Mathias Bergendahl's Marketing Blog


Are You Visible in Your Marketplace? Get the Word Out through Integrated Marketing
March 27, 2009, 1:25 am
Filed under: Integrated Marketing

Earlier today I wrote a blog post about driving visitors to your website, blog and social networks through your offline marketing activities. An advocate for integrated marketing, whether offline to online or between various offline marketing efforts, I thought I’d share an article I wrote last year on the subject.

Click here to read Are You Visible in Your Marketplace? Get the Word Out through Integrated Marketing.

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You have 30 Seconds to Prove Your Value: Essential Tips on How to Create an Effective Elevator Speech
March 26, 2009, 7:19 pm
Filed under: General Marketing Topics

 

It’s Saturday morning and you are standing on the sideline watching your child score a goal during a soccer game. Another parent walks over to congratulate you. After discussing the game for a few minutes, you’re asked what you do.

This is the moment you have waited for. A chance to build an advocate, maybe even a new customer. What you say in the next 30 seconds is your opportunity to present who you are, whom you serve, and what makes your business stand out in the marketplace.

Have you ever been in such a situation, yet unsure exactly what to say? Here’s how you can prepare yourself for the next time someone asks what you do: craft your elevator speech.

Earlier this year I wrote a brief article about how to create an effective elevator speech.

Click here to read it.



Are You Actively Driving Visitors to Your Website and Social Media Platforms, and Do You Offer Enough Value When They Get There?
March 26, 2009, 7:11 pm
Filed under: Integrated Marketing

Does your business card include your website address? Do you provide a link to your blog in your email signature? Do you entice readers of your ads and postcards enough to make them want to visit you online? In short, are you currently using your offline marketing activities to bring traffic to your online network of website, blog, and social networks?

These days we have access to a tremendous amount of online tools to generate leads. Through FaceBook you may connect with consumers interested in buying a home in your area. LinkedIn, in essence a virtual rolodex, gives you exposure to a network of existing and new contacts. Through a blog you can provide consumers all the necessary information they will need to purchase a home and what to expect from the process.

I recently had a discussion with a local accountant who asked what I thought about an ad he was about to place in a newspaper. The ad looked great, and it did list the website address, except, it didn’t really spell out compelling reasons why readers should find out more about him online. Sure, the ad looked great but without a call to action it’s not unlikely most would glance at it and turn the page. Turned out, he had a very informative blog where he informed his followers about various tax-related issues. I suggested he put a short note in his ad about his blog including the web address.

Similarly, earlier today I came across a postcard in my office mailbox from a marketing communications company willing to provide me with various services. Being that it was sent by a marketing company I would expect their website address to have a prominent spot on the postcard. It didn’t. Out of curiosity I searched for the company online and discovered a wealth of available resources at their website I wouldn’t have discovered if I hadn’t taken the time to look up the company on the Internet. 

In the article Give Them a Reason to Visit – Leveraging Your Off-line Efforts to Drive (the Right) Visitors to Your Web Site, Peter DeLegge provides actionable ideas on what you can do to leverage your offline efforts to drive visitors online. Click here to read the article.

Next, let’s discuss the content on your website or blog.

It’s understandable that most professionals will want to greet cyber-visitors with information detailing their knowledge and experience. Yet sometimes websites have a tendency to be ego-centric as opposed to consumer centric.

 

In the article How Customer-Focused is Your Website? Stalking the Narcissistic Web, DeLegge, publisher of the online publication Marketing Today, gives example of text you’d generally see on an ego-centric website and provides a suggestion about how the same content can be made into more consumer-centric information. Click here to read the article.



Before You Post at Twitter – Consider This
March 21, 2009, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Social Media Marketing

Twitter has quickly become one of the most popular ways to communicate with friends, well, the cyber-world in general. Through Twitter you can keep your friends notified on what you’re doing, make your customers aware of product updates, and intrigue potential customers with invitations to find out about you.

Is Twitter a great marketing tool? Absolutely, but it needs to be managed with great care.

Sometimes the best way to learn what to do is to learn from what not to do. Well, here are two examples I found online today, and I must admit that I feel for two individuals who supposedly, according to stories found online, made serious mistakes.

First, someone who apparently had just received a job offer lost the opportunity even before day one at the new job. Here’s a recap of a story recounted here at the blog I’m Not Actually a Geek by Hutch Carpenter.

According to the story, someone receives a job offer upon which he or she posts at Twitter: Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” According to the information I came across, someone caught the Twitter post and responded:Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.”

If this story is true it’s probably safe to assume that the applicant did not get a job, but now the story is all over the Internet. While the story is about a job applicant, there’s a clear parallel to anyone who may comment through social media networking, microblogging and blog platforms.

Here’s another example. According to a blog post I found, a public relations professional from New York was visiting Memphis, there to meet a group within a large corporation. Hours after a presentation he posts the following on Twitter: “True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say I would die if I had to live here!” The Twitter post came to the attention of the corporation, again according to the blog article, and, well, you can read the rest of the story here, including a written response back to the originator of the Twitter post, at the blog of Peter Shankman.

Conversely, the use of Twitter can help you in your marketing activities. Now, while the example provided here describes how one man managed to get a job through Twitter, there’s something to be said about the way Twitter can help build ongoing relationships with potential real estate customers.

If you’re new to social media marketing and not aware of Twitter, visit www.twitter.com. Better yet, go here for 17 Ways You Can Use Twitter: A Guide for Beginners, Marketers and Business Owners.

For full disclosure I tried to do due diligence by finding out whether these stories actually were true. Judging from the amount of exposure online I’d say yes. But, it’s not always easy to know for sure. I am as we speak trying to confirm the accuracy of the stories. Even if it turns out to be fabricated I felt the stories could serve as a cautionary note for everyone now getting into Twitter. As for the issue of whether or not to believe everything you see online will be covered in a future blog post.



APRIL ENCORE: Getting Started with Social Media Marketing But Don’t Know Where to Start? Join PRO’s Three-Part Training Program
March 21, 2009, 2:50 pm
Filed under: Social Media Marketing

Getting Started with Social Media Marketing

Has anyone suggested using social media marketing to build your business? Unsure how it may benefit your business? Don’t know where to start? This class will give a basic outline of social media marketing and walk you through the steps to get started. April 8, 2009 from 10 a.m. until Noon. Click here to register.

My First Blog

Having a blog gives you an excellent tool to build an online presence and communicate with your sphere of influence. Knowing how to build a blog can be a bit intimidating, though. This interactive program will walk you through, step by step, the process until you’ve built your own blog. April 15, 2009 from 10 a.m. until Noon. Click here to register.


Integrated Social Marketing Strategies


You may have FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, but are you using these social media platforms effectively? This class will outline how you can take a strategic approach to build your business by integrating online social media marketing activities. April 22, 2009 from 10 a.m. until Noon. Click here to register.


Classes will be presented by Mathias Bergendahl, PRO’s Director of Marketing & Communications.



New to Social Media Marketing and Feeling a bit Overwhelmed? You’re Not Alone.
March 21, 2009, 2:18 pm
Filed under: Social Media Marketing

The other day I heard from a friend of mine who expressed how overwhelmed he was with trying to figure out how to build his business with the help of social media.

“Once I got ready to get into the fray of online marketing I decided to update my website but learned that these days, websites are out and blogging is in.” He told me that before he uploaded his very first blog post, though, he had already heard of yet another way to find consumers.

“It seems that each time I decide on which particular online marketing vehicle such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube or any of the other social networking platforms to focus on, I hear about yet another internet tool from friends or business associates.” He continued to tell me how he by now has a MySpace account, Facebook account, LinkedIn account – without any particular web marketing strategy.

“By the time I started feeling comfortable enough to get started with FaceBook, people around me started buzzing about Twitter.”

He continued to tell me that once he had put the final touch on his carefully branded FaceBook page, though, he started hearing office neighbors talk about how they had found new clients through their LinkedIn or ActiveRain accounts. Next, he found himself adding a profile and his business information on those networks as well.

“I feel like I keep chasing from one tool to another without sticking around long enough to actually build traffic. On top of it all, people around you start talking about the evolution from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0.”

I’m sure many can relate.

It’s not easy to follow all that moves on the internet these days.

Wait, there’s more.

•        Digg
•        Technorati
•        StumbleUpon
•        Ask
•        Yahoo Buzz
•        Twitter
•        Reddit

It can be quite intimidating to follow all the new developments, not to mention how to take advantage of them all.

I receive a lot of questions regarding social media marketing and I thought I’d attempt to break down the concepts just a little bit by using a few resources.

From Web 1.0 to Web 3.0 in a Hurry

First, let’s take a look at the definition Web 2.0. No, it’s not a software upgrade you need to run to the nearest store to get in order to be part of the virtual world of interactive marketing. Instead, it’s more of a concept of how the internet has evolved into a network of information sharing. Web 1.0 refers to the static concept of web pages, with “flat” information without any way for you to actively contribute to the content of the page. The introduction of websites and social forums that now invite reviews, comments, information-sharing and general collaboration marked the beginning of what’s commonly referred to as Web 2.0. Before we even seem to have fully grasped the concept of a new online environment, those leading the charge of internet development have started talking about Web 3.0.
Here to better explain the concept of Web 2.0 is the video presentation Web 2.0. If you prefer reading about it, here’s Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Basics of Web 2.0.

Next, let’s take a look at how you can choose which social networking sites to use, and how you can use them for marketing.

On January 1, 2009, Wall Street Journal published The Secrets of Marketing in a Web 2.0 World, which I consider an excellent resource when it comes to gathering some ideas of how to actually use the social networks that you may now be on.

Getting a grasp of social media marketing may feel a bit overwhelming at times but if you want to learn more about what you can do to take advantage of a changing internet, I suggest you go to google.com to search for information by using the following key words:

Web 2.0
Web 2.0 marketing strategies
Social media marketing

If you prefer videos, search for the same words at http://www.youtube.com/.



Do’s and Don’ts for Marketing on Facebook
March 21, 2009, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Social Media Marketing

In the last couple of weeks I’ve received an increased number of requests from individuals who want to become my friends on Facebook. It’s clear more and more professionals are beginning to build their sphere of influence through this ever-growing online social network.

The other day I got a call from a member who said he had just set up a Facebook account, and to sum up what our conservation essentially was about: now what?

I came across a list of Do’s and Don’ts for Marketing on Facebook written by Jenna Ryan, President & Founder of The Marketing Shop.com. Click here to read the article Do’s & Don’ts For Facebook Marketing For Real Estate in its entirety.

Do’s for Marketing on Facebook

  • Determine what is important to your target market.
  • Keep your network informed in areas of importance TO THEM.
  • Find a niche angle to discuss, blog and provide data about. (ie: schools, neighborhoods, government, parks, families, nightlife, highrises, investment properties, etc… If you’re not interested in your area, no one else will be either.)
  • Provide personal information along with business info to keep it real.
  • Give interesting tidbits about yourself, your market and other news daily.
  • Brainstorm ways to keep others informed.
  • Make yourself valuable to your network. Bring value and it will come back to you!
  • Get to know others in your real estate service area: (ie: merchants, other agents, stay-at-home moms, dads, other business people)

Don’ts for Marketing on Facebook

  • Do not sell in an obvious way.
  • Do not limit yourself to only speaking about how you want leads, or how you want to sell houses, or how you want to make money. This will turn most prospects off.
  • Send out massive emails to people on Facebook regarding something that doesn’t interest them.
  • Think about your network more than yourself.
  • Don’t become fake-friends with people. Be sincere.
  • Think of Facebook as a route to making deals, not the be-all-and-end-all.
  • Think of Facebook as a way to gain popularity and get your name out there, not to sell a house tomorrow.
  • Think of social networking as a way to add value to the community which will in turn increase your value and cause people to flock to you.
  • Be patient. Don’t try to get immediate results. Build your network one sound relationship at a time.
  • When discussing what you’re doing, try to form it in a way that shows a potential client that you’re the agent for them. Do this sporadically or it will seem obvious.
  • Do not use a lot of exclamation points or they will become meaningless.