How to Evaluate Competitor Marketing Efforts

You should always know what your competitors are doing if you want to stay truly competitive within the market. If you sell soap, you better know what scents your competitors use, who they market to, and how they reach your customers. It’s not that you want to mimic their efforts, you simply need to know what’s going on. Use these steps to keep an eye on what’s going on with your competitors in the marketplace.

Step 1. Read through their website

You can get a lot of information about your competitors from their website, so make sure to take a regular look. Who do they market to? Do they talk about their company as an I, Us, or The Company? Do they post regularly to their website’s blog? Use their website to see how they present themselves to customers.

Step 2. Signup for their newsletters and freebies

While you’re on their website, go ahead and sign up for their email newsletter. If they send out a freebie, such as a free guide, get one and read it. In many cases, companies give the illusion that they have a newsletter even if they don’t have time to write one and send it out. Some companies use automated marketing funnels after you sign up. All you need to do is sign up for their free newsletter to know. If they send out a regular newsletter, you can find out about their specials and promotions.

Step 3. See what websites they advertise on

Most companies advertise on other websites to drive traffic to their own site. See what websites they advertise on. What does this say about their target market? How do they portray themselves?

Step 4. Do a quick Google search

When you do a Google search, you can see if they come up in results or if they pay for Google AdWords. (Hint: It says “Ad” next to the ones they pay for). Search their company name and see what comes up. Search relevant terms for your industry with your city and see what comes up. You might find that customer reviews come up before anything the company puts out about themselves. What do their customers say? We find that Triassic Media Group is referenced a lot in conversations on message boards and not review sites. When we ask our clients how they found out about us (which you should always do), they often say that someone recommended us on a message board. For this reason, it’s worth doing a thorough search to see where else your competitors are.

Step 5. Talk to them and create partnerships

Do not let competition keep you from becoming strategic partners with your competitors. At Triassic Media Group, our most prolific clients were once our “competitors.” Once we talked to them, we realized that we are positioned in the market differently and didn’t work with the same types of clients at all. We refer clients to each other that offer better fits.

For instance, we’re friendly with a few web developers. We offer website packages, too, right? Yes, but Triassic Media Group works with the copy and marketing, first and foremost. We use templates we can modify and that work for most businesses. We write all of the content, set up free-forever email hosting, write newsletters, and list our clients on reputable directories. We only work with other businesses, so someone starting their own blog about genealogy would not be interested in our services. Maybe they want a custom site they want to write the content for, with interactive elements such as a large, clickable tree. We’d refer this to the right web development guy because we’re the wrong fit.

Each business is different. Just because your competitors use a certain marketing strategy, it doesn’t mean that your business would benefit from the same or that it’s really working for your competitors. That’s why it’s important to test any new marketing strategy to determine whether or not it works for your business. If you need help creating a winning marketing strategy, email us at info@triassicmedia.com. We’d love to help.

marketing plan

How Business Owners Fail Marketing 101

Working on 1,500+ marketing projects this year gave us an indispensable look into how the business owners of small to medium-sized enterprises make decisions about how they market their business. We uncovered certain aspects of marketing they struggled with and how certain marketing tactics performed in the “real world.” We made this list of the most common ways business owners fail in marketing so you don’t have to make the same mistake.

Focus on Cost over Expertise

Recently at a vendor event, we spoke to the owner of a small retail store. He confessed that blogging was a major part of his business strategy but a real pain. Evidently, he bought 500-word blog posts on Fiverr from overseas writers who receive $4 before PayPal fees to write the post. He confessed they were so poor in quality he spent a few hours cleaning them up before finding a royalty-free photo and scheduling it to go out.

Triassic Media Group charges $100 for a blog post. On an initial comparison, this is more money. However, in many ways, it’s not. First, there’s the time of the original writer working for less than $4 an hour. (What kind of writing expertise does that kind of money buy? We’ll let you make your own conclusions here). Second, there’s the three hours or so the business owner spent re-writing the bad posts at around $33 an hour. Surely the business owner’s time is worth more than that. Third, the business owner is not a writing or marketing expert. Wouldn’t the business owner’s time be better spent working on their business or own area of expertise?

Our blog posts are 500 words that you won’t have to re-write. They’re written by a writer who’s earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and who writes professionally 40+ hours a week. They have the expertise to know what performs well and how to engage readers. We find royalty-free photos for our clients and create the meta data they need to keep up with SEO rankings. Plus, we schedule the post for you.

Try to Do-It-Yourself Marketing

When business owners try do-it-yourself marketing, I can’t help but think of the time I thought it was a brilliant idea to lay down laminate tiles in my living room. It looked so easy and think of all the money we’d save! Let’s just say, it took us 2 weeks to lay down the flooring and it looks goofy around the edges. We’re saving money up to replace it because every time I pass it I only see the issues with it.

Do-It-Yourself marketing is the same thing. It’s true eventually you may get it, but at what cost? The loss of a lot of time and a giant learning curve.

Post Inconsistently on Blogs and Social Media

Blogs and social media accounts can be great ways to reach your customers. Many small business owners heavily create content for these channels in the beginning when they have time. When they get slammed with work, they stop posting regularly if at all. The problem with this strategy is that it negatively impacts your business. Don’t start something you can’t keep up with.

If you visit a business’s website with a blog that hasn’t been updated in 3 years, do you think they’re still in business? If a social media page you liked a year ago posts something randomly for the first time, do you unlike the page because you forgot about this business?

Put All Your Marketing Eggs in One Basket

Some marketing techniques work for one business but not yours. Some take a long time to pay out. Some work for a period of time before not working. In many B2B businesses we’ve spoken to, they feel that their existing technique is SO GOOD they don’t need a blog. A few months later, they’ll reach out because sending catalogs out isn’t working anymore. This is why you need to diversify your marketing efforts and not rely solely on one strategy.

Marketing can be expensive, time-consuming and overwhelming. If you’re ready to invest in a strategic partner that relieves some of this pressure, contact us today at info@triassicmedia.com. For $1,000 a month, your marketing is done at much less than the cost of an employee.

Business Content

Why Content Marketing Is A Must

Content marketing is one of the big buzz words in business right now, but if you’re company already has a blog, sizable email subscription, and active social media marketing plan you may be wondering why you need to bother with anything more. Content marketing works hand in hand with your company’s current online marketing plan to in a way that helps you to more effectively turn prospective customers into repeat clients.

What Exactly is Content Marketing?

While similar to the content writing you’re already using, content marketing is focused solely on providing valuable content for value’s sake. There’s no call to action, no trying to persuade the reader, just information that is interesting and useful. It’s simple, yet amazingly powerful. And your business can’t afford to not take advantage of it. Here are a couple of reasons why your business should use content marketing.

Target Prospective Customers

Content marketing is almost counter-intuitive because it focuses on providing high value information that your prospective customers would find interesting. Naturally, this translates into content that your current customers find informative, too. But in focusing on your would-be customers, your company continues to draw a greater audience, increasing your social media followers, your newsletter subscription, and your blog readership -all of which translate to increased profits.

Build Trust with your Prospective Customer Base

By focusing on the needs of your would-be customer, you better establish your company as an authority in your industry. In doing so, you also create trust between your company and your potential customers. The more an individual trust your company, the more likely they are to sign up for your newsletter and, more importantly, buy what you’re selling.

Increase Effective Word-of-Mouth Advertising

By providing interesting and informative content related to your industry, you encourage greater sharing of your company’s content and website among potential customers -which increases your marketing reach more than targeting the needs of your current customers could. The more people buzzing about your business the better.

If you are looking for the solution to your content marketing needs contact us today and see what all the buzz around content marketing is about!

Blog value

5 Ways to Maximize Your Blog’s Value

Once you have developed your site and have generated a steady flow of traffic, you should take steps to increase your blogs profitability. However, there is a common misconception that in order to increase the value you have to dedicate a large amount of time and effort to the process. This is simply not true. If you take the time to carefully consider your options you can find methods to maximize the profitability of your blog without having to invest a lot of time or money.

#1 Pay Per Click Ads

This is one of the easiest and most widely used methods to increase the value of your blog. Google Adsense offers both image and text advertisements based on the content on your blog. Each time a visitor to your blog clicks the ad you receive a monetary compensation. The amount you make depends on the following factors: the value of the keywords on your site and the amount of traffic you have to your blog.

#2 Text Links

Text links are typically only going to increase the value of your blog if you get linked to other sites frequently. If you have this then you can make a substantial income from the links. The rates that you earn for the text links are dependent on your PR. Some popular text link sites to get started with include Text Link Ads and Link Worth.

#3 Cost-Per-Thousand Ads

This method of advertisement is often appealing to blog owners because your readers do not actually have to click the ad for you to receive payment. Simply provide the ad and receive a rate. However, the downside to this method is the fact that the rates can be as low as $0.10 per every thousand impressions. A network to try out for these ads is Conversant Media (formerly known as ValueClick).

#4 RSS Feed Ads

This allows you to add feeds to the content you offer your readers. While there are not many options when it comes to earning money off of the feeds the ones that are available allow your readers to access other sites that are similar and increase their rate of return to your site. Some popular places to access these types of ads include Pheedo and Feedburner.

#5 Reinvesting Your Earnings

This is perhaps the most crucial way that you can increase the value of your blog. For every dollar you earn through ads and other methods you should reinvest at least half of the money to new advertising methods. This can ensure that you will continue earning your money by investing in new advertising methods.

By using the methods listed here, you may see an increase in the profit your blog can generate for you. Keep in mind, that while it is important to diversify your advertising methods, you should also limit the amount of ads that are seen on the site. Also, it may be a process of trial and error to see what methods your readers respond to. If one does not result in any additional income you should move on and try one of the other methods.