Internet Marketing Strategies
If your organization is like SCORE, a non-profit organization who is constantly looking for funding, perhaps it’s time to look at new methods of raising capital.
The truth is that SCORE, just like many other non-profit organizations, rely on individuals and companies for help throughout the year. Through partnerships and affiliations, grants are received, donations are made and yes, even the SBA in SCORE’s case funds the massive undertaking of SCORE’s mission to the tune of millions of dollars per year.
However, each and every year, the need for giving by these organizations are surpassed by funds received. This economy for instance, has made it extremely difficult for many non-profits to raise money, and this is unsettling.
It is for this reason that non-profits and not-for-profit organizations must expand their fund-raising efforts to include referral-based incentive income (RBIC).
RBIC programs are normally offered by companies who offer referral programs. Through the use of Internet-based technology, major corporations like Amazon, Intuit and many others, can pay a referral fee when someone buys due to your organization’s referral.
In the case of the Orange County NY Chapter of SCORE, they have made arrangements to get 50% of the first month’s premiums for a suite of Internet tools and resources offered by a company named Global Virtual Opportunities. These tools are needed by business owners everywhere. Their low-cost, high quality and effective use of the tools, appeal to business owners. This makes it easy for small business owners to register and utilize these easy to use tools.
The longer the small business owner utilizes these tools to promote their business, the better result the business owner gets, and the longer they’ll continue to use the tools. GVO will pay SCORE a portion of the monthly fee as long as the business owner uses the service.
Can you imagine how well fund-raising would work for your organization if you referred a high-end product or service by a third party, that continues to grow as more of your referrals take advantage of the RBIC?
RBIC can generate thousands of dollars in monthly, recurring revenue. This is a win-win-win scenario because in this case, your organization would win, the business owner (or consumer) would win, and the company being referred would win as well.
There are thousands of companies offering referral-based incentive income for your organization. The terminology can be termed “affiliate program”, “incentive program”, or “referral program” .
The internet now makes it easier for your organization to raise funds. Technology allows it to track everything faster, easier and more accurately than any other time in the past.
Look into different products and services that companies are offering, that are of value to your target market. Then, become an affiliate or representative of the company. It’s free to do, and it will not tie up any of your resources in fulfillment, customer support, or inventory.
If you are a business owner, and would like to take advantage of some great promotional tools that will help you grow your business, please visit orangescore.gogvo.com. If you take advantage of GVO’s Internet Marketing services, the Orange County NY Chapter of SCORE will receive $44.95 per person that registers and pays in full in the month of February. They have a $1 trial for you to see how their services fit your needs.
SCORE does not normally promote one company over another. Therefore, here are other companies, you can register with that will provide similar services. SCORE will not receive a referral incentive for any of the following companies: www.aeWeber.com (email marketing system), www.LiveStream.com (video hosting), www.GoToMeeting.com (web conferencing).
As a non-profit organization, it is your duty to look for new ways to fund yourselves. Offering someone else’s reliable, quality services, at no cost to you seems like a viable way to do it.
One of the most important things you can do to make sure your web site is visited, is to do the right keyword research. Since people use keywords to search for information in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN, you’ll want to target appropriate keywords if you wish to show up at the top of the results pages.
You can find relevant keywords in many different ways, but the easiest way is to use Google’s free research tool.
You can find it at: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
Simply type in a keyword for your website that you believe people are looking for, and Google will give you many keyword ideas.
Example: If you’ve got a website about business insurance, you would enter terms like “workmans compensation”, “liability insurance”, “business insurance”, “commercial insurance”, etc.
Google also gives you the numbers that tell you how often people search for each term. That way you know the keywords you’re targeting are worth your efforts.
Another important piece of invaluable information, is figuring out how much competition there is for each keyword you’ve chosen. If you are targeting words that have too much competition it’s going to be harder for you to reach the top of the search engine results pages. This tool also tells you the advertiser competition within the search results.
The Google Search Tool also tells you the approximate search volume, so that you can see if it’s a key phrase worth pursuing. In other words, if you choose a key phrase like “CFP designation” because you think that people are looking for that, then you’ll notice, by using this tool, that not many people are looking for such a phrase.
Therefore, stay away from key words and phrases that have little or no seach volume. Alternatively, you can rank very high, very quickly for a key phrase that is not competitive, and has a low search volume. The key is to have a significant search volume, and choosing as many of these key phrases as possible. I’ll go into this keyword strategy in another post.
Getting traffic to your web site is one thing, keeping them coming back is a whole other game. I’ve listed below 7 ways you can have web site visitors return to your web site often. There are a few ideas that will also help in getting your visitors refering others to your site.
1. Online Poll
Create an interactive poll on your web site. Ask visitors a poll question and have them click on their answer. People love to give their opinions, and they would also like to read the results immediately right on your web site. The more controversial the question, the more more people will want to answer. Just make sure you don’t over step your boundries.
2. Prize Drawings
Think of something of value that your target market may be interested in, and hold an ongoing prize drawing on your web site. The prizes should be something of interest or value to your web site visitors. In order to choose a winner, simply have your contest entrant give you their name and email address so that you can contact them if they’ve won a proze. Also make sure to list the winner on your web site for all to see. Most people who enter will continually revisit your web site to get the results. You can use your Outlook or Thunderbird account to follow up with the contest entrants when you launch this at first, but I highly receommend that you enroll for a service like www.aeWeber.com and utilize their email marketing campaign system instead.
3. Original Content on Your Site
The best way to get people coming back is to give your visitors content they can’t read anywhere else. I’m not saying all your content has to be 100% original, but a portion of your web site should have original information. People will usually read information they haven’t read before if it helps them resolve a problem, is newsworthy, or has a gossip essence to it. In order to make content as original and alluring as possible, you should be aware of your web site visitors’ interests. Then, you can design your information accordingly.
4. Add a Quiz
You can ask simple quiz questions and post the answer immediately on your web site. Or you can give your visitors a quiz or a series of trivia questions and post the correct answers weekly on your web site. The people who participate will want to come back to your site to see if they were right, and may even tell a few friends about the quiz.
5. Newsworthy Stories
Your target market loves news, especially news stories related to your web site topic. Your target market wants current and up-to-date news. If you can be a great source, they will become repeat visitors to your web site. Be creative. I’m sure you can come up with something of interest to your target market. Search Google, and you’ll get plenty of news stories. Just be careful NOT to use copyrighted material. Use the news stories as a fact finder, but put it in your own words. You can also add news feeds or RSS feeds to your blog or web site from syndication services within your industry.
Do you ever get an email forwarded to you my a friend that has a joke attached, or a funny cartoon? People love to laugh, so give your visitors a little humor now and then. Don’t be so serious; tell them a joke, but keep it clean of course. If they associate your web site with being happy they will return and hopefully tell their friends about it.
7. Free Giveaways
People love to get free stuff. List free stuff on your web site. It could be software, services, sample products, e-books etc. The freebies should be related to your web site topic and targeted to your market. Don’t do as some do, that give away an iPod for example, but you sell shoes. One has nothing to do with the other. For example, I give away two free ebooks at www.HowToAttractCustomers.com to anyone who is interested in generating more sales leads and turning them into customers. The topics appeal to my target market. They get something of value, and they tell others about it as well. I have hundreds of people who have taken advantage of the free offer. The result is an increased customer base for me with paying clients who read and agree with what the books teach them. You can do the same.
A Blog is short for Web Log. A Blog allows you to communicate with the world by simply typing your thoughts on a Blog board just as if you were typing into your favorite word processing program.
When typing within a Blog, you don’t need to know any type of programming, and you don’t need to know much about the Internet. All you need to know is that a Blog allows you to type in your information, and this in turn can mean that you’ll save money, make money, and possibly feel better about yourself.
So, how can you save money with a Blog? Simple. You can create a Blog (I’ll tell you how in a minute) and link it to your existing web site. If you’ve hired a web designer to create your web site, you are most likely also paying for updates. Starting a Blog will allow you to update that specific section of your web site, without incurring additional costs from your web master.
How can you make money with a Blog? It’s simple. You can keep your prospective clients, as well as past and existing clients informed of new trends. The trends will cause them to make informed decisions, some of which may be beneficial to you both.
The best part about Blogs is that you can set one up within minutes—for free.
You can visit http://www.blogger.com/, or Yahoo Groups and start a Blog today. If don’t like any of those two, you can simply search Google for other blogging services and you’ll see some free and fee-based ones.
Whether you create a free Blog, or pay to have one is completely up to you. The drawback to the free Blogs is that your content belongs to the Blog posting service. This means that they can moderate, or even delete a Blog that does not meet their posting criteria. Another thing is that you don’t know how long the service will remain free. You may have to accept someone else’s ad in the future. The ad in turn can be from a competing product or service.
Your best bet is to purchase blogging software and host it on your existing web site hosting account. If you currently don’t own a web site, you can open a hosting account at http://www.aedomains.com/ and link the Blog to the site you create with that service.
Instead of purchasing, you can also get a free copy of Word Press by going to http://www.wordpress.org/. This is open source software that you can install on your hosting account for free. A good hosting account will make the installation of a blob, push-button easy. However, modifying your blog to fit the look of your site is a bit more difficult to do if you are not a programmer.
If you set up your own Blog, you can also add images, audio, and video. Adding video to your blog is also called “Vlogging” and you’re going to see a lot more of that in the near future.
As a matter of fact, Vlogging is still very new now, and any business owner doing it, will appear to be way ahead of their competition. Naturally, there is a right way and wrong way to go about Vlogging. The right way, is to start out slow and get a webcam, and simple video software. You can get a web cam for as little as $20. The video editing software can cost about $100 on the average. However, most new PCs come equipped with Windows Movie Maker, and Macs have their own free version of video editing software.
If you start Vlogging, you will attract more people than anyone with a generic Blog. However, simply having a Blog that creates interaction with your potential customers and can also produce positive results.
After starting a Blog, whether it’s free, or for a fee, you must register your blog with on-line Blog directories. This is called “Pinging” your Blog. You can easily do this by going to http://www.ping-o-matic.com/ and registering your Blog there.
Now that you know what a blog is, let’s talk about the 7 ways a blog can grow your business…
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