The Point

Archive for the ‘Online advertising’ Category


32 Ways a Digital Marketing Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

A lot of clients—marketing professionals and business owners—get in touch and ask me to help plan, write, and create websites, eBooks, and blog posts. That’s far from a complete list, but three common requests.

On the other hand, a lot of clients reach out to me without a specific task list in mind. They know they want to grow their business. They know they want to produce traffic, leads and sales. And they think they need the help of digital marketing consultant.

They’re right, but their question is often oh-so-broad: “How can you help me?”

Shwew. My answer could be any number of things and at that point, not having the benefit of knowing where their digital marketing currently stands, I’m seldom able to quickly deliver a perfect answer.

I certainly don’t want to blurt out a specific digital marketing tactic… “YouTube is the answer” or “An email campaign will make rain for you.” That’d be reckless.

A digital marketing consultant should recommend tactics based on needs identified from a carefully considered audit. I’m a strategist. I’m a copywriter. But I’ve been doing digital marketing since it existed, so there are a substantial number of ways I can help you grow your business through digital marketing.

Here they are.

The list won’t magically nail an effective strategy, but my hope is it’ll provide some answers to the “How can you help me?” question and give us lots to talk about.




The Beginner’s Guide to Understanding AdWords PPC

Understanding AdWords PPC

How do you get on the first page of Google fast?

You run Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

If you don’t have the luxury of writing for one of the web’s most established websites, search engine optimization (SEO) is the hard way. Gaining visibility and generating leads requires creating stellar content and a ton of persistence. It’s not magic. And there are no shortcuts.

Pay-per-click is a different story. Patience is not required. You can enjoy results immediately.

You won’t succeed with zero understanding of the AdWords PPC advertising platform, however this article will give you enough knowledge to get started and put you on the path to success.

PPC is a money game

With pay-per-click, you get your web page displayed on the search engine results page (SERP) when someone searches for the keywords you’ve selected. As the name suggest, you pay only when your ads are clicked. Fees are based on a cost-per-click. (more…)


Free Webinar: The Value of Content on Today’s Web

Let’s talk on Tuesday.

I’m excited to announce I’ll be joining a small panel of content marketing experts for a fun, informative, and interactive webinar this coming Tuesday, October 2. The webinar is free and open to all.

Register here, now.

Here’s a preview of some of the things we’ll be talking about.

My 2-cents worth.

The topics we’ll cover include “the skills content creators must have.” I’ll speak to this and tell you:

•  Why some content is treasured and other is trashed

•  How to sharpen your content creation skills

•  What the process of delivering content successfully looks like.

Some big thinkers will be there with us.

What a panel we’ll have. Social Media Today’s CEO, Robin Carey will host the webinar and she’s invited two of the top influencers in online media to join the program:

Arnie Kuenn

Arnie Kuenn—He’s the author of “Accelerate: Moving Your Business Forward through the Convergence of Search, Social & Content Marketing,” CEO of Vertical Measures, and an in-demand speaker on all types of intelligent Internet marketing.

Saul Berman


Saul Berman, Ph.D — The Global & Americas Leader for the IBM Strategy & Change Consulting group within IBM Global Business Services (GBS).


the value of content webinar


Talk to you Tuesday.


Your Customer is More Persuasive than Your Copywriter.

I’m a copywriter who has been honing his craft for 25 years now. If you want to team up with someone capable of turning words into weapons of mass persuasion, look no further my friend. You’re dealing with a professional practitioner of persuasion.

Sometimes I really think I’m the man. This is not one of those times.

Am I merely experiencing a momentary lapse of confidence? Doubtful. You see, though my Klout score’s been notching-up nicely in recent months, my real clout, my ability to get you to buy, seems to be skewing south. It’s a tad sad. But it is what it is.

The consumer wields the power now.

You want to know why I’m suddenly feeling so small and insignificant? You already do. You don’t trust me. As a card-carrying member of the advertising copywriter club, my words are bought. I’m a chronic exaggerator. The thought leaders of today go as far as calling me a liar. Ouch.

And you? You who’s never written a single piece of direct mail. You who’d walk barefoot over broken glass before attempting to compose a simple sales letter. Armed with a mouse, track pad or mobile phone, you have become the new king of cred. You, Mister or Misses Consumer, are the real influencer now.

E-commerce has become F-commerce.

If you don’t think e-commerce has ravaged the shopping landscape, what do you say we meet down at Borders Books to get a jolt of java? What? That store shut down? What happened?

Again, you know the answer. Amazon happened. And that’s not all that happened. iTunes happened. MySpace happened. Facebook happened.

And so what’s happening now is F-commerce. Technically, “F” is for Facebook. However, in my mind, Facebook stands for social media. In marketing, social media has come to mean social commerce and social commerce has come to mean the things your friends, and the people you follow, have to say is F-ing enormous.

The voice of the consumer is loud.

Your customer’s opinion of your brand or product outranks the copywriter’s voice. It outranks the CEO’s voice too. This relatively recent phenomenon goes by a number of names. “Peer-to-peer marketing” works well to describe it in general and “word of mouse” is a tasty new millennium slant on the most powerful form of advertising ever: word of mouth.

The Internet acts as a massive amplifier. When someone has something to say about your brand, he or she can be in a room all by their lonesome with an audience of zero. But with Internet access, that bodacious little voice can easily echo across the world.

Capitalize on the power of social commerce.

Now that consumers depend on each other to decide what brands and products are worthy of their time and money, it’s essential to encourage positive word of mouth. Consider putting some of the following practices in place:

  • Give customers access to online communications tools.
  • Strategically target specific communities and interest groups.
  • Recruit brand advocates and support their efforts.
  • Engage with your customers.
  • Generate success stories.
  • Start discussions.
  • Give people reasons to discuss your brand.
  • Create ads and articles worthy of sharing.
  • Be honest.
  • Understand your influencers and the channels they rely on.
  • Exceed customer expectations.
  • Convert unhappy customers to happy customers by any means necessary.

Who’s truly trustworthy?

Perhaps the thing an objective and well-intentioned copywriter can do for you now is deliver the truth. Here are some research findings, which might humble the copywriting professional, but help you:

  • 54% of US adults identified old-fashioned Word of Mouth as the most important influencer of purchase decisions. (Source: 2011 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report by Experian)
  • 62% of people trust reviews from friends, family and colleagues. (Lightspeed Research 2011)
  • 56% trust reviews from other consumers. (Lightspeed Research 2011)
  • 60% of shoppers said online reviews were more significant than traditional media, in-store employees and social networking. (Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group study, 2011)
  • In-store smartphone research influences 39% of walkouts. (IBM survey, Capitalizing on the Smarter Consumer, 2011)

The public is your brand brigade.

So, you work with a highly experienced copywriter? Cool. As one of them, I’d like to think where marketing communications is concerned, you want persuasion pros pitching in to shape your advertising. You also have a great PR company? Awesome. Shaping your messages to the media is very important. And finally, your CEO is the bomb. When he or she speaks, people listen. All good.

But what about the real influencer, your customer, your consumer, the real catalyst of your communications? I sincerely hope you place them in the highest regard because whether or not they can write well, to write them off may amount to writing your company’s eulogy.

Word of mouth is the most genuine, trusted, and persuasive form of marketing. It always has been and it always will be.

Chime in now… How have your customers shaped your brand?


Podcast: My 10-year old wants to know more about copywriting.

The copywriter interview by FeldmanCreative

Spend 3 minutes with my daughter Leah and I. It seems Leah, who loves to write, had questions about what I do. She started asking me and I said “We should do this in the form of an interview.” She was all over it and it took it fairly seriously, as you are about to hear.


Copywriting for spiders can be awfully frightening.

Caution: The following article contains bad words
and may not be suitable for everyone.

It’s Octohhhhhhh-brrrrrrrr.
Gonna’ be a wicked witch for Halloween? Ghost? Vampire? Here’s an even scarier idea: be an SEO copywriter.

Yes sir. Yes ma’am. If you want to spook the hell out the people with the audacity to come to your home asking for treats, that’s the trick.



Does your web site suck?

Sites that engage visitors to click around, stick around and come back for more will help you sell your stuff. Sites that don’t? By today’s standards, they suck.

What’s the opposite of suck?

I want to say “blow,” but I want this here post to get an A-rating, not an X . So instead, let’s say “push.” Or better yet, “publish.” You good with that? You better be. Today, you need to become a publisher of valuable online content. Perhaps you don’t entirely abandon “pull” marketing strategies, provided you’ve found some that work for your business model, but you better jump on the content creation train or prepare to be derailed by those that do.



How Losers Do Landing Pages.

Please don’t let your readers get lost.

A click is a terrible thing to waste.

So I went in search of best practices for making landing pages land leads. I found a ton of good tips. But, whoa, I also went in search of good examples to actually show and found next to none.

Most companies make their landings too demanding.
I find (and found) too much of everything on most landing pages. Busy designs. Lots of links. Unclear directions. Long forms demanding my time. All of these are mistakes which increase the chance your visitors lose interest and your company loses sales opportunities.