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Here’s How Your Competitors Are Marketing in 2011

According to Small Business Trends and a poll by GrowBiz Media, small business owners will increase their online marketing budgets next year. That’s good news for the marketplace — that is, of course, unless you’re still taking a “wait and see” approach towards investing in yourself and your business. If so, your competitors who invest in a few targeted marketing strategies in 2011 will have no problem attracting your clients.

marketing strategyHere are the stats of where small business owners will increase their budgets next year:

  • Websites: +17 percent
  • Direct mail: +15 percent
  • Email marketing: +15 percent
  • Social media: +13 percent
  • Print ads: +10 percent
  • Online ads: +9 percent
  • SEO: +4 percent

So, what are you going to do? Armed with these stats and knowing the importance of marketing online, what’s your next move?It’s impressive to see such a jump, but it’s not surprising. In fact, it would be surprising if successful small business owners didn’t increase their online marketing budgets when everyone else was waiting.

An integrated marketing strategy. There’s truth to the cliché that you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Take a close look at how, why, and where you’re spending your marketing dollars. You may find that a few small, strategic tweaks can make a huge impact on your sales.

Remember that the marketing decisions you make right now will influence your success next year. If you revisit the stats above, you’ll notice how an unnamed but unrivaled Internet marketing strategy fits into almost 60% of the online marketing budget increase.

What is it? Article marketing. Why? Because the right article marketing strategy connects all of them. Aside from the obvious benefit of attracting clients based on educational articles that connect your most important keywords to your most important clients, article marketing can actually permeate your entire marketing strategy.

How? Well, if you use social media (and your business should!) like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for business, you can use the article marketing keywords in your daily posts. This strategy is completely organic and doesn’t cost you a dime.

Of course, after you’ve written a keyword-rich article of interest to your target audience, you’re going to want to repurpose it to maximize its influence. Post the SEO article on your blog, as a guest posting on an industry blog, on your Resources page, as an email newsletter to stay on your clients’ radar screens, and even in offline venues like networking events where you can continue to reap the benefits of showcasing your expertise.

Don’t wait to see what your competitors are doing. Learn more about how a comprehensive content marketing program can deliver the results you’re seeking in 2011. Call 310.792.8888 or visit to start next year’s marketing strategy now.

The Best Way to Boost Your Website Traffic — Are You Doing It?

website traffic
Are you making money from your website? Is it hiding in a dark corner of the web, or can it be easily found by searching for one of your company’s keywords?

As a small business owner, these are critical questions to ask yourself. After all, why did you spend all of that money to build a great website if potential customers can’t find your business on the Internet? According to experts at the SMX Search Marketing Expo, 70% of searchers go online for business information first.

Indeed, the economy and the saturation of the marketplace online make competition fiercer than ever. The good news is that you can beat your competitors to potential customers (and not spend a fortune doing it) by writing and distributing articles that are optimized for the search engines.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have a big budget to grow your business with online marketing strategies. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars a month. You don’t have to be an expert. You don’t even have to write and distribute the articles yourself.

In fact, one of the many benefits of article marketing is that you get more bang for your buck. It’s a cost-effective way to leverage your business online, increase the exposure of your products/services, and generate more traffic to your website.

Article marketing is one of the best ways to:

  • Attract visitors to your website: By distributing your keyword-rich articles to online directories, you can quickly increase visitors to your Web site who are very interested in your products/services.
  • Establish yourself as an expert: Since you’re not specifically selling your products/services in the articles, you build credibility as an expert in your industry. Your credibility grows as the number of articles you write on subjects valuable to your target audience grows (both of which attract more visitors to your website).
  • Build your link popularity and search engine rankings: Search engines place more importance on how many links point to your website. Writing articles builds quality links from other sites, which gives your Web site more authority and a higher ranking.
  • “Pre-sell” your products and/or services: One of the great things about article marketing is how it enables you to sell your product/service before a potential customer even arrives at your website. Article marketing is a soft-sell: Instead of overtly marketing your product/service, you provide searchers of your keyword with valuable information that compels them to want to click-through to your website.
  • Get more free website traffic: Unlike pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, article marketing is organic. It only costs you the time to write and distribute the article. The best part? Unlike other forms of advertising, your keyword-rich articles live online forever. This means that you can continue to attract new customers long after you’ve written and distributed an article.

If you want to drive more targeted traffic to your website, give us a call at 310.792.8888 or visit

Use Your News: Get More Exposure With Press Releases

press release
I recently attended a Webinar presented by Dana Willhoit, CEO of The Press Release Site and an expert on press releases. The topic was “How to Use Your News to Grow Your Business.”

She brought up some great points and shared tips and tricks (many of which I use when writing press releases and other marketing materials for my own clients) on fool-proof ways to increase your exposure online. Dana echoed what I’ve told my clients about getting more publicity: You can create your own news!

How Do I Create My Own News?
You don’t have to release a new product or service, acquire a large new customer, or appoint a new executive to have a reason to publish press releases about your company online. Whether you’re a business of 1, 10, 100, or more, even small businesses can regularly produce relevant press releases to build their brand. You simply need a news angle.

News Angles
So, where do you find news angles? They’re everywhere. Check Google News, Yahoo! News, daily newspapers (the ones that leave black newsprint on your hands—yes, they’re still around), cable news, magazines, trade journals, etc. Keep an eye out for anything to which you can tie your news. These can vary from entertainment industry gossip to serious international news stories. Find a news story from which you can draw a parallel to some aspect of your business, and you have some timely news!

For instance, if you sell metal sheds and are wondering how you can get more publicity for your business, take a look at a benefit of your product and tie it to something in the news. The new Terminator movie is coming out soon. If you sell metal sheds, your news angle could be that your sheds are as indestructible as the Terminator. If you used the keywords right, your press releases could pop-up online in places you never would have imagined!

If you’re having difficulty tying your company and/or product to something in the news, create your own news angle. You could:

  • Hold a contest and give away a product/service
  • Sponsor an event and report on its success
  • Do a poll on something in your industry or on one of your products/services
  • Present a free seminar or Webinar
  • Do a raffle for charity
  • Offer a special for holidays

Writing Press Releases
There are several important facets to writing effective press releases, but I’ll stick to a few main ideas as they relate to search engines and search engine optimization (SEO). A few tips on keywords in your press releases:

  • Use your keyword in the headline and towards the end of the first sentence. If it doesn’t “fit” in the first sentence, make sure it at least appears in the first paragraph.
  • Spread your keyword throughout the body of your press releases, using it three to six times (depending on the length of the press release). You want your press releases to be keyword-rich so the search engines can find you, but you also need to make sure you don’t jam your keywords into your press releases so much that they become distracting to your human readers.
  • Make your keywords bold. The search engines like this and it draws your readers’ eyes to the primary topic of your press release.

The moral of the story: You can create awareness for your products/services, increase your brand’s exposure, drive more potential customers to your website, and sell more products/services when you make your own news!

Need help finding what’s newsworthy about your business? No problem. Give Novo Writing a few minutes of your time and I bet we can find several reasons why your business should be in the news. Contact us at 310.792.8888 or via email at