MOUNT LAUREL, NJ (OCT. 17, 2012) – Kenneth Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax, the fastest growing private company in New Jersey on the Inc. 500, announced the unveiling of a new website aimed at providing valuable information on brand management and reputation management for medium and large-sized businesses. Brand Management dot com delivers important information regarding how to successfully manage a brand’s presence online and furthermore includes important resources for decision makers at these institutions related to these services.
“I have discussed with many decision makers at some of the most reputable and largest businesses indicating that this community needs up-to-date resources on brand management techniques,” states Wisnefski, who founded WebiMax in 2008. “Brand Management dot com serves this purpose and furthermore provides valuable statistics on how brand management and reputation management have major impacts on consumers and their buying behaviors.”
While core fundamentals of the marketing mix and other key tangibles remain relevant for branding purposes, statistics indicate that the proactive management of the brand through online methods and techniques have become crucial elements in remaining competitive and building an authoritative brand. As of today, more than 89 percent of consumers said they use online channels to investigate the product and brand they are purchasing. In addition, approximately 87 percent of consumers indicated that positive reviews they have read online convince them to buy a specific product.
“Consumers today are leveraging technology more than they ever have before in their purchasing decisions,” states Wisnefski. “Today’s consumer is smarter and more aware of product and brand alternatives and how they are rated online, and 89 percent of them use these online reviews to make their purchasing decisions.”
Brand Management dot com includes statistics, case studies, a regularly updated blog, and other resources for businesses. The website is managed by a team of seasoned brand and reputation management experts that also develop these strategies for clients. Visit http://www.brandmanagement.com/ for more information.
Led by serial web entrepreneur Kenneth Wisnefski, WebiMax has become the leader in online marketing services, including a focus on Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Paid Search and PPC, Website Design and Development, Reputation Management, and more. The company was named to the 2012 Inc. 500 (No. 37 overall) and was also selected as one of America’s Most Promising Companies (2011) by Forbes Magazine (No. 30 overall). The company employs over 125 personnel in 12 offices including 8 U.S. based, and 4 International. Visit http://www.webimax.com/ for more information.
I just read a story in the New York Times related to Jiffy Lube and it’s recently changed and newly-lubed marketing approach. The oil-change brand is infusing some humor into its ads and fresh-penned tagline, “Leave worry behind.”
Ha ha, I get it, Jiffy Lube; you’re poking fun at consumer anxieties. Good one! I chose to write about this because the topic is fresh in my mind. About three months ago, I brought my Jeep Wrangler in for an oil change at a local mechanic shop. I moved to a new area about four months ago.
When I picked up my car after the oil change, something I’ve come to almost expect (sarcastically) confronted me. “You got a leak. You’ll need a new water pump.” Admittedly, I can wrap my head around ‘water’ and ‘pump’; but, I have no idea what a “water pump” does, costs, looks like, how to assess if it’s damaged, etc…
It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. Is this mechanic taking me for a ride, especially since I’m a ‘noob,’ a new person in town? Maybe it is paranoia, maybe it is experience, but I can’t help but ask the question…
The mechanic mentioned the job would tally over $300. I’m just a poor writer. I opted to let it go for a while and get other recommendations. Two days ago, I brought my Jeep to another mechanic, my landlord’s (who is also my friend) friend. I told him I needed another oil change and told him about the leak.
For one, he advised me that shops, that solely do minor jobs like oil changes, can ‘beat him out’ on the price of oil changes. He charges $80. A “jiffy” place may charge half that or a little more; they get price breaks on oil apparently. I like having money…but I also like doing business with honest people… I may shell out the additional $30 to $40 just because this guy was honest.
Additionally, he looked at my ‘leak.’ He did mention a slow leak but nothing I should be immediately concerned about. I thought that was odd since the first mechanic, from three months ago, mentioned there was “no way” I could let that water pump go for another month (“at the very latest!”) Hmm…seems two ‘experts’ have a difference in opinion, yes?
Well, let me bring it all in together. So, Jiffy’s new ad series will poke fun at situations like mine. From NY Times story:
“Because most people are not proficient in the mechanics of a car, they’re worried when they bring their car in for something that a mechanic will find something different that they weren’t aware of. There’s always that uncertainty: ‘Is the work being performed on my car really necessary?’”
How many out there, receiving some form of online marketing or SEO advice or services, feel the same way? I feel your anxiety! However, I’m not sure if I would lampoon your anxiety to promote online marketing services.
Ethically questionable or unscrupulous practices are not a laughing matter in my world. I don’t think making light-hearted attempts to express a dark side of an industry is a way to assuage the anxieties of unknowing consumers. It would be comparable to an SEO company attempting humor at simulating situations of ‘burned’ clients, while simultaneously trying to attract clients with the same needs.
Alternatively, if I’m a brand that recognizes injustices, I may engineer my ads to express an upstanding personality, like the one of the second mechanic, rather than possibly add to the insult of my industry through humor. What are your thoughts?
Any time a business uses a third-party’s services, it’s placing itself in a vulnerable position. This goes for any outsourcing, but especially for SEO and online marketing.
How many impressions can be had regarding your campaign? I don’t mean the traditional advertising kinds of impressions, such as the number of times drivers cruise pass your billboard. I mean the impressions of onlookers, whether they are consumers, peers, potential consumers, etc.
I can’t stress enough the importance of the diligence of the business owner in approaching an SEO service. Marketing is all about associating your market back to your brand and services/products. Wow, you’re leaving that up to another source entirely?! Okay, the notion of ‘outsourcing’ is not mind blowing, but the notion of electing a hands-off, leave-it-to-the-experts is very much so.
Here are a few things your marketing company can be messing up for you.
Sure, at present, the Penguin update is a heavy topic of discussion; yet, the notions behind the update are as old as the Web itself. I believe many businesspeople have a limited understanding of SEO. It’s not an insult to their intelligence; it’s just plain fact.
It wasn’t totally insane for businesspeople to be led to believe that a high number of links, signaling what you sell (anchor text), would grant you traction on this totally cool platform ‘everyone’ is now using to shop for goods/services, search engines.
However, let’s speed up time to now, when traditional sentiments of marketing caught up to the totally new, cool way to market. Why should a particular domain/page associated with a product/service necessarily be a better provider of such because a search engine says so? Understood, the theory behind engines leads browsers to believe such, but it is a marketing promise (Yes! These engines are brands too! They want you to think they’re great! And great for your business too!) – not a foolproof reality.
DO NOT allow your marketing service to go for numbers rather than quality. Do you make a distinction on quality? Why are you engaged in the matter to start from such a limited position of knowledge? Why are you letting others make decisions for your business?
“Content is…” I can’t even stomach to finish the line. Actually, how many out there assume content strictly means written copy? It does not. “But Anthony, I need a specific number of keywords occurrences on my Web page or I won’t get ranked, I won’t get traffic, I won’t get conversions…”
So, again, who is feeding you these sentiments? What kinds of content can best intrigue your targeted consumers? It could be a picture. It may be an epic poem… It may be a podcast… “But wait, pictures and podcasts don’t have keywords! I need to inundate my pages with them to rank!”
Sure, ranking well for particular terms helps, but it’s not a be-all-end-all necessity. That’s like saying if search engines ‘disappeared’ tomorrow, your business would have to fold-up shop. Really? That would be unfortunate and majorly make me question what kind of brand you have going on over there.
Pay attention to your consumers and serve them with useful content. If you pay more attention to the desires of your target market rather than how many times engines can count your keywords, your business is likely to be more successful…because you’re in business to please the customer, correct?
Search engine ‘optimization,’ to me, means your brand is finding ways to make engines work for you, not the other way around. So, it doesn’t necessarily mean Google serves you first for your “chosen word”; it means your marketing team has utilized engines as another way to create associations to your users, which can mean A LOT of things aside from rank for a particular term.
Who are you placing in power to produce your content? The agency’s writers? Have you seen their (you know, the writer who writes YOUR content) stuff before? What are their thoughts on content? Should yours be written? Audio recorded? Visually recorded? Stocked with images rather than written sentiment? What do you think about it? Do you have an opinion? Why not? You should know your service/product and consumers BETTER than the third-party provider; yet, you leave it up to someone else to make major decisions for your company?
Those, native to Philadelphia, are no strangers to professional sports teams. Philly’s got a couple of great ones, the Flyers among them. In attempts to exorcise their playoff opponent, the ‘Flyguys’ were eliminated this year. True fans are disappointed but hardly turned off of the team, the brand, the Flyers.
It may not come as readily as looking at a name such as Ford or Folgers, but the Flyers are a brand, a business too. They have consumers, just like Ford and Folgers; except in the realm of sports ‘marketing,’ consumers are called ‘fans.’
It’s an interesting concept. Marketing exists for sports teams, yet the heavy lifting is done by the ‘service’ itself, the performance of players. For only one team per year in the NHL, does the service make due on its original promise, to ‘go all the way.’ All but one teams’ mass of fans is ultimately disappointed to some degree. But that’s okay. There’s always next year. The ‘fans’ are okay with that. They’re okay with the trying even though for most, it doesn’t end in triumph. That’s interesting.
Flyers fans are fans of the game. The ‘service’ is supplied by the players. The players have a pure love for what they do. The players played before there was an NHL or Flyers in their personal lives. Such purity is pretty easy to market. The players’ abilities speak idly, just as any business’ services or products should be able to stand alone.
What is your business’ level of purity? Is it comparable to that of natural-born players? I came across a quote earlier while working on today’s previous copywriting post:
“The only reason for being a professional writer is that you just can’t help it.”
It’s tongue-in-cheek, yes, but true. I (literally) have a choice; yet, I kinda don’t; writing is me. It makes a lot of sense for me. It comes naturally. Such a true passion makes it easy for me to market myself as a writer. The writing (hopefully) ‘speaks’ for itself. A product/service should be able to do so. Such a dynamic is not putting the cart before the horse.
Marketing could never take the place of the ‘horse.’ You can’t market a ‘lame’ product or service; the marketing can’t create such inertia. Sure, a business can try; yet, such images (and such campaigns) elicit some chuckles, don’t they?
Of course, it’s horrible to see your team lose. But the players will train harder and get better; because, they have no choice. It’s what they (truly want to) do. Will it guarantee a Cup next year? The odds are against them and their faithful fans. So, why gravitate toward the business, the brand, the Flyers? We’ll keep watching as long as the players keep doing what they love, despite the road bumps and disappointments.
True passion inspires faithful followers. The passion represented in a resulting service/product is really marketable within itself. The marketing part only warrants the reception of the market. The marketing can’t ‘play the game’ for the players; it can only illuminate the passion which was always there.
This post will be about branding. Branding is good for online marketing. It expresses passion…which is very unlike my first few lines here. Did you find yourself doing ‘the robot’ as you were reading them? I do that sometimes on and off the dance floor. The latter occurs when reading generic posts. Who’s the author? Why can’t I extract a single, personable sentiment from these things? It’s a small wonder (80′s television reference) anyone but robots are reading these things.
I read an awesomely refreshing post this morning on ‘why I don’t read your blog.’ It’s real and insightful. One of the best points I gathered was not being a candidate for the crowned Mr. Roboto of blogging. I’m not the only writer who agrees:
@content_muse It is definitely important to let your personality shine through! Robotic blogging makes me want to cry tears of boredom.
However, I’m not writing this post on blogging. It’s about inserting the essence of communication (character) into your branding. Why? Same reason as above, businesspeople, partners, and all types of consumers enjoy personality. It helps us makes better decisions, better aligning us with likeable and like-minded brands.
Consider the following:
Having Personality is Not Unprofessional
I like hovering outside of the ‘uber professional’ box; maybe it’s a bit too stuffy in there for my personality. I have one. I’m okay with that; and, I believe other professionals are as well. Having fun with your job, smiling, and expressing personality does not make you unprofessional; it makes you an individual. If you need to keep your brand ‘in line,’ ‘hiding’ the personality of workers and collective beliefs, then something is off. What is your brand’s collective personality? If you can’t accurately identify that, then maybe your brand is a bit too stuffy. If bankers above the age of sixty-five is your market then proceed with minimalistic expression of personality (I guess). Otherwise, it’s okay to be your brand self.
Where’s Your Team?
It’s sad to come across a company site void of worker presence. Who’s onboard your company? I want to know. It just might influence my decision to engage your brand. If you’re not showing your main players, in these times of super social marketing, I just may grow suspicious, wondering, “Well, why not!?” Owners, are you sharing your workers and their work with the rest of us? Why not? You hired them; so, I assume you’re proud they’re working for you. Why hide them and their contributions? No really- I’m actually thinking that when I don’t see them.
Many online brands don’t have storefronts. Many brands don’t attend workshops and events. Many brands don’t have the chance of experiencing consumers three-dimensionally and vice versa. That’s a disadvantage for those with personality and passion. How do you compensate? While so much energy is devoted toward ‘ranking’ services/products so many brands pay no resources toward exposing browsers to their ‘brand.’ A brief about us page is not enough. When was that penned? Five years ago when the brand started? What’s happened since then? Update the about us page. Why not make it into a scrolling, blog-post-like page? Many products and services vary very little when it comes down to it. What’s your brand’s story? I really want to know; I have choices (like the rest of your consumers). Telling me more about the supplied source gives me more reasons to make a decision.
This is BS
Do you think this is BS? (If you’re thinking this is great business strategy, I agree; if you’re thinking of other terms, I hope you reconsider; I’m really trying to fertilize your success.) I predict some owners may read this, giving my words the ‘pfft-into-an-eye-roll’ sentiment. I understand; ‘Anthony’s just ranting about his favorite topic, branding; he’s passionate about wanting me to be passionate; but, I’ll just sit back and keep doing what I’m doing’…the bare minimum of branding. Here’s the thing. I notice. Others notice too. Just like the author of the ‘why I don’t read your blog’ post above is turned off by personality-less posts, people are turned off by personality-less brands, especially in verticals where face-to-face meetings are few to none. You may disagree with me know; but, entertain me; put forth some extra branding effort. I think you’ll thank me later.
Google has been making many updates. Have you heard? Don’t worry; the search engine optimization world closely tracks the search giant’s moves. We must. There’s too much invested in the process. Our consumers depend on us to do a good job for them. Your consumers depend on you too.
One of my jobs as an online marketer is suggesting best practices. Obviously, I follow the evolution of Google closely; it’s both interesting and warranted to intelligently address cohorts and readers. One of the best suggestions I can give (after being in marketing for a while) is minding your target…which is not Google rankings (rank is a means to an end). Rank is only one piece of the puzzle. As far as revenue, nothing’s happening unless consumers do something. The Google rank is just an ad after all.
It’s Sunday; hopefully you have some time to think of the forest through the trees before the busy workweek begins tomorrow. I would like business owners to invest the time in thinking about the following.
Imagine you just met a potential business partner. You would want to know more about them, wouldn’t you? I would. I do. Can consumers get all desired information from your about us page? I’ve seen a number of business sites with sad about us pages, offering no information about executives, brand missions, and employees. That’s a big red flag for me. Why is your brand hiding? Do you have something to hide? Competition is fierce. Why should consumers partner with your brand when you don’t indicate ‘who’ your brand is?
Take time with your about us page. People like to know about executives, employees, and their thoughts on business practices. Consumers want to know more about the brand. More transparency by businesses facilitates feelings of comfort and familiarity for consumers.
Examples of good about us pages:
Notice the About Us experience is multi-faceted. There are pictures, personality exhibited, people smiling and described, etc. You get a clear picture of the business and team members. Get your about us page there.
Page Bounce Rates
It’s quite simple to throw up Web pages. However, each page should have a definitive purpose. I understand all businesses want to make money from the Web; yet, understand the purpose of Web sites. A good Web site is a resource for interested parties. It should be a place of information and ongoing interaction. What are the bounce rates of your pages? Check pages where people spend little time. Why could this be? What orchestration decisions were made that could be bettered, perpetuating a visit? What site pages are most sticky? Why? Would it be wise to engineer pages like that more often?
High bounce rates tell me that a Web property is highly optimized for engines but offer little value or embrace for consumers, as if browsers were captivated by rank or meta tags, heading toward a Web property only to find it ineffectively ‘walking the talk,’ not ‘living up to its preliminary advertisement.’
This bounce rate post offers a ton of resources on the topic.
Please be mindful of best practices. Aligning your search engine optimization campaign with best practices eliminates the worry of Google updates. Do be concerned (always) with customer updates; constantly think about improving your Web site and digital communications for your customers.
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