April 2010


I was pleased to attend the IVAA Summit once again this year, and managed to come away with new ideas and systems that I cannot wait to put into place. Not only did we have wonderful breakout sessions and a dynamic keynote speaker in Marsha Petrie Sue, but we also had the most fantastic networking opportunities. I was able to connect with some fantastic colleagues that I have only known virtually for many years. It was so wonderful to be able to sit across the table from them and exchange ideas and wisdom.  

I firmly believe in continued education and training, and attending the annual live conference is a great way to do this. Now it is time to ramp up the planning for our fantastic Online Summit http://online.vasummit.org/ which truly complements Live Summit http://live.vasummit.org/  . If you have not had the opportunity to attend both of these, I highly recommend that you work it into your budget for this year if at all possible. You will not regret it.

Another fantastic online conference is the OIVAC http://oivac.com/ which will be held in May 2010. I am very honored and pleased to announce that I have been nominated for the Thomas Leonard Award this year. I can’t express how pleased I am to just be nominated and to be in the company of the other fantastic nominees.  Be sure to check out the website for the Online International Virtual Assistant Convention and the educational program they have in place for this year.

Thomas Leonard Award Nominee

Advertisements

When it comes to making an online business successful, there are a number of internet marketing strategies to choose from. Among the most popularly used ones are article marketing, pay-per-click advertising, forum marketing, and email marketing. To achieve success through these internet marketing platforms, an online business owner needs to diligently track click-through and conversion rates. The more people are converted into actual paying customers, the more successful these platforms are considered to be.

Today, social media sites have become popular among internet users. It is for this reason that they have also become very attractive platforms for internet marketers. Through such sites, online business owners can easily reach out to a wide variety of active internet users and attract them through more engaging means. Among the most popularly used social media platforms are video sharing and social networking websites.

1) Video Sharing

Video sharing websites like YouTube have become known as the launching pad for aspiring artists, directors, singers, comedians, and other performers. However, online businesses have much to gain from such sites too. In fact, many business owners have achieved success solely because they made it a point to produce entertaining yet professional videos and posted them on video sharing sites for internet users to view. Product demonstrations that highlight benefits to customers have become quite popular as well.

Good videos become popular on video sharing sites not only because there are already a number of users looking out for new videos but also because these sites have made it easier for videos to be spread virally. They can be easily be tagged as favorites so that more users will be prompted to view them. Videos are also easily shared through social bookmarking and social networking sites as well as through email. Furthermore, should a video be relevant to other people’s businesses, they can easily be published in other websites and blogs. Because online business owners have higher potential to attract people online as well as allow its offerings to spread virally, video marketing has proven to be a crucial element in any internet marketing campaign.

If videos are attractive or interesting enough, people can leave comments that online business owners can read through to gain consumer insights on their offerings.

2) Social Networking

Online business owners can use social networking sites as an alternative to email marketing campaigns. It is through these sites that internet marketers can regularly share relevant content that can engage users enough to prompt them to follow the brand or make it a part of their network.

Logging in to social networking sites everyday has practically become a way of life for many internet users. Using these sites to promote an online business, however, is not as simple as building a network of random people and advertising products and services to them. Online business owners should treat such sites as a means to build relationships with users rather than as just another advertising medium. Similar to video sharing websites, social networking sites can prove to be one of the most invaluable sources of customer feedback for any business.

Through such sites, internet marketers can encourage comments from users and converse directly with people within their network. They can then gain powerful consumer insights as well as manage the reputation of their online businesses. What is even more attractive to internet marketers is that being active in social networking sites gives their brand a higher potential to spread virally among people who share the same interest. This, consequently, allows them to spend less on brand building and customer acquisition.

With today’s popularity of social media, internet marketers can now direct more of their focus and energy on branding and building a solid reputation for their online businesses. For this reason, click-through and conversion rates are considered only as secondary means to track success. More important are the number of conversations incited around the brand and the business’ offerings as well as the number of followers gathered through these platforms. The idea is to get more and more people to talk about an online business and keep the brand at the top of their minds so that internet users will be more likely to patronize it or to share it with other people.