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  • Aug 22 / 2013
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Articles, Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

wateringholeHere at NSquared, we like HubSpot. Thus, we are featuring one of their articles on why inbound marketing is the way to go. Check it out, yo:

 

Editor’s Note: A more detailed version of this article has been published here: “Inbound Marketing and the Next Phase of Marketing on the Web” 

 

 

When I talk with most marketers today about how they generate leads and fill the top of their sales funnel, most say trade shows, seminar series, email blasts to purchased lists, internal cold calling, outsourced telemarketing, and advertising.  I call these methods “outbound marketing” where a marketer pushes his message out far and wide hoping that it resonates with that needle in the haystack.

 

I think outbound marketing techniques are getting less and less effective over time for two reasons.  First, your average human today is inundated with over 2000 outbound marketing interruptions per day and is figuring out more and more creative ways to block them out, including caller ID, spam filtering, Tivo, and Sirius satellite radio.  Second, the cost of coordination around learning about something new or shopping for something new using the internet (search engines, blogs, and social media) is now much lower than going to a seminar at the Marriott or flying to a trade show in Las Vegas.

 

 

 

It’s Time to Transform Your Marketing

 

Rather than doing outbound marketing to the masses of people who are trying to block you out, I advocate doing “inbound marketing” where you help yourself “get found” by people already learning about and shopping in your industry.  In order to do this, you need to set your website up like a “hub” for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through search engines, theblogosphere, and social media.  I believe most marketers today spend 90% of their efforts on outbound marketing and 10% on inbound marketing, and I advocate that those ratios flip.

 

The best analogy I can come up with is that traditional marketers looking to garner interest from new potential customers are like lions hunting in the jungle for elephants.  The elephants used to be in the jungle in the ’80s and ’90s when they learned their trade, but they don’t seem to be there anymore.  They have all migrated to the watering holes on the savannah (the internet).  So, rather than continuing to hunt in the jungle, I recommend setting up shop at the watering hole or turning your website into its own watering hole.

 

 

 

Contact us if you’re ready to check out the watering hole. It’s a beautiful place filled with booming business opportunity. Until next time, stay cool!
  • Aug 17 / 2013
  • 0
Articles

Microsoft is Battling Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

ergonomicGood morning!

 

Here at NSquared, we know what it’s like to be on a computer all day. Do you? If your answer was yes, than the annoying pains in your fingers and wrists (and possibly forearms if you’re a mega-speed-typing-beast) are familiar to you.

 

Well folks, we have news. Microsoft is battling carpal tunnel syndrome and “crampy” hands with their new ergonomic keyboard that is sleek, chic, and definitely does not look like the weird, curvy, padded space-ship keyboard you may have sitting on your desk. Check it out below:

 

 

“Microsoft ‘Manta Ray’ Keyboard Puts Carpal Tunnel on Notice

 

Those with repetitive strain injuries (RSI) like carpal tunnel syndrome (those who simply want to avoid one) probably have an ergonomic keyboard designed to minimize stress. But chances are it’s not as pretty as the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard.

 

The new Sculpt is a big step up, design-wise, from the current Natural keyboard. Codenamed “Manta Ray” (for obvious reasons), it has an open design more friendly to the hands while retaining the split sides necessary for a true “natural” posture. The keyboard takes a few cues from last year’s Sculpt Comfort keyboard, with a cushioned palm rest, sleeker design and keys to match Windows 8. A removable riser lifts up the front.

 

The keyboard is actually part of a bundle called the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop that includes a mouse as well as a separate number pad. The mouse has a more pronounced curve than your typical point-and-clicker, which Microsoft says helps combat RSIs by ensuring the bottom of your hand doesn’t touch your physical desktop as much.

 

Users can slide the separated number pad out of the way when it’s not in use. That way, the mouse slides a little closer to the keyboard — a more comfortable position for most. All of the devices connect to your PC via a single, unified wireless receiver (not Bluetooth).

 

I got a little hands-on time with the new Sculpt bundle. First of all, the keyboard design is gorgeous; preventing stress injuries never looked so good.Typing was noticeably more comfortable than on the Natural, but it still takes some getting used to (typically a couple of weeks, according to Microsoft representatives). I once tried to use the Natural as a primary keyboard but quit since it felt odd; the Sculpt struck me as an easier adjustment, but not enough for me to commit to it (at least, short of an RSI diagnosis).

 

If you’re like me, the Sculpt Comfort Desktop bundle is probably more your speed, which also includes a mouse — though not a separate number pad — and has buttons configured for Windows 8. It also boasts a cleverly positioned extra Backspace key for more efficient typing.

 

The Sculpt Ergonomic bundle costs $129.95, and the mouse and keyboard are available separately, for $80.95 and $59.95, respectively. The Comfort bundle has a $79.95 price tag with keyboard and mouse priced at $59.95 and $39.95, respectively.”

 

 

 

Contact us if you’d like a new website, a website face lift, or some inbound marketing! Stay tuned, and until next time – keep those phalanges healthy and movin’!

  • Aug 15 / 2013
  • 0
Articles, Search Engine Optimization

Google Just Got Smarter (Again)

google-just-be-evil-300x300Bonjour readers!

Yes sir, you read right. Google got smarter again. How you say? Check out, Google Search Will Pull Info From Your Email for Smarter Results, below to find out.

 

 

“Google Search Will Pull Info From Your Email for Smarter Results

 

Googlehotel
 

Google is ramping up its search functionality to make it easier to pull up what you’re looking for, from details about your flight’s status and upcoming dinner reservations to tracking information on packages.

For example, by typing “What’s my flight status?” into Google search, the site will sift through the data in your email, Google Calender and Google+, and then match it against real-time information about your flight. You can also ask it to show you pictures you’ve taken of anything from sunsets to locations and will then search all of your Google-related accounts to present them to you.

 

 

The updates will roll out in the next few days to all U.S. and English-speaking users. It will come to desktop Google search, as well as tablet and smartphones and will be compatible with Google Voice so you can ask your mobile device the same question.

 

 

Google-quick-answer-flight

 

 

The move is an extension of what Google has offered via Google Now for more than a year.

 

“This information is just for you—secure, via encrypted connection, and visible only to you when you’re signed in to Google,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Likewise, you can also control whether you want the service on or off.”

 

An icon at the top of the search results page can be turned off and to block the feature permanently, the “private results” section in settings will do the trick.”

 

Image: Google

 

 

 

Contact us if you need IT consulting, inbound marketing, or a smart-looking website. Until next time, stay intelligent!

 

 

 

 

  • Aug 13 / 2013
  • 0
Articles, Inbound Marketing

Promote Your Lake Havasu City Website – How to Boost Profits with Craigslist, Part II

use-craigs-list-to-benefitHey folks!

 

Welcome to part II of our blog featuring the article, Marketing on Craigslist. Last week we covered what sells best on Craigslist, identifying your market, and building ads. Today we will cover tracking results (you want to know how awesome you’re doing, right?), community commitment, and selling safely (majorly important one). Keep reading and start boosting, yo.

 

 

 

“Marketing Your Business on Craigslist

 

…continued…

 

Tracking Results
If you plan to post in multiple cities and offer specific promotions, tracking which ads produce the best results is important. You can track a Craigslist ad by e-mail, phone number or website referral. Each tracking mechanism should feature a unique component like a custom e-mail address, telephone extension or website referral code. How you choose to track should depend on your industry and the typical methods customer use to communicate with you. Unlike eBay, Craigslist does not provide you with any demographic or tracking data.

Regardless of whether you sell a product or service, it’s important to understand the competitive landscape on a daily or weekly basis. Supply and demand for certain products or services will fluctuate. Take the time to get to know the other players in your cities or categories. If you see a rush on a certain product, focus on something complimentary. For instance, if you’re a mattress wholesaler and see that a large number of a specific brand and/or size mattresses are flooding your market, either price match or focus your energy on a different size or bed frame until the market stabilizes. Also, take into consideration the season and the demographic (both income and recreational) of the cities in which you post. In the winter, a snowmobile will not sell nearly as well in California as it will in Vermont.

 

 

Community Commitment
As an open market, Craigslist welcomes sellers from all walks of life. Keep in mind that as a business owner, you’re just as likely to compete with everyday people selling the contents of their attic as you are a national brand retailer with sights on breaking into your market. The community element sets Craigslist apart from its competitors. Harness the power of your community by doing more than just posting. The most trafficked area of Craigslist is the forums. Use the forums to communicate with fellow sellers and potential buyers or to establish an active, ethical voice for your business.

 

 

Selling Safely
Fraud exists in every corner of the business world, both online and offline. The anonymous nature of Craigslist–the very thing that makes it so popular–is also the reason you should take measures to protect yourself against fraud. With no member or seller ratings system, Craigslist can fall prey to scam artists. Make an effort to talk to each new customer via phone, only ship items once payment is received, and always use your best judgment when it comes to business transactions.

Craigslist continues to experience rapid growth–additional cities have come online in recent months and more are expected to launch throughout the next year. The buzz about this great resource is sweeping the nation, and every day people from all over the world are visiting the site, looking to buy from trusted sellers and service providers. Get in on the action by harnessing the marketing power of Craigslist.

Shanon Lewis is a web-marketing expert who specializes in marketing on Craigslist. She’s also the author of The Unofficial Craigslist Book and regularly shares her wisdom on Craigslist and online marketing at her popular blog.”

 

 

 

So get out there and Craigslist it up! Contact us if you’re in need of some inbound marketing, IT consulting, or a super sweet site that will make you and your product look as legit as you are. Until next time, stay chill NSquared readers.

 

  • Aug 09 / 2013
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Articles, Inbound Marketing, Websites

Promote Your Lake Havasu City Website – How to Boost Profits with Craigslist, Part I

craigslist_LogoHowdy readers!

 

Craigslist. We here at NSquared are almost positive you have heard of this website. But, did you know that this website can be an extremely beneficial tool for marketing your business and boosting profits? Check out, Marketing on Craiglist, below:

 

 

 

“Marketing Your Business on Craigslist

 

Learn how to showcase your products and services on this popular online marketplace.

From e-commerce websites to furniture wholesalers, small businesses both online and off are realizing the marketing power of Craigslist.org. Founded in 1996 by Craig Newmark, Craigslist.org gets an estimated 10 million unique visitors per day. With an online classified ads format organized by either region or city, Craigslist connects buyers and sellers in more than 300 communities; for the most part, posting on the site is free.

 

If you’ve never heard of Craigslist or never considered using the site to market your business, the following tips will help you determine whether it might be a good fit for you and offer another outlet for marketing your products and services.

 

What Sells Best on Craigslist

 

From services like tutoring, car repair and real estate to products such as wholesale furniture, consignment goods and retail e-commerce, Craigslist is the ultimate destination for online marketers. If you manufacture goods, provide services directly or sell products regionally, Craigslist is a marketing tool you should consider. You can also easily promote an eBay store, a franchise operation or a referral partner. And it’s a bourgeoning business opportunity for affiliates and webmasters looking for new ways to find customers.

 

 

Identifying Your Market

 

Like any other advertising medium, Craigslist requires some strategy, though paramount to its usefulness is simplicity. To start, you need to determine which city or cities you’re going to post an ad. If you’re a service provider, you can identify available cities on Craigslist that encompass your service region. Keep in mind that some regions overlap. For instance, if you’re a mobile groomer working in Orange County, California, but service from Los Angeles to San Diego, Craigslist reaches your service area across four cities. So you’d want to develop your messaging and a posting schedule in each of these regions to increase your exposure. If you sell a product or offer a service nationwide, the opportunity to reach new customers is even greater.

Posting on Craigslist, either nationally or locally, requires an understanding of the rules. Craigslist has in place–a set of rules that prohibits advertisers from over-posting or spamming users. You can follow these rules and still get excellent exposure. To start, develop unique ads for each city you post in, focus on specific products and rotate them on a promotional schedule. Never post the exact same ad within 48 hours, and be careful to delete your old ad. Craigslist users are quick to spot businesses that misuse the system and can be quite unforgiving. The Craigslist flagging system puts the power of spam control into the hands of the users.

 

 

Building Ads

 

Building an ad on Craigslist can be as simple as typing in some text, or you can incorporate html and images. Typically, what works best is the direct approach. For instance, if you’re a real estate agent using Craigslist to promote properties for sale, build a text ad that incorporates images of the properties for sale–you don’t need to know html to do this. Simply define what property specifications best sell the property and keep the sales pitch to a minimum. Be sure to include important search words, such as “three bedroom” or “condominium,” as well as regional identifiers including a ZIP code, city or community name. You do this so that people who search for specific items find you in the search results.

Craigslist’s search function isn’t based on a search algorithm; instead, search results are displayed first by date, then by keyword. This makes the text content of your ad extremely important. Ads with images only increase ad effectiveness. And adding images to your ad isn’t difficult. If you’re not web savvy, use the “upload image” function available during the posting process. (If you want to feature a large image or more than one, you’ll need to upload your images to your own web server and reference them inside your ad using basic html.) Images, however, are not required. Often the best performing ads on Craigslist are simple text ads that get straight to the point.”

 

 

 

…to be continued…

 

 

 

Contact us if you need inbound marketing, IT consulting, or an awesome website. Stay tuned for Part II on Monday. Until next time, stay groovy!

  • Aug 07 / 2013
  • 0
Articles, Inbound Marketing, Social Media

Promote Your Lake Havasu City Website – Why a Google+ Profile is Important for Your Business

google-plus-for-businessHowdy NSquared readers!

 

You may have heard or seen the hype regarding Google+. But, if you’re anything close to an average American, you already have multiple profiles on multiple social media websites. Is it really that important to have one more password to keep track of? In regards to Google+, the answer is yes.

 

If you aren’t using a Google+ profile to boost your business, then you are missing out. Keep reading the article below to see why one more password is totally worth it. You won’t regret it!

 

 

 

“Why Google Plus Can be so Important for your Business

 

Google plus is indexed by Google so it can help customers find your business faster and easier also by creating a business page you can increase your visibility.Google+ has more than 90 million members and 60% of them log in every day.How to reach all those users?

 

Provide original information but more importantly share other people’s ideas. Also make sure that you post few times a day to reach people in different times zones.

 

Build up trust

 

If someone you trust shares a link, you are more likely to check it out. Therefore, comment on your shares, respond to other people’s comments.

 

Educate your followers

 

Let your circles know more about your brand as the more they know the easier it is to them to make informed decision about your product or service.

 

Customer service

 

Make sure that your customers are kept happy and respond rapidly to their questions and complains. Offer videos or other media to help resolve their problems or issues.

 

Build a community

 

Give fans a place to talk and share their experiences but tailor your community to your location and business.

 

Share media

 

Do not forget to add media and provide value. Always look for user-created content like e-book, video, reports or photos.

 

 

 

Few ideas how to get it done:

 

Build a relevant audience by looking for people who are appropriate to your business. You can do that by defining your audience by demographic or location or topic.

 

Look for a content that your circles would like outside of Google+

 

Engage in conversation on a post

 

Read posts by others and comment but at the same time you need to comment on your own posts.

 

Share a new post since the purpose of a social network is to connect and share.

 

Finally, do not forget to be consistent and keep your offline and online business presence the same. Moreover, provide a continuity so your clients always know what to expect.”

 

 

 

 

 

Contact us if you want to start promoting your business through inbound marketing. Until next time, stay social media savvy!

 

  • Aug 02 / 2013
  • 0
Articles, Inbound Marketing, Newsletters, Websites

10 Quick Tips to Boost Sales Using Your Website

excessive-worry-blog-post-profit1Hey there NSquared readers.

 

Are you using your website to its full capacity? If you aren’t taking complete advantage of your website’s ability to boost sales, you should be! Check out, 10 Quick Tips to Increase Online Sales, below:

 

 

 

“10 Quick Tips to Increase Online Sales

 

 

 

Your online shop is up and running and everything is ready for doing business. Now it’s time to get some action! Your shop needs to be beautiful and user-friendly, but if you want to boost sales and establish a loyal customer base, we have a few expert marketing tips that can help you get there.

 

 

1. Use a clear call to action button. There needs to be a sense urgency to encourage shoppers to seal the deal, like “Shop Now”, “Get Yours” or “Buy in 1-Click”.

 

 

10 Quick Tips to Increase Online Sales

 

 

2. Add images or videos as product demos. This will help customers to already visualize your product as part of their lives.

 

 

10 Quick Tips to Increase Online Sales

 

 

3. Include customer reviews and ratings of your products. This helps to establish your site’s credibility and creates an added sense of community.

 

 

10 Quick Tips to Increase Online Sales

 

 

4. Make the payment process super smooth. The most deterring thing ever is if the final click to purchase does not go through for some reason and you have to select product and fill in all the billing information again.

 

 

5. Make customer service and customer loyalty a priority. Make sure that you are easily accessible for any questions or returns. Always stand behind your products, guarantee satisfaction and reward customers for their purchases.

 

 

10 Quick Tips to Increase Online Sales

 

 

6. Highlight products by offering discounts or pointing out your shop’s “best-sellers” or most popular items.

 

 

10 Quick Tips to Increase Online Sales

 

 

7. Make sure the added value of your store is clear. Shoppers need to see the benefit of purchasing your products. What is unique about your business? The answer to this question needs to be clear not only to you, but also to your customers.

 

 

10 Quick Tips to Increase Online Sales

 

 

8. Create discount coupons and distribute them on social networks, on printed marketing material (flyers, newspaper ads) or to a mailing list of clients. Limit the amount of available coupons (“first 50 to use this coupon will get a 50% discount!”) or the duration (“a 48-hours sale starts now!”) to stir people up for a quick action.

 

 

9. Use more than one photo for each product. For instance, if you’re selling clothes you can upload an image of the clothing item on a white background but also a photo of a model wearing it.

 

 

10 Quick Tips to Increase Online Sales

 

 

10. Set up a mailing list and keep customers updated on the newest merch, the latest deals or any other news bit that might get them to revisit your online shop.”

 

 

 

 

 

Contact us if your website needs a face lift (or you need inbound marketing), so you can take full advantage of your website and have a successful business. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

  • Jul 19 / 2013
  • 0
Articles, Social Media

10 Reasons Your Business Should Tweet, Part II

twitter-newspaper-oWelcome to Part II! Check out the rest of the list from, 10 Reasons Your Business Should Use Twitter:

 

 

 

“10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Twitter

 

…continued…

 

 

 

5. News

 

 

You can also give latest updates on twitter about your company by tweeting. Here is one done by JetBlue Airways on their twitter account @jetblue

 

 

6. Give away coupon codes and promotions

 

 

You can also tweet about new deals and coupons codes to help give your company the extra boost. What everyone love include me is getting a good deal. Weather its a promotional lunch set, if its cheap. I want it. Here is  a tweet on Dell is doing it.

 

 

 

For me you don’t have to be like dell in order to do this. You can have a normal business as well. If you have a restaurant and you have build loyal or new followers in your place you can send out tweet like “Having a special set lunch this weekend.” or something like that. They can tweet you for more information regarding that. I am going to teach you how you can get local twitterers.

 

 

7. Twitter is Viral

 

 

If you’ve have succeeded gaining some popularity with your twitter account you will know how viral twitter can be. This will be part of your marketing strategies that you can use in the future. Dell have succeeded in making their tweets viral with their promotion tweets.

 

 

8. Spying on competition

 

 

Did you know you can spy on competition too? Best part about this and spying on customers is that its FREE using twitter search. You can not only read what customers are talking about you but you can also read what customers are talking about your competition. If your competition is not doing anything with their customers complaints. Then what happens if you (the savior) suddenly tweet them “hey I heard you have a problem with…..” Just an example.

 

 

9. Increase Sales

 

 

Twitter can help you increase sales and make PROFIT. Dell is one of the company that have increase their sales on twitter. How much sales? Imagine $6.5 million in sales as reported at mashable

 

 

10. Brand loyalty

 

 

At the end of the day, once you have engaged, helped your customers (your followers) on twitter. They will be loyal to your brand for a long time. This will be talked more in the future post.”

 

 

 

Pretty awesome reasons, eh? We sure think so. Contact us for your IT and inbound marketing needs. Have a safe weekend, and stay cool NSquared readers!

  • Jul 17 / 2013
  • 0
Articles, Social Media

10 Reasons Your Business Should Tweet, Part I

twitter-marketingBonjour intellectuals! Are you at the cross street of Marketing Avenue and Twitter Street? No? You should be!

 

Monday we showcased an article explaining why twitter is beneficial for your business. Well today and Friday we are going to do a two part series featuring, 10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Twitter. The list begins now:

 

 

 

“10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Twitter

 

 

 

If you don’t know, companies have already started using twitter as it is the new way to promote, connect and brand a company. In my last post I mentioned if your company is not using twitter then your company is going to miss out be crushed.

 

 

So why bother using twitter for your business? Even twitter themselves know about the power of using twitter for business that they’ve set up a special twitter 101. Here is what twitter says

 

 

 
Here are reasons that I’ve came up.

 

 

1. Connecting with customers

 

 

This is the  main reason why you should use twitter for your business. You will be able to connect with your customers because they themselves are using twitter. Twitter has become a daily routine where people log onto it every single day, some log onto twitter the first thing they wake up even before brushing their teeth. If you have an unsatisfied customer you will hear them on twitter. This will help your company to help them. On the coming days I’ll be going deeper about how you can “spy” on tweets using free tools like twitter search.

 

 

2. Branding

 

 

You don’t have to be a big brand like Dell, Nike, Starbucks to brand yourself on twitter. You can be an average joe and brand yourself on twitter. For me if your company is not recognize then you need to get a PERSONAL account. Why? Firstly nobody want to talk to a LOGO unless its a famous brand. Everyone wants to connect with a person and not a bot.

 

 

3. Customers feedback

 

 

Once you have connected with your customers you will for sure be getting feedback on how you can improve your product, your services and maybe even improve your customers service. Listening to them will help you in the future.

 

 

4. Marketing

 

 

One of the reasons to use twitter is you get to market your product or services to more people and the best part about that is its FREE. You don’t have to pay (Unless if you plan to hire someone to run your twitter account).”

 

 

 

…to be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

Contact us for your IT and inbound marketing needs. Be sure to stick around for the last of the list this Friday!

  • Jul 15 / 2013
  • 0
Articles

How Twitter Can Help Your Business

Tweet-Dork-Bird-210x188It’s true folks. Twitter is not just good for socializing. Check out, How Twitter Can Help Your Business, below (from the Twitter peeps themselves):

 

 

 

“How Twitter Can Help Your Business

 

Connect your business to what people are talking about right now.

 

 

 

With 400 million Tweets a day and 200 million active users, people turn to Twitter to bring them closer to the things they care about, whether it’s the news that affects their lives or the businesses down the block.

 

 

Connect in context.

 

 

On Twitter, people talk about what they care about and what’s happening around them right now, including your business. This gives you powerful context to connect your message to what’s most meaningful to your customers in real time. Engaging with real-time Tweets can influence conversations in a way that can help build your business.

 

 

Listen and learn.

 

See what your competitors are tweeting about or search for industry keywords to listen and gather market intelligence. It’s an easy way to get insights that you can use to inform your strategy.

 

 

Grow and succeed.

 

 

Want to grow your business, run exciting promotions, strengthen your brand and engage with your customers? Great! Twitter Ads can amplify your efforts in these areas and more.

 

 

Learn more about Twitter Ads

 

 

Learn from others.

 

 

See how these businesses used Twitter to drive transactions, connect with customers and grow.

 

 

 

Stick around this week to learn more about the benefits of Twitter for your business. Contact us for your IT and inbound marketing needs. Until next time, keep tweeting!

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