Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Notes from a Google Conference

I recently attended a three-day marketing conference focused on Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in general, and the 800-lb gorilla in this field, Google. Here are some of my key marketing-related takeaways from this event:
* Every business that wants to build an online reputation/following MUST understand and utilize Google.
* Bing will become a bigger and bigger SEM player.
* Facebook offers a plethora of marketing opportunities, including very targeted advertising.
* People LOVE testimonials. These should be placed on a company's web site home page.
* People REALLY LOVE video testimonials.
* Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a combination of: SEO (organic searches, driven by high-quality content/keywords), links, and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
* Google still places a high priority on links, both having links on your web site and, even more importantly, having links to your web site on other web sites relevant to your business.
* The highest marketing return-on-investment (ROI) still comes from email marketing done to existing customers.
* What is the second largest search engine behind Google? YouTube. Be there or be...lost.
To learn more about Google and online marketing, please contact me at (707) 568-7322.
To online success!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Winning in Your Niche

Here is a link to a recent article I wrote for the Riches in Niches blog, talking about web content and Search Engine Marketing:


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Element of Surprise

I've been drawn to Chef Eric Ripert (see pic) of Le Bernardin in New York City for the simple fact that Le Bernardin has, in my opinion, a KILLER web site. (I've been researching web sites for a client, who is in the process of re-designing their own site.) The Le Bernardin site features fantastic photography, great navigation, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the "background sounds" on the cuisine page. Killer, killer, killer.

And then last night I happened to see Chef Ripert on a food/travel show, and he said something during a meal that really struck home with me: He said (and I'm paraphrasing a bit), that during a special meal, people "...want to be surprised, and to have an experience." Yes and yes!

One of the great delights I have when dining out is to see something new/different on the menu. And then when I try this new "thing" and its fantastic, yes! (I had this experience recently at the French Garden Restaurant in Sebastopol. I tried, for the first time, their Salmon Rillette, and WOW -- fantastic!...to the point where I have now sought out the perfect glass of wine to go with it, for my next visit.)

Chef Ripert's comments go beyond food and restaurants. EVERY BUSINESS could benefit by focusing on "surprise" and "an experience." All consumers WANT to be (pleasantly) surprised (at the quality of customer service) and have a great (buying) experience.

Want your restaurant -- or business -- to grow? Create surprise and a great experience for your customers, and it will.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One New Idea

Here's one idea from Tim Polk Communications to help jump-start your marketing efforts:

People Still Read (Really?) Newspapers

Yes, they do. For local marketing efforts, don't neglect the power of your local newspaper. With staff and budget cuts, and the addition of online blogs, newspapers and reporters are LOOKING FOR CONTENT. This is particularly true for restaurants, as most papers have a food and wine section. One of my clients recently ran a week-long special, and tracked (via a customer survey) where people heard about the special. A few said our radio ads, a few were regulars...but the vast majority of customers said that they saw the short (three paragraph) note in the local newspaper's Food & Wine section.

To get short notices -- or, perhaps, an actual article -- in your local newspaper, consider the following:
1. Send short, concise, fact-based information in an email.

2. Send the email to a specific person (most newspapers and blogs now list email addresses, either in the paper itself or on their web site).

3. Include your information in the body of the email, NOT as an attachment (too many concerns about viruses, causes extra steps, etc.).

4. Send information regularly.

5. Don't take it personally if a mention about your news-worthy event did not make the paper; keep sending news notes.

Good luck with your PR efforts!