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The importance of Value Proposition

Make yourself feel valued

Generally speaking we live in a world where people prefer to take / get things for FREE. Yes, ever since the internet came out it is all about getting free stuff from people / companies here and about.

Imagine how does a typical mindset changes from getting Free to becoming a paid customer?

The quick answer here is VALUE PROPOSITION. But what does this mean and how does it apply to me and you.

As a company we want to reach through our target markets in different stages.

The awareness stage

When we are starting up (which does not end if you ask me), then the all famous build-up stage where we continuously build our brand from within, and then specific campaign stages where we target more specific markets with conversion in mind through different marketing campaigns.

VALUE can be distributed in all these stages but we do not want our VALUE to be taken for granted.

Once we have established ourselves really well, we can do 1 of 2 things then, continue what the Free stuff going around or halt it altogether.

Continuing with something Free helps you continue to reach people you want to reach and establish a connection.

Once these people get something really valuable, they will surely remember you.

Gaining Consumer Trust

Questions begets answers and it is a very effective strategy to understand what your target market usually is asking and if you can provide that answer then a virtual conversation begins to be simulated.

Think of it as if you are creating an FAQ section in your website / business / company, make it more broad than specific, and then follow through with thought leadership so to be able to funnel in you readers.

Being able to receive something valuable and not having to overdo it is what differentiates from quality marketing with conversions and over-marketing.

Whenever I get something for Free for example, and then a day later I get an email advert, it would seem to me that this is the payment I give for the Free stuff I got.

Hence Market Segmentation comes to play here after which is a whole different topic altogether.

Funneling

After a good valuation, it would always be a good idea to implement a plan even before starting to give away Free stuff. It’s common for Agency people to ask – “what’s the next step?”

And this my friend is something to ask yourself when you plan something with your target markets – “What is the next step for them?”

It could be a quick turn around with your offers or something more elaborate. I would say different markets reacts to different funneling techniques hence understanding your target market is the first step.

“All you want is to get leads” and this is what most companies do. Getting the necessary information to understand which product or solution would suit the lead best.

From Hubspot – they always have the question: “what is your biggest marketing challenge”, if you answer this and they qualify you, what you then get is a phone call that would offer their services for your challenge. Sometimes you even get Free Consultation from companies that believe in what they offer.

Laying down a path to your goal or objective is very important in planning your marketing campaigns.

Closing the deal

Direct Selling

This is the most straight forward approach to converting your readers / visitors / leads to sales. Sell to them directly.

So most of your leads came in and downloaded your eBook on the importance of quality Sleep. They would probably be interested in a unique pillow that helps them sleep better, or maybe a new gadget to monitor their sleep patterns.

The case of the FREE Trial

Most software subscription models of today has this model in play. You have put in so much effort to your product that you are quite confident that if they TRY, then they will PAY eventually. 7-day, 10 days or sometimes a whole month with money guarantees.

You understand exactly the value you give out and is confident that it will surely solve a problem for your consumers.

Free Consultation with Service Offer

Normally for huge service oriented business models, closing in it with a Free 1-2 hours consultation will surely sweeten the deal and ensure that your customers are taken care of. I remember a time when I was tasked to choose a PR / Wire Service software and a company with premium pricing had 2 hours of copy writing dedicated to us, I went with that getting insured that by getting their service our company would benefit from their expert copy writing services plus the copy writing we did on our own.

Value added if we might say.

In Conclusion

As people would prefer to get things for Free, the more serious ones would prefer to Pay something more of with the Value they are getting. It is important that we look at our own business models and target the right markets and plan how to be able to engage them properly so we are able to get the conversions we target.

 

 

5 Search Engine Friendly Practices that all websites should adhere to

Responsive Design

In todays web standards and the growing use of mobile devices, being responsive is not just something good-to-have but a necessity that all websites should implement.

People tend to use their mobile whenever, and guess what would be the first thing they would do if they are trying to look for something – THEY SEARCH.

When they land to your website and they can’t seem to see your content because it’s too small, they would leave.

Besides, Google now gives more credit to websites that are responsive that those who aren’t. Maybe if you don’t have a responsive site – Google will not even consider showing you as a result from a “mobile” searcher.

SEO Friendly URLs

Once you have your website, make sure that your URLs are search friendly, not only to robots but to your readers as well. It’s like your un-official headline – a summary of what the page is, and guess what, it targets your keywords as well.

yourwebsite.com/how-to-create-a website/ is always better than yourwebsite.com/?p=32453

Content and more content

If you are serious about search optimization and getting people to your website to convert one way or the other. You have to find a way to get more content flowing to your site regularly.

Aim for things that would interest your target market, industry, demographics. Create a rapport that would push your brand up with the right markets so for when you plan for your conversions, you have already earned enough cred for people to trust you.

Fast Loading

Years ago, I read that this wasn’t being considered by Search Engines but a lot of professionals have already been monitoring how long their website loads and if this affects rankings. Guess what happened? Google then released that they are now considering this or at least adds a few points to your site if it does.

But site speed is subjective in my opinion. If you are located in a country that all through out has great internet speeds, then this probably wouldn’t matter or if it does, then most likely be just a pinch of influence.

But if you’re target geographic targets have relatively slow internet speeds, then this becomes more and more valuable. Google wants to understand user behavior and give its users what they are looking for.

So if your website loads slow, then guess what would your visitors do when they try and view your content? THEY LEAVE! Because they can’t seem to see anything within the first 4-5 seconds.

Having a visitor leave your website is one thing, but another would be the FLAG that Google will have on your site. They went in a left right away means you are not a reliable search result hence sooner or later come 300 instances of this (just an example) Your Rank then sinks down bit by bit by those websites that loads and keeps their visitors for longer times.

Site Speed Auditing and optimization requires little technical knowledge but you would need to work with your developers to minimize as much as they can, from images, so client side source codes (javascript), etc.

Who wouldn’t want a fast loading website that gives you exactly what you searched for? No one, hence this is a goal that every website deployment should have.

Audience Centric

Last and most important, BUILD AND THEY WILL COME!

Yes, with the ever growing online markets today, creating something of value for your target audience will surely go miles for your company. Start by creating a flow how you want your visitors going through your website, put effort in trying to funnel them to your conversion pages that would close the deal.

Create different strategies from your landing pages for your visitors to get most from you and get them to return the favor eventually.

Creating something that connects with your target market will increase the chances of engagements which in turn builds your brand, starts influence, and will soon funnel money back.

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ID Weekend: The Importance of Online Trust

spot-featured

Just wanted to touch base on a few things today and first and foremost, we salute our heroes here in the Philippines for giving their lives one way or the other to pave way on the freedom we now enjoy. Tomorrow June 12 is Philippine’s Independence Day.

In regards to our Facebook presence, http://www.facebook.com/comlabsinteractive – we are still not able to access our Admin Page – it showing the new layout design but us not able to see our timeline and post directly using the browser  – we can however access it via the Facebook Page App which is still a viable option for us to keep maintaining our community. We sent a message to Facebook June 9 and it’s June 11 today and still no correspondence.

So if you have a better experience than ours please email it to us and will add this to our FB Error post.

What I want to write about today is all about TRUST. Trust is but an important thing and we as individuals/human beings are wired to be able to do 2 things – To Trust, or Not to Trust. Quite true with personal experiences. If you have been deceived, tricked or intentionally confused by someone you know, or look up to, the TRUST diminishes if not disappear totally.

Same with relationships, like the quote from the movie White Chicks

” If we don’t have TRUST, we don’t have nothing! “

Now this is somewhat the same online, with your website and specially through your Social Channels (may it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN). Note that having a social presence if not ready can make or break your brand. If you have an established name and suddenly conveys a bad message socially, your brand gets affected.

This is more important for new brands because you are just building your reputation, authority and attracting the right niche audience.

Here are some starting points that we want you to think of when starting your Social Presence

  • You get trust from people whom you just know
  • Most of people you attract does not know you hence you need to earn their trust

The main reason that I got urged to write about this is because of a specific company here in the Philippines, Spot.ph. And I am writing this mainly of concern with their brand and thus advising them to get their people do the right thing. I am fan and wants to continue to support fellow local presences like Spot.

I was browsing through my feed, while watching an episode from Netflix about Steak (Yes, Steak and am just setting myself up to a really hearty serving this weekend) and then saw this

spot-ad

Ok so you can just picture a person whose watching about Steak to see the headline “The real costs of eating a big, juicy steak will shock you”, what does that person do? He immediately clicks on it to see. Why? Well I was in the part of documentary where there were 15 year old cows producing marbled beef, imagine how much does that cost right.

And where does this Ad took me, look at below

spot-content

You can imagine what was going on in my mind here but the saddest part was I had the benefit of the doubt that the article is still what it said it is. I scrolled and briefly read through the whole page looking forward to getting the information I thought it offered. Unfortunately, no mention of COST whatsoever or anything about steak, and it was about Eating Habits to Save the Planet.

To Spot.ph’s credit, the article was well written and that their “Sponsored Ad” has 2 headlines technically, one in the context published on Facebook – “Here’s something to think about when choosing your next meal” which is neutral and somewhat applicable to the article.

Here are some takeaways from this

  • Trust is important and may this be an honest mistake or not, the damage can be i-repairable to some and we don’t want that. We want to gain relevant traffic, and not negative ones.
  • Click baits can be viewed or done in a positive way. Deception is a definite NO NO. But imagine getting more than you clicked for? If I was able to get the cost information from the article and had these other awesome tips to come with it, I would find it really helpful that wants to get a message across.
  • Value your audience, earn their trust and continue to let them feel valued.

On a Marketing perspective

  • Headlines do matter, which begs us to put in more time  and effort thinking of creative headlines.
  • The Article headline thus give more emphasis than the description headline
  • Remarketing does work with Facebook and its important to integrate that in your ad strategies (Google and Social alike)
  • Facebook may have been doing some recon since this is a June 6 post and I just saw it today because I was watching about Steak (hmmmm, interesting and deserves a post of itself)

It’s hard enough to get someone to click or read what you have written, but cutting corners will not solve the problem and would just start new ones. It is in the value we put in for our customers which separates us from the rest.

Happy Independence Weekend everyone!

Is your Facebook Page Broken?

Just writing a bit here and it is quite not so often that I find Facebook broken. If you don’t know yet or just starting to realize, Facebook is recently rolling out a new design to its Facebook Pages.

Here is the old design

FB Old Layout

And this is the new one

PLM-new-layout

I am not sure how to compare the 2 but I think what the new design aims to offer

  • A bigger hero banner with the cover photo
  • Faster way to see your current stats (placed it right in the center)
  • If you want to read more of the page – you look to the right than to the left.

I am not sure if this is a permanent change or I was just subjected to an A/B test because we manage other accounts that doesn’t seem to get affected.

And if you are really, really, really lucky your page can appear like this

FB-error

Come on – really? Well and what’s worse is that sometimes you end up with a broken page where you can’t see the timeline and be able to do anything to your page.

Comlabs Interactive

Quite the lucky one huh?! At any rate – if you encounter the same, just take a screenshot and report it as an error. How to do that, just click on the DOWNWARD arrow at the upper right corner of your Facebook account, scroll down and select “Report a Problem”

We did that and still is waiting for a response. We’ll let you guys know what happens once we get something.

CIAO!

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Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

So here you are creating a start up and assessing what form of marketing you can do for your new business and as you open your computer to check on what’s going on with the world, you see ads of other businesses probably similar to the niche business you are starting, what can you do?

It’s by default that nowadays, no business should be deprived of what the internet can do for it and here are some quick tips that we would like to share to easily get you started.

  1. Plan
    Seems to be very basic but very applicable nonetheless. Know how you want your business to be perceived and how to enact once your marketing has started. Create a calendar and list of to dos to get you on your way.As the saying goes – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It is the same when you venture into digital marketing.
  2. Profile Consumers
    Create a consumer profile – likes, interests, age groups, parallel analogy of your target market.It would be important to understand the type of market you serve. This is actually still part of planning but it would be good to put an emphasis on how important this is on your next efforts.
  3. Select a Platform
    At this point we would recommend that by default, every business should have it’s own Facebook Page. Now it is different per type of business where you want to start with and Facebook is just the place to begin.Here is a quick 2-step procedure to create your Facebook Page.

    Create a Facebook Page
    Then choose the type of page you want to create.Select type of page for Facebook

  4. Start Facebook Marketing
    This is the easiest, cheapest, yet effective way to get the word out there of your existence and here are some of the reasons why:Facebook’s Boost Ads lets you target people with interests to match your market. If you are a restaurant and is venturing to something Chinese, make sure you put in all the interests applicable in the type of food, or their taste in fashion, their age group, or their gender. Remember consumer profiling earlier? This is where the interests are used, to specific target people who will see your ad.Facebook also has a feature where you can have your page advertised/shown to people within radius of your business. Oh how convenient isn’t it? This is perfect for local advertising, for your pastry shop or dimsum place.Facebook let’s you reach people for a fraction of the cost, and it boils down to the effectiveness of your ad as to how it would appeal to your market.Let’s take a look at this sample post which we did for a local Chinese restaurant here in the Philippines.Facebook Boosted PostIf you would see from the above example, this specific Facebook post has already garnered 1000+ likes and reaching approximately 10,000 people that is within a specific type of audience within 3 miles from the restaurant. Would you believe if we told you that the cost of ad is less than Php 500? You better believe it!Well Facebook Sponsored Ads differ from country to country, demographic to demographic which would also depend on the amount of business Facebook is getting on that particular perspective. In a rule of economics, if the demand is high, prices tend to give up as well.

I would like to end this post saying this, businesses of all sizes should start embracing digital marketing as it even outs the playing fields being cost efficient that reaches real people within your targeted demographics. With a little effort, some light reading and focus, the results can be greatly beneficial for your business.

 

Getting Rid of Visual Deals in your Browsing

visualdeals

This is a really good hack if you ask me. Nobody sees it coming, then you just find yourself in a pickle seeing all these visual deals in front of you.

Thank you to http://www.coolcatteacher.com/videos/get-rid-visual-deals-popup-comes-pinterest/ for the straight forward article how to take it off.

And it’s simple. Get rid of the Pinterest Extension you have on your Chrome and you’re back to normal.

This may go to other browsers as well but I am not sure yet. But good thing to keep in mind, Pinterest = Visual Deals. I say no to Visual Deals and no to the Pinterest plugins.

What makes most searches today?

Google always tries to understand its costumers, the searchers, and based on what they say they do aside from millions and millions of dollars a day, they want to improve search.

What makes most searches today is a very good question to understand how we will be optimizing our websites for.

how-i-google-something-how-my-mom-googles-something

 

This is very true. 5 years ago, it was the tech savvy who were doing most of the searches, now it’s your everyday mom that wants to know what is going on. May it be a DIY or something else, it has proven time and time again that this is the best way to search to get the information you need to get things done.

I am guilty myself using “Mac Pro doesn’t start up troubleshoot” as my mac pro, my best friend and partner is going through a rough patch…

But hey I found what I needed and did the basic troubleshooting to my capabilities. Interesting yes. If you agree then you have agreed to the basic principle of the Hummingbird update. Creating usable content for users and matching long tail searches such as these in the SERPs.

Not saying its the only guideline, but it is basically what it says it did.

Happy Monday folks, and happy reading. Back to the Grind!

What WhatsApp, Facebook Acquisition Taught Me

whatsapp facebook acquisition

This was news, really big news. It doesn’t affect me in any way but it does give the people behind the brands the spotlight which then imparts really good sense for people like me.

As a Ronin in the SEO/SEM industry it is likely that I base my tactics on intuition of the things I read, and the statistics I study. What does work? and what does not.

$16B is such a huge amount and a lot of people are trying to understand why a company like Facebook would go to this extreme in acquiring a mobile messaging app. As with others who are still in the mix of understanding the scenario, I chose to focus on what I can get from it.

Be Patient and Believe

We all are doing what we can in life and not everyday we get what we want. What’s important is that we do not stop and we can continue to move forward to reaching our goals until we get there. As a very good friend reminded me that “whenever things don’t go your way, always remember that a Rolce Royce takes 6 month to build while a Toyota just takes 13 hours”

As long as we don’t give up, there may always be that shining light at the end of our tunnels. WhatsApp co-found Brian Acton really proved that. Being shun down by 2 of the biggest players in the industry Facebook and Twitter 4 years ago, he cashes out with 16x the valuation of Facebook on their IPO.

Mobile is here, and is here to stay

This tells me that mobile app development is here to stay and I need to identify the things I would need to have in order to manage it. As a developer, it has been in my bucket list to program mobile apps for iOS.

Apps can change the way people think and this is what WhatsApp tells me.

Global Communication is starting to make noise

WhatsApp has 465 million subscribers around the world and continues to grow. When you plan something similar to the age of websites before the perspective was local to global, years after it went back to global to local.  For Apps, it has been making its mark in the local to global perspective whereby location and globalization is inevitable and should be considered in every business model an app is designed for.

last but not the least

Value yourself correctly

Who would imagine that there would be bigger purchases than instagram of $1B and when Facebook turned public also declared $1B valuation. These were the success stories we target. I only target businesses I set up to sell for $100M the most, but then again, WhatsApp broke that rule and tells me that anything is possible and that given the right qualifications, they valuated the engagement to 16x the record holders established themselves.

Inspiring yet a big challenge. Now back to the GRIND!

Search Engine Optimization Explained

A lot of people are saying that SEO is dead, or at least its a dying industry, and all I can say is that SEO – It’s EVOLVING!

Gone are the days of one dimensional search optimization, it the white hat world of search engine marketing, SEO is definitely just evolving to a more sensitive, strict and sensible approach.

But what is SEO and what does it exactly mean?

SEO Perfect Company

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

From the abbreviated meaning, it’s certainly just that.

  • Optimize my website for search engines
  • Make the search engines see me
  • Rank me well with these keywords

These are the most common things people want and say and need for their website, but in actuality, they are asking for more than just SEO.

SEO is something that you implement on a website for it to be search engine friendly.

  • Are the codes correct?
  • Am I using keywords in my Title tag and content of the page.

These are the basic things that you would want your website to have.

SEO is initially what the industry calls as Onsite Optimization. This is what people want of their website initially. But what is the purpose of getting your website optimized?

The answer is Search Rankings and why? It might be more than one reason but I can only think of a few right now

  • Branding
  • Traffic
  • Awareness
  • Conversion / Making the sale / Getting that email address

Now to alleviate you from getting confused, Optimization aims at search rankings and for your website to rank you need more than just the basic definition of SEO, but a whole search engine marketing plan.

So what is SEO, it’s onpage optimization and so much more.

The so much more part is what we call the other things we need to do in order for our website to rank and some of which are:

  • inbound marketing implementation
  • viral content development
  • link building
  • and now the ever popular Social Media Promotions.

Simple right, so that’s the only thing you need to remember to understand SEO. Then from there you need to study it deeper to understand the intricacies involved in the evolving SEO industry.