» Be Where Your Customers Will Find You

Local search marketing is an important part of your business. Make sure when a bride or groom is searching for their wedding vendors that your business gets in front of them by implementing the tips below.

Know what people are searching for and put that content on your site. Most engaged couples will search by the location and type of Wedding Pro they are looking for, i.e. Dallas Wedding Planners. Make sure that on your website somewhere it says that information so that search engines will effectively match you up. Focusing on keywords is an important aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well. Some sites to take a look at to monitor what your potential customers are looking for:

Google Wonder Wheel – Simplifies and arranges search results for you. This will allow you to see other relevant search terms for what you are looking for.

Google Adwords – Advertise on Google with the flexibility of cost, reach, and messaging.

Flowtown – “Helping social marketers deliver real ROI.”

Google Alerts – Set up automatic email notifications for specific search terms.

Claim your local profiles. Make sure that when someone does find your business, they are able to get there. Set up your profile Bing, Google, Yahoo, Mapquest, etc.

Engage them once they find you. You should have multiple forms of communication open for your potential customers to reach out to you. Actively manage and update your email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts.

» Google Adwords and Anayltics

Interested in learning how Google Analytics and Google AdWords works? Here are three useful Google slideshows I found in a Mashable blog post this morning that you might find useful as you prepare your marketing plans for the New Year:

  • An Introduction to Google Analytics – A quick explanation of what Google Analytics is and how it works.

  • Google Analytics: Measuring Interactions – Demonstrates how Google Analytics measures website interactions (beyond pageviews).
Google Analytics

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: barcamppune bcp5)

  • Google AdWords- A demonstration of how Google AdWords works. It provides tips and suggestions too!

» Inbound Marketing: an efficient way to market your business

With the current state of our economy, many companies are turning their efforts to Inbound Marketing because it is a more efficient way to market their business than traditional, Outbound Marketing.

Let’s take a look at the difference between the two types:

  • Outbound Marketing: Main goal is to find customers.
  • Inbound Marketing: Main goal is getting found by customers.
Outbound Marketing Inbound Marketing
Trade Shows Blogs
Telemarketing Facebook
Print Advertising Search Engine Optimization
Direct Mail Pay-Per-Click

So why are companies now using more Inbound Marketing tactics? Here are a few reasons I found:

  • It costs less. Inbound Marketing is all about creating good content and talking about it. This can be done by starting a blog, creating a Facebook fan page, posting videos on YouTube, or using Twitter. All of these examples are free and can draw a significant amount of attention.
  • Better targeting. With Inbound Marketing you can be more selective when choosing your audience instead of targeting the masses.
  • It’s an investment, not an ongoing expense. If you invest money in creating content that puts you in the high rank of Google’s organic results (which is free), you will be there until someone else displaces you.

With the New Year only weeks away, it might be helpful to take a look at your own marketing plan and see if you can incorporate any of these Inbound Marketing tactics!

For more details on Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing, check out this great blog post from HubSpot.

» 6 PPC Strategies to Consider During These Economic Times

I’m sure many of you hear the same thing I do: the wedding industry is recession proof.  And indeed there is some truth to that because people will always want to get married.  But as the news seems to get worse each and the stock market continues it tumble downward, being prudent would be a smart idea right now.  As a wedding vendor you have to consider your budgets carefully and as many of you start advertising on the search engines PPC ad systems, competition will drive the cost up over time.  The folks over at the Rimm-Kaufman Group Blog noted 6 PPC strategies to consider right now that I think are worth paying attention to:

  1. Have clear economic targets. Be exact with how much traffic you want or will spend.  Don’t be vague right now.
  2. Use strong bid management tools. If you outsource your PPC, stay in touch with your account manager.  If you do it yourselves, keep a watchful eye on it.  Don’t just let your PPC campaigns sit around.
  3. Shift ad dollars to stronger channels. Consider all your advertising options and use the methods with the greatest return, which may mean putting more into paid search and less into bridal events for instance.
  4. Seek capped agency or technology fees. Just make sure if you outsource your PPC campaigns, that fees don’t eat into your margins too heavily.
  5. Protect your bottom line first. Revenue targets set in 2007 may not work right now and you’ve got to be constantly adjust your targets right now.  Protect your bottom line, what that mean a year ago is probably different right now.
  6. Stay calm. Don’t over react and don’t be afraid to be creative with your advertising and constantly be testing new ad units.