements you need to submit. On your end, you need to understand the goals of the campaign, abide by agreed upon communication methods/schedules, and submit the requirements we need to run your SEO campaign. If communication and expectations are clear early on, the project will run smoothly.

Efficient Processes and Workflow

Processes and workflow are usually built with time. We have been doing this for years and our processes and workflow are smooth and efficient enough to make the most of the time we spend together during the consultation and the intake. We also have sufficient experience to ensure smooth and fast movement of tasks from one stage to another through project completion.

For example, in a typical web design project, we would ask you to submit requirements which include the necessary information to build your website. Once all requirements are in, we’ll start the build phase. The theme will be installed, content will be uploaded, and if there are additional configurations needed, these will be arranged as well. The website build will then go through one or two rounds of revisions before the final product is installed on the hosting environment.

Cycle Includes Continual Improvements

At Spear Networking Corporation we follow a cycle beginning with an in-depth consultation to identify your needs and determine the best strategy for you. We then measure and analyze the results and listen to your feedback so that we can make our online marketing efforts for you a success. We develop our services continually as the online marketing landscape evolves to ensure the best results, regardless of what service we run for you.

Online Marketing Services Overview

We are effective in handling your online marketing and web design efforts because of our complete set of services. From the “core” service SEO to complicated responsive website design to the relatively new Local Buzz, we can handle it all for you.

  • SEO – Having a website (assuming you have one) is not enough. You need to OPTIMIZE it for search engines. Optimizing websites is called “SEO” or search engine optimization. SEO ensures that your web pages are crawled and indexed by search engine robots.
  • Local Buzz – This ensures your business also comes up when prospects search in online maps, reviews, local directory listings, and check-ins in your area of operation. This is a focused marketing effort external to your website in the local, mobile, and social arena.
  • Social Media Optimization (SMO) – One in every six minutes spent online is now spent on social media. Use SMO to ensure your business is present and visible in social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
  • Pay per Click (PPC) – Use PPC marketing if you’re in a hurry to reach the first page of Google. PPC displays your ads alongside search results instantly. It’s perfect for websites where keyword competition is very high. And, you only pay when your ads are clicked.
  • Pay per Click (PPC) Remarketing – Similarly, PPC Remarketing lets you display banner ads to people who have visited your site and left to go to another site. This gives you another chance to drive them back to your website so that you can get that lead or sale. They see your ads when they visit other sites so you get brand exposure.
  • Online Reputation Management/Marketing (ORM) – While we cannot fabricate reviews for you, we can publish your genuine customer reviews in the right places – ensuring that positive results push down negative ones and ensure that your positive reviews are marketed on social media sites. Ask us about our Online Reputation Management/Marketing or ORM service.
  • Web Design – Get a website that is “mobile-friendly” or “responsive.” Why responsive? A Google study shows that 67% customers are more likely to buy from a website that is mobile friendly. 48% feel “frustrated” when viewing a non-mobile friendly website.
  • Website Audit – A website audit checks the website’s viability to receive optimization. You may uncover major problems that prevent your site from ranking high on Google. This “check-up” also enables your internet marketing company to better assess your current online standing.

We at Spear Networking Corporation take the time to listen to your needs through in-depth consultation, which we provide to clients before making any kind of service recommendation. And because we can deliver all these services to you, we’re confident we can help your business succeed online. Call us now at 765-387-7327 or send us a message at  info@spearnet.org  to schedule your free online marketing consultation.

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Online Marketing Agency Services Scorecard http://spearnet.org/online-marketing-agency-services-scorecard/ http://spearnet.org/online-marketing-agency-services-scorecard/#respond Tue, 25 Feb 2014 23:07:23 +0000 http://spearnet.org/?p=900 How to Evaluate Your Online Marketing Agency Partner

Business owners nowadays understand the importance of working with an online marketing consultant or agency. Owners won’t need to learn the technical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), social media, web design, and other Internet marketing-related services. They can focus on the core business by employing the help of agencies. Now, the only problem is finding the right agency. But unfortunately, many business owners struggle in this aspect.

That’s why we came up with an infographic checklist that you can use to score and evaluate the agencies or consultants you are considering working with. Simply give your prospect agency partner one point for every question you answer with a “yes.” The more points, the better.

See our Infographic:
Spear Networking Corporation Services Overview

Effective Marketing Agencies Give Value First

If we had to sum up the qualities of an effective online marketing agency, they would be: give value, use up-to-date techniques, offer a complete and ethical set of services and run integrated efforts. Let’s look at value first. How do they provide value?

Getting access to a handful of initial analysis reports will give you a good overview of where your business currently stands online. Online marketing agencies that really care about your success provide these reports and really dive into the details to help you move forward with the right decision going into an online marketing campaign with them. Don’t be surprised too if they stop you from ordering a lucrative SEO package and instead recommend a website audit. It means they want to start things right. They provide value by preventing possible losses due to problems with your website.

Getting access to a reporting dashboard is also valuable to business owners. Marketers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs want to stay in the loop on campaigns being run by their partner agency. Getting access to a dashboard instead of disparate and numerous spreadsheets is a more convenient way of digesting updates.

Up-to-Date Services: Look for the 2R’s

Nowadays, there are two ‘R’s that indicate whether a marketing agency is using updated techniques; the two ‘R’s stand for “Responsive” and “Remarketing”. A responsive web design built means that your website automatically responds or adjusts depending on the device being used to access it. Your responsive website won’t encounter compatibility problems with users who are browsing on smartphones and tablets. This is crucial as mobile Internet users are expected to outnumber desktop users in 2014.

The other R that you need to look for from your agency is remarketing (PPC). Also known as retargeting, it’s a new form of PPC or pay per click advertising that allows you to display ads to users who have already visited your website. You get another chance at obtaining a lead or making a sale by driving visitors back to your website. Similar to PPC, you only pay when your advertisements are clicked. This means you get to expose your business to a wider audience in a cost-effective way.

Genuine Review Publication: Be Safe Than Sorry

Online reputation management (ORM) is a service that’s gaining popularity among business owners. You need to manage your reputation on the Internet as 80% of consumers can quickly change their mind about your business if they see negative reviews about you. Your online marketing agency is great if they run ORM and can fuse SEO efforts with it. This is a powerful combination.

Just be wary of companies that promise to “produce” or “fabricate” reviews about your business. Take note that the New York state Office of the Attorney General is cracking down on fake consumer reviews, as well as agencies that provide this kind of service. To be safe, stay with what is up to date and ethical – publication of genuine consumer reviews. Your online marketing candidate partner deserves a praise if they only work with genuine reviews and know exactly where to publish them online.

Content Creation

It can be a pain to work with multiple Internet marketing agencies at the same time. You’ve experienced this with contractors, right? You don’t need to spend more time coordinating with many consultants and less time managing your core business. That’s why you want your consultant or agency to have the capability to provide a complete, or at least, a wide array of services. One of the crucial services you might not find in smaller agencies is full content creation.

Now, many agencies provide “content creation.” But in most cases, “content” only represents articles for submission sites. Ask your agency candidate if they can help you with press releases, blog posts, and social media updates, too. It’s a plus if they can create infographics and videos.

Getting content from the same company means you won’t have to negotiate with multiple contractors or freelancers; this is going to be more convenient on your part. This also means the content they will create for is aligned with the services (e.g. SEO, social media) that you are also availing from the agency.

Run Integrated Efforts: Fuse Social with SEO

Finally, what really separates effective online marketing agencies from the rest is their ability to fuse together various services. One good example is the integration of social media with SEO efforts. This is because search engines also use “social signals” as a ranking factor. Fusing social media with SEO means they are using Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, and other networks to drive traffic to your website and increase your search rankings. In particular, Google+ can be used to boost your rankings, as well as your “authority” online.

Another example of integrated service is Local Buzz. Local Buzz uses a combination of social media efforts and content creation to bring local attention to your business. This local online presence optimization technique maximizes maps, local directories, check-in or geo-social sites, and reviews to increase the number of web properties that your business will appear in. This means you can dominate local searches not just through your web pages, but also through other external pages that contain your NAP or business name, address, phone number. It’s a holistic approach for local businesses that want to crush their competition online.

Getting to Know You via In-Depth Consultation

Finally, your online marketing agency should provide you with in-depth consultation. This is a time for the agency to get to know your business, your marketing goals, and your target market. As for your part, use the consultation to get a “feel” of the agency and whether you think they are indeed the right partner to accomplish your online marketing initiatives.

Agencies also need this time to analyze your current standing online so they can propose which service you need the most. For example, while you asked for SEO and social media optimization, the agency might propose to build for you a responsive website first to maximize SEO and social media optimization efforts going forward.

We believe we are the perfect online marketing agency partner for your business. We offer up-to-date, complete, and integrated online marketing solutions that give value to our clients. Contact us today to see how we can help your business succeed. Call us now at 765-387-7327 or send us an email at info@spearnet.org so we can schedule your free in-depth consultation.

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Build Your Online Reputation with a Good Online Marketing Consultant http://spearnet.org/build-your-online-reputation-with-a-good-online-marketing-consultant/ Tue, 18 Feb 2014 01:37:33 +0000 http://spearnet.org/?p=830 KNOW WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT YOU

Get a $197 reputation report from an expert online marketing consultant for FREE

Until March 31 Only

Do you know what your customers, competitors, partners, or virtually anyone on the Internet are saying about you or your business? Spear Networking, an experienced online marketing consultant, will help you find out. Until March 15, 2014, you can get a $197 Reputation Report for FREE when you log on to www.spearnet.org/go/repreport.

Many businesses understand the edge of doing effective internet marketing. The Internet is accessible to a lot of people, making it superior to the more traditional mediums of advertising in terms of getting a business’ name out in the open. However, the Internet can also become a breeding ground for negative and false information. If your company has several negative reviews online, these can effectively drive away potential clients.

Don’t let these negative reviews suck out the life from your business. Find out now if there’s a threat to your online status and have an internet marketing specialist help you build a five-star reputation, free-of-charge. Call us at 765-387-7327 or visit our website. Offer is good until March 15 only!

  • FREE Company Reputation Report, valued at $197
  • Call Spear Networking at (765) 387-7327 to avail of the free report.
  • Promo is available from January 17 to March 15, 2014 only
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How Start-Up Companies Can Also Benefit from Social Media Management http://spearnet.org/how-start-up-companies-can-also-benefit-from-social-media-management/ Wed, 05 Feb 2014 03:20:37 +0000 http://spearnet.org/?p=877 In today’s fast-paced world, huge businesses, conglomerates, and corporations are picking up just as quickly on how to utilize the latest marketing strategies. These strategies often involve the latest technological trends and digital advancements, which they use to market their products and services and communicate with their customers. The significance of these methods is not lost on anyone:

“In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we explore how SCRM [social customer relationship management] is changing the way companies interact and more effectively serve their customers, and why it is critical for brands to adopt a social customer strategy, especially as social media and mobile apps begin to mediate more and more customer feedback, purchase decisions, commerce transactions.”

Effective social media management is an important factor needed to ensure sound implementation of social media strategies, which not only benefit the bigger and more established companies but also the ones that are new in the business. Start-up companies that are looking to make an immediate impact in their respective industries should invest in social media for a good number of reasons.

How Start-Up Companies Can Also Benefit from Social Media Management

Since it has already been established that large companies use all kinds of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to communicate with their customers, start-ups can take advantage of the same approach. They can use these methods to establish a strong connection with their target market right from the onset, introduce their services more thoroughly, and then cultivate interaction into a lucrative relationship. With a little help from an experienced social media consultant like Spear Networking, they will be able to accomplish all these more solidly and efficiently.

With social media projected to be one of the hottest movers in all fields of business, it is crucial for small companies to strike while the iron is hot and pave a smoother road to faster growth and profitability.

(Source: Brands Can No Longer Afford To Ignore Customer Sentiment On Social Media, Business Insider, January 22, 2014)

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Why Businesses are Spending, Earning on PPC Advertising http://spearnet.org/842/ Mon, 27 Jan 2014 19:18:38 +0000 http://spearnet.org/?p=842 Pay per Click Advertising: Why Businesses are Spending and Earning on Paid Search

Years ago, businesses realized that their prospects are online and that if they want to reach their target market, they need to have a website. But today, due to tougher competition, smarter business owners are realizing that having a website and optimizing it for search engines is no longer enough. They now know that pure “organic” or free traffic won’t keep the cash register ringing. They need pay per click or PPC advertising.

Unlike SEO, you will need to directly spend for traffic to implement PPC, which is also known as paid search. But there’s a reason why the big players are investing heavily in this channel – they are earning from it. Indeed, PPC can complement “organic” online marketing efforts. When you want instant, targeted traffic, paid search is the way to go.

See our Infographic:

Pay per Click (PPC)

What Marketers Get from PPC

A survey by marketing research firm MarketingSherpa showed that PPC accounts for 25% of online marketers’ budgets. Safe to say, the biggest players in the online paid advertising industry are getting something out of pay per click. Otherwise, they would not be allocating a chunk of their budget to this channel. The same survey showed that marketers primarily use PPC advertising to:

• Increase web traffic – 63%
• Generate more leads – 62%
• Increase online sales revenue – 57%
• Achieve or increase measurable ROI – 50%

From these figures, the benefits of PPC are apparent. Increasing a website’s traffic and leads are its main benefits. Much of this is due to PPC’s power to instantly display your ads on the first page of Google, making it an ideal choice for marketers who cannot wait for the results of search engine optimization or SEO to take effect. And because PPC’s return on investment (ROI) is measurable, it’s an attractive choice for businesses that need to track spending. It’s effective for businesses that have an online sales funnel ready.

Paid Search Fuels Google’s Growth

Google is a company that is built on advertising, especially PPC. The search engine displays advertisements on its web properties like Gmail and YouTube, as well as via millions of affiliate websites, collectively known as the Display Network. It also displays PPC ads on search results.
According to the latest figures released by Google, its 2012 revenue from advertising stood at $43.6 billion – a whopping 300% growth from 2003.

Behind Google’s revenue rise is paid search’s massive growth through the years. A survey by Kissmetrics, Magna Global, and efrontier showed that as of 2011, paid search is already a $34.9 billion industry worldwide. It’s bigger than radio advertising ($29.5 billion), outdoor advertising ($23.6 billion), and cinema advertising ($2.9 billion). It’s also closing in on TV advertising, bringing down the gap in spending from 112% in 2006 to only 24% in 2011.

Separate figures released by ZenithOptimedia, meanwhile, forecast that paid search will hit $57.78 million this year in the United States alone. The Magna Global Advertising Forecast estimated paid search growth for 2014 at 13%. PPC is indeed an industry that is growing.

Biggest PPC Players, Budgets Exposed

How much does the biggest PPC advertiser spend on paid search? WordStream estimates that in 2011, the IAC/InterActiveCorp spent $174.23 million on Google AdWords, making it the biggest PPC spender for that year. IAC owns a number of businesses, including popular websites Ask.com. Dictionary.com, and Vimeo. Retail giant Amazon.com is second with a budget of $118.50 million. Telecommunications provider AT&T completed the top three after spending $115.56 million.

Meanwhile, these industries spent the most on Google AdWords:
• Finance & Insurance – $4.0 Billion
• Retailers & General Merchandise – $2.8 Billion
• Travel & Tourism – $2.4 Billion

Under Finance & Insurance, the top three spenders are familiar brands: State Farm ($43.7 million), Progressive ($43.1 million), and Geico ($23.7 million). Familiar names also topped the Retailers & General Merchandise industry: Amazon.com ($55.2 million), ebay.com ($42.8 million), and Macy’s ($35.6 million).

Can Your Small Company Compete?

Your marketing budget will be humbled by those of big dogs like Amazon, eBay, and State Farm. Does this mean small businesses cannot and should not try paid search? Is PPC an advertising platform where only the wealthiest can compete? What about small and medium-sized businesses like yours?

According to the Google Economic Impact Report, the use of Google search and advertising tools in 2012 resulted in $94 billion worth of economic activity for 1.9 million businesses across the U.S. This simply shows that the benefits of pay per click advertising are not limited to the big corporations. That “1.9 million” figure includes small business and massive enterprises. This means even smaller players can use PPC advertising to instantly land on the first page of Google and reach a targeted audience.

Options for Professionals, Small Businesses

Google AdWords is still the best platform to advertise with. According to estimates by eMarketer, Google holds a 73.8% share of U.S. search ad revenues. That share is expected to grow to 74.4% this year and to 75.7% by 2015. Google also reports that AdWords advertisers typically gain a $2 revenue for every $1 they spend on the platform.

Your next best option would be Bing Ads, which has tie ups with Yahoo and other partners. Together, this group represents a total search engine market share of 30%, or 6 billion searches conducted every month, according to comScore. This network reaches 162 million unique searchers.

But here’s some advice before you proceed: while in general, PPC can be beneficial to businesses both small and huge, you should never easily entrust your marketing budget to any agency. Be sure to get to know the agency first, ideally through free consultation or meeting, to ensure that you get your money’s worth. Trust an agency that understands your needs and your business goals. That’s the only way to earn profits when spending on PPC.

We can help you get instant, targeted traffic via paid search. Call us now at 765-387-7327 or send us an email at info@spearnet.org so we can schedule your free in-depth consultation on PPC advertising.

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