Mobile Apps – the greatest Marketing Opportunity

Posted by Peter Bowen in Internet Marketing, Mobile Apps, Mobile Websites, Push Notifications | Comments Off

mobile apps for marketing
Marketing is all about getting your message in front of your audience and it is the first step to getting more business and making your message compelling and getting people to take action is the key. So when you want to boost your business, you need to find the right tools.

One of them is offering an amazing cost/return ratio with a mobile app.

According to a recent report consumers are spending an average of almost 3 hours on smartphones and tablets each day. Now that’s a serious eyeful, right? People are spending almost a fifth of their waking hours using their mobile devices, and there are still small businesses that are ignoring mobile marketing.

Unfortunately, when you do that, you risk the market ignoring you.

Mobile Apps Are Cost-Effective

Mobile strategies really could not be more cost effective than they are today. For a small monthly fee, a small business can publish an app and have a dedicated, persistent ad right on a user’s mobile screen. That little app icon, once downloaded, is itself an ad for your business that will be seen many times each day by all of your fans. That is, without even going into the many revenue-generating marketing opportunities present in apps after launch, just the fact that your app was downloaded is already providing you with a marketing boost.

Who needs traditional ads when you’ve got some of the most valuable visual real estate in the modern world? A mobile business app specifically tailored to your customers needs!

Then you throw in all the amazing ways that apps boost business – mobile ordering, push notifications of offers and events, even something as simple as making the address easy to look up – and you’ve got a winning combo that’s about as cost-effective as can be.

Small business owners: don’t miss out. The mobile marketing deal is just too sweet!

Is your business mobile friendly?

Posted by Peter Bowen in Internet Marketing, Mobile Websites, Website Marketing | Leave a comment

As consumers become more savvy with their smartphones it’s quite common these days to see them clicking and scanning bar codes or QR codes looking for special coupon offers or to compare prices as they shop. So it makes sense that retailers and businesses are rushing to adopt these contemporary marketing and merchandising tools, yes?

Well actually the answer is NO.

Sadly most of them have not actually figured out that they are loosing potential sales to their competitors and those that have adopted this tools have not made their resulting webpages mobile friendly.

So as a result consumers are left squinting at their tiny smartphone screens trying desperately to resize them and shrink the page so it fits on the screen – but then it cannot be read at all, so what is the point.

Well the point is that there must be a mobile version of the resulting webpage that can easily be viewed and acted upon. It was only recently in the last few weeks that PayPal finally got around to optimising their website for mobile devices, until then it was almost impossible to navigate around a tiny screen entering usernames and passwords.

First One On builds mobile apps and websites for clients and provides easily accessible platforms for retailers and business to tap into the mobile consumers’ needs.
For instance, the retailer or business now has the ability to steer the consumer to a specific offer page or even instruct them to do something which result in a purchase. Imagine the power of being able to influence the consumer to buy your product or service almost immediately and most certainly 24/7.

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Push Notifications Engage Mobile App Consumers

Posted by Peter Bowen in Internet Marketing, Mobile Apps, Mobile Websites, Push Notifications, Social Media, Website Marketing | Leave a comment

The upward surge of mobile apps appearing everyday is creating a new breed of savvy marketeers says Peter Bowen, Managing Director of First One On that launched their mobile app and mobile website offerings at the beginning of 2012.

Recently at the Mobile Media Summit held in Chicago we learned that mobile is starting to have a serious impact on traditional advertising mediums such as television, print media and online based on consumers’ adopting smartphones worldwide. Apple reported more than 2 million pre-orders for the new iPhone 5 when it was released recently

There are an estimated 4 billion mobile phones in the world of which 1.3 billion are smartphones and the number is growing daily. In the UK for example OFCOM reports that there are a staggering 33+ million smartphones capable of receiving online content.  Therefore mobile is becoming the centre of future advertising and marketing strategies.

When smartphone users search for content or scan QR codes they are directed to mobile versions of websites or in some cases websites that have not been optimised for mobile viewing and just don’t display correctly.

For some types of business the mobile website offers all of the required information for the user to either learn more information about a product or service or to provide answers before making a decision to purchase.

There is an increasing trend to use QR codes to drive consumers to specific mobile optimised pages. These pages offer an immediate result or offer to “buy now” as a method of attracting users to engage and react to the offer or call to action. However once the user has opened the page and moved on they may never return to that mobile webpage ever again unless they are motivated by a need to either search or be directed by a QR code.

Say hello to the Mobile App – a slightly different mobile media version than the mobile website. Yes it displays information and offers plus a whole lot more besides. It resides on your smartphone as an app with its own icon on your desktop and can be easily accessed at any time.

Mobile apps attract new customers and help to increase on-going engagement by building a community for brand loyalty – a loyal fan base of users that will be far more receptive to marketing messages that you put out because they have given you their permission to receive your marketing message.

Mobile apps help to attract new customers, increase engagement and drive conversions, by ensuring that the user keeps coming back for more.

Now the business owner of the app has control of their customers in a way that they never had before and can in effect drive customers in to buy, engage or interact in the way that has been designed to deliver the end result – sell more stuff!

Some of the built-in features and offers that the app provides will be enough of an incentive for users to react to the offerings but at other times the user might need a gentle little push or persuasion.

Peter Bowen says “mobile apps have the ability to receive incoming text notifications that are called ‘push notifications’ and as their name implies the message is pushed out to all users who have the app installed on their smartphone”. “There is a misconception that this type of communication could be considered as spam, this is down to a few who are abusing the privilege of communicating directly to end users”. “As long as it is not misused, push notifications are an effective way of engaging consumers and delivering brand loyalty”.

Recent research has revealed that push notifications can deliver:

  • 500% increase in daily app opens
  • 3x faster response time than email
  • 30% increase in social sharing on Facebook and Twitter
  • 97% read rates compared to email at 5-10%

Push notifications should give consumers the information that they want in small doses, not a blatant advertising or hard selling approach, after all the user has installed the app to enable them to get some value out of what you have to offer. The message must be meaningful and have a compelling call to action otherwise you are not going to be able to convert their reaction into a potential sale.

Push notifications can draw consumers into your brand and create the brand loyalty that you want, so that when they are ready to buy they will have a sense that you care about them.

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Tablets are the Future for Business

Posted by Peter Bowen in Mobile Websites, Website Marketing, Website Marketing and SEO | Tagged | Leave a comment

With the recent advancements in technology, many businesses have turned to the use of tablets to help them improve business productivity. In fact, studies have shown that more than half of businesses are using them. Surveys that were completed by iGR, the market strategy specialist, show that with over 400 businesses studied, 52 percent of them are using tablets to help them with their business needs. With tablets becoming so popular, it’s no wonder that UK app developers are finding there’s more and more demand for their app building skills, as businesses look to make the most of these devices.

Of the businesses that were surveyed, nearly half of them use their tablets for business and personal needs. Generally, members of management and other staff members indicated that they used their tablets for personal reasons, while those at an executive level used it mainly for work related matters.

So, why are businesses turning to tablets? They are basically using them to replace laptops and increase their workforce’s effectiveness. That does not mean that businesses out there will not also use notebooks and laptops, but more and more companies are finding that tablets are easier for their employees to use. The ease of use, along with the continued development of suitable mobile applications, really gives the tablet a competitive edge over laptops and netbooks in the business world.

The use of tablets has also changed the way that businesses plan their IT investments. About a quarter of the businesses that were surveyed noted that they would buy fewer laptops since they were moving over to using tablets. A quarter also stated that they will be supplying these tablets in accordance with new company policies.

With the increase in tablet use, there have also been quite a few changes when it comes to technology management. The IT departments are usually the ones that are in charge of the purchasing and maintenance of a company’s computers, laptops and netbooks. However, when it comes to tablet maintenance, only about half of the businesses that were surveyed stated that their IT departments would be in charge of this.

The president of iGR, Iain Gillot, has found that the majority of airlines and financial businesses are turning to tablets for their employees. Tablet usage is expected to continue to rise over the next few years for many different types of businesses. Also, there has been a lot of research done that shows that the tablets are not only used within larger corporations but also in smaller businesses. As the trend for tablet usage continues to rise, laptop purchases are on the decline for many businesses.

Since smaller businesses are turning to tablet usage as well, it is clear to see that tablets will eventually take over the business world. Reports put together by Futuresource Consulting have shown that tablet sales are projected to increase by at least 200 percent over the next couple of years. With that in mind, tablet applications are also expected to increase in number. In 2011, over 64 million tablets were sold and in a five year projection, that number is expected to increase to over 232 million sales.

Winning Sales Through Creative And Inventive Ways

Posted by Peter Bowen in Website Marketing and SEO | Leave a comment

Today’s business atmosphere has grown extremely diverse and competitive. In order to make an enterprise survive and win sales, creativity and innovation are both essential. These two tricks work hand in hand in order to market a business in the best possible way.

What is innovation management (IM)?

a. The term “innovation” comes from the Latin word “innovates”, which means “to renew or change”. It is to make changes or approach something in a new way.

b. IM is the discipline which manages all innovative strategies. It deals with an organization’s internal, external, and service innovating schemes.

c. Strategic processes are set and standardized tools are utilized to allow the team’s innovative team to develop new ideas in an organized and efficient way.

d. The purpose of this is to enable a company to make most of creativeness in developing brands, campaigns, products, and solutions.

e. Most of the time, this is carried out along with a company’s research and development team. However, it is still advisable that the whole work force is involved so that all creative input can be maximized.

f. The processes integrate traditional values, modern technology, and the latest trends in the market.

Why are creative thinking techniques beneficial?

a. These mental processes lead a person to come up with brand new thoughts and ideas.

b. This makes possible the development of innovations in the field of various enterprises.

c. Companies should help employees grasp and master these techniques so that innovations can come in at a more constant pace. This can be done by regular seminar updates, workshops, team-building activities, and brainstorming sessions.

d. Current market researches explain that the most essential techniques needed for corporations are:

  1. diagnostic – demands the careful assessment of a situation, understanding the nature of a problem, and making the appropriate decisions regarding the steps which need to be taken
  2. strategic – consists of identifying different issues that need to be addressed and selecting the right pathways to move an enterprise to its desired future
  3. visionary – involves conceiving results that you want to create
  4. ideational – the production of original thoughts and ideas which could respond to significant challenges
  5. contextual – utilizing existing researches and integrating the concepts learned to current problems
  6. evaluative – looking back at past decisions and pointing out the strong and weak points of old ways
  7. tactical – mapping out sound interventions and tactics for a company’s success in the new age

Innovation is not merely an option in today’s market – it is a requirement. It guarantees that an enterprise can offer something fresh and purposive – something which could not be provided by anyone else. This gives a healthy edge among competitors and helps businessmen win more customers and sales.

Grow Your Business, Grow Yourself

Posted by Peter Bowen in Blogs, Internet Marketing | Leave a comment

To grow your business, you must grow yourself. Business growth is anchored in personal growth the way a tree’s roots are anchored to the ground that nourishes it.

Business expansion brings increased creative risk and complexity as well as the potential for outstanding rewards – and it requires an expanded version of you to shape and hold it.

The most successful of my clients are those who understand this.

They willingly cultivate a loving relationship with their soul and with the essence of their business. Their business flourishes, serving them and the people and causes they love, while shaping a world that works for everyone.

Much of the work my clients and I do together is about building capacity – the capacity to handle creative risk; to ride the waves of uncertainty without losing focus and commitment to their deepest desires. The capacity to reshape identities, transform beliefs, and evolve into the inner pattern of their being. The capacity to partner effectively with the soul of their business and to manage increasing complexity in their business relationships.

You grow your business by developing a deep relationship with its soul – the essence qualities that you and your business are here to bring into the world. Those qualities of essence are intimately connected to your own soul’s deepest purposes. They also emerge from your gifts, talents, genius and heart – from the purposes of your incarnation.

The soul of your business is a living being whose pattern of perfect unfolding already exists in the subtle energy realms. You co-create your business by anchoring this pattern to your concrete intentions, and partnering with the soul of your business to bring its pattern into the world.

By tethering the pattern of your business – or of a particular project in your business, like creating a product or launching a program — to your clear intention, and then by taking consistent, concrete, daily actions towards the fulfillment of your desires, you help to grow your business organically and sustainably.

Guest blog extract by Hiro Boga

How To Make The Most Of Your Online Business Blog

Posted by Peter Bowen in Website Marketing and SEO | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The online industry is constantly changing and evolving. It is becoming more and more crucial for Internet marketers to have an online blog to promote their business. It can help you increase traffic volume to your business, allow you to promote various products from your site, and give you the opportunity to meet new people and build relationships.

There are several differences to running an online blog versus a web site. One of the first things that one needs to do is get an understand is that it is far more casual than your web site. The advantage of having an online blog is you can be far more conversational and less like a business owner.

This will give you the opportunity to open up and reveal who you are. It can be difficult to show your true side with a business web site, because you have to focus on being professional and taking care of your customers. With an online business blog, you can focus on interacting and offering your opinion on various topics.

When running an online business blog, it is essential you take the time to post every day. You cannot get away with posting once post per week if you want your readers to keep returning for more. You have to be devoted to making at least one post a day. This way you can reply to other people’s comments and create a new topic from time to time.

There is nothing wrong with staying with each topic for a few days if the conversation continues and everyone has insights. However, you do need to make sure to keep your posts fresh and appealing. There is no point in making a post that people have already talked about in several other blogs and forums.

Doing research is the easiest way to keep your posts creative and fresh. Take the time to post in forums and discover what people are searching for. Find out what questions people have and what kinds of information. They want to learn about.

Do not be afraid to ask people questions either. Just because, you are responsible for the blog, does not mean you have to be the expert. It is clearly beneficial to be knowable of what you are talking about and be able to lead a conversation. However, keep your online business blog open, so everyone can express their opinions and answer your questions.

Running an online blog with your small business can prove to be extremely valuable. It gives you the opportunity to show a whole new side to yourself. You can interact, offer your opinions to topics, and truly bond with prospects and customers of yours.

Hope this information was helpful, “How to Make the Most of Your Online Business Blog” Furthermore, I appreciate your time that you have spent here!

How To Choose The Perfect Office Chair

Posted by Peter Bowen in Website Marketing and SEO | Leave a comment

office chair

 

We’ve all heard the scare stats about obesity and heart disease and everything else linked to sitting for long periods of time: it’s bandied around like the latest thing that causes cancer. But if you’re based at your desk for nine hours a day and you’re not taking the recommended walk around the office once an hour – you need to be sure your chair is absolutely tip top when it comes to support.

There are several key areas you need to consider when assessing your office chair:

 

1) The backrest

Your upper and lower back must be supported, preferably with lumbar support which follows the curve of your spine. The backrest should also be adjustable so you’re comfortable whatever height you are.

2) The armrests

Proper adjustable armrests make your chair more comfy, which means you’re more relaxed at your desk. You shouldn’t have any tension in your shoulders and neck, and you should be comfortable enough to keep yourself from leaning your arms on the desk.

3) The seat

Not to put too fine a point on it, your seat needs to fit your bottom properly! You need consistent support across the seat, and it should be angled slightly towards the floor. This allows your feet to lie flat, which is much better for circulation.

4) The test

The only way you can know if a chair is made for you is by sitting in it. And I don’t mean just giving it a little try in the shop. Spend as much time as you need assessing how comfortable you are, and if it’s a chair your employer has selected, don’t be afraid to speak up if it’s not right.

If you’re considering how to choose the perfect office chair, you need to think about the amount of time you’re spending there. For instance, I sit in my office chair for up to nine hours a day, and I spend another four hours sitting on trains… I need office furniture that is going to work as hard as I do!

When you’re stressed at work, the last thing you need is a poorly performing chair adding discomfort and potential damage to your back. You wouldn’t put up with a bed that wasn’t comfortable, so don’t put up with it at work either. Desk comfort and health is actually covered by workplace welfare legislation, so if you’re not sitting comfortably – it’s time to start making demands.

Have you found the perfect office chair? I’ve heard everything from Ikea to exercise balls, so let’s have some more!

 

Honor Clement-Hayes is an office nuisance who always demands the perfect working conditions. She blogs for Office King and also writes about shoes for a fashion magazine.

Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ngv_design,_frank_lloyd_wright,_office_chair_larkin,_1904-06_02.JPG

Social Media Attracts More Website Visitors

Posted by Peter Bowen in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are you getting more traffic from social media than you were a year ago?

Measuring and analysing visitor traffic to a website is important in understanding what motivates those visitors and knowing how they get to a website and where they came from is an important metric that is used to build better website content that ultimately results in better conversion rates.

Peter Bowen at First One On says “we are seeing increasing numbers of visitors coming from social media platforms and Google’s changing algorithm is placing more emphasis on websites that can attract visitors from sources other than a search using their search engine”.

So the question this week is to ask yourself is – “how well are you doing with search results that come from Google?” and “what are you doing to attract visitors from social media platforms?”

As we all know, social media is about people and people share information that they find and as the old adage says “the best referral is word of mouth” and in this case it is the sharing of knowledge and great content and social media is gaining ground against search engines in its ability to deliver increasingly more traffic to websites over traditional search engines.

UK Experian Hitwise Data noted that UK visits to major search engines dropped by 100 million through the month of August 2012 to 2.21 billion, and has dropped by 40 million year-over-year. Peter Bowen says, “the key thing here is the growing significance of social networks as a source of traffic to websites” and “search is still the number-one source of traffic, but social networks are growing as people increasingly navigate around the web via recommendations from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.”

This is great news for Facebook should it launch its own search engine and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said “we’re basically doing 1 billion queries a day and we’re not even trying,” adding that “Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have. At some point we’ll do it. We have a team working on it,” and “Search engines are really evolving to give you a set of answers, I have a specific question, answer this question for me.”

A recent survey from Greenlight Digital suggested that a Facebook search engine could instantly grab 22% of the market share.

According to recent research from Webmarketing123, the number of marketers able to attribute leads and sales to particular social channels more than doubled (leads from 15 to 31%, sales from 23% to 60%) year-over-year.

“Compared to last year, nearly 50% more B2Bs now identify social media as having the most impact on lead generation (2011 vs 2012),” the firm said in its report.

In social media engagement, the firm says, “B2C marketers are ahead with 70% moderately to highly engaged (40% highly engaged), but B2B is catching up, with 63% at those levels of engagement (27% highly engaged), overall, only 1 in 10 have no social media program.”

90% of B2Bs have some level of Social Media engagement, according to the research, with 63% describing themselves as “moderately to fully engaged,” and 25% “very” to “fully” engaged. The majority of this group, Webmarketing123 says, are seeing a return on their investment. Top areas of investment (for the 60% that spend) are Facebook & LinkedIn (where 40% are active), and Twitter (30%).

Other research from RichRelevance indicates that for ecommerce, Pinterest is increasing in terms of traffic value (specifically average order value).

Webmarketing123 says that 20% of the marketers active on social media aren’t sure if they’re generating leads, and a full 40% aren’t sure if they’ve closed sales attributable to social media.

Seo And Other Online Marketing Tips

Posted by Peter Bowen in Website Marketing and SEO | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Marketing strategies in the online environment requires quite a bit of effort on the technical part of things, but the underlying principle remains the same as that of business in the real world. That is, in order to succeed, you need to get your business exposed to a greater audience and hold on to their attention once you get them to be interested. But just as doing business in real life involves dealing authority figures, SEO practices and the like also have rules to follow in order for success to be achieved.

 

Great SEO Practices

 

Since doing SEO or Search Engine Optimization is one of the best ways to get your rankings to rise on search engine results, it would only make sense to make the best of it however you can. For the best in SEO practices, it would be best to focus on making sure that the quality of your content is to the satisfaction of visitors. Learning how to build links properly will also be of immense help, as well as taking advantage of social media options.

 

Content Has Always Been And Will Always Be King

 

Seriously, although it might not seem as tangible when you are doing business in the online world, a very big part of your business practices would still involve human customers. As such, whatever content you have on your site should be created with humans in mind and not search engines. Make the content interesting, make it informative, make it easy to read, and make it relevant most of all.

 

Proper Backlinking Means Successful Marketing

 

Links are the bridges which leads your visitors to wherever you need them to go in order to generate profit. As such, it is important to make sure your Backlinking practice can get the most results without breaking any of the rules of search engines. You can do this by first making your anchor texts as varied as possible.

 

Search engines, with Google in particular, have a habit of paying attention to how natural anchor texts look in a particular content. If they deem that your anchor texts have been repeated too many times or that they do not fit with the content naturally, then the consequences will be a drop in rank. So make sure your texts are as versatile as possible and spaced out adequately to avoid penalties.

 

You should also make sure that any link found on your site is of high quality by leading visitors to high quality sites. Search engines hate it when a site has too many links that are low in quality, which usually results in the sites being at the very end of the search results. So your option is to either make sure that your links are of high quality or reduce the links you have that are low in quality.

 

Twitter Tweets For Business Purposes

 

For some of the most successful business entities in the world, a similarity that most of them have is the propensity of embracing new ways to reach the people. With that in mind, it would be quite odd not to use social media options in order to boost your business prospects, especially considering the way people are flocking to use mediums like Twitter for all kinds of things.

 

So create your own account if you don’t have one already and get extremely active in collecting plenty of followers and friends. It also helps if you put certain options in your websites like tweet buttons where readers can share your material to all their friends and followers. Whatever your move may be, do not waste an opportunity to broaden your influence and to touch more people.