Written by Steven Presar

For any business to become truly successful, it needs to create positive brand recognition for its product.

This is especially true in small businesses, where there may be thousands of similar companies vying forrepparttar customer's attention. The easiest and most fruitful way to think of a brand is as an IMAGE thatrepparttar 101186 audience remembers.

This means that successful branding of a service or product is a matter of creating an image that is Positive, Relevant, and Memorable.

First and foremost, you want to create an image of your product or service (or company, for that matter) that is positive.

You want to create an emotional association (such as happiness or fun) withrepparttar 101187 product. According to researchers, there are two basic ways that you can create these associations.

The first way is through direct experience. In this approach, a customer's experience withrepparttar 101188 product or service impacts onrepparttar 101189 way that they see it -- i.e. a positive experience means a positive association. This can be very important if you are trying to reach repeat customers.

It is usually hard to use direct experience to brand a product or service using just a web site. However, remember that a person will often judge your company based on their experiences with your web site. Therefore, it is very important that you make their experience a favorable one -- one where they can get their information quickly and easily.

A second approach to branding that can be used more easily in a web environment is to create indirect associations. This can be done in a number of ways. The words you choose to describe your products,repparttar 101190 name you give them, andrepparttar 101191 graphics/pictures that you use on your web site can help to create an emotional association.

How and Where to Advertise Your Small Business Online

Written by Jim Daniels

OK, I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to marketing. I let my free ebooks, articles and newsletter do most of my marketing work.

But I also realize that in order to succeed in business, you must spend SOME money advertising. And I've been relearning this lesson recently.

Today I'd like to share with you some of my own recent results, so you'll know exactly how and where you should get started advertising online.

For starters, keep your wallet securely in your pocket. There are three things you must do BEFORE spending ad bucks online. And here they are...

1. Get a handle on how well your site does its selling.

Figuring out how good a job your site does selling is simple. Just look at your stats and do a little math. You are after just one number... how much a website visitor is worth to you. Or more simply, how much you should PAY for a visitor.

To figure this out you need to first find out how many visitors it takes you to get a sale. If you get 1000 visitors a week and 10 sales in that same week, then your visitor to sales ratio is 100-1. If you average 20 sales from those 1000 visitors, you are closing one sale for every 50 visitors. Once you know your own number, you will be able to determine approximately how much a visitor is worth to you. You simply take it one step further...

Let's say you close 1 sale in every 50 visitors and your average sale is $50. Simple math tells you that you could pay up to a dollar per visitor and break even. So a good goal would be to pay LESS THAN a buck per visitor. Any ad buy that averages out to less than a dollar per visitor should be profitable, providedrepparttar traffic is targeted. If you aim to spend fifty cents per visitor you can double your investment every time you advertise.

Of course there are lots of variables. Things like opt-in email members you may receive from an ad buy andrepparttar 101185 repeat visitors that your list generates. But you getrepparttar 101186 idea. Until you knowrepparttar 101187 above numbers for your site, you cannot spend money wisely on advertising.

Once you have a handle on how much a visitor is worth to you,repparttar 101188 next step you must take before your first ad buy is...

2. Set up your email address capture strategy.

If your site is closing one sale for every 50 visitors, you may be satisfied. But if you are not offering a way forrepparttar 101189 other 49 visitors to "stay inrepparttar 101190 loop" you are making a huge mistake.

And it is simple to keep them from getting away. Just offer them something of value in exchange for their contact information. An example of one way to do this is offering a free gift at your site and getting their name and email address when they request it. Your gift can be a free ebook, an email course or anything else your visitors would want.

You can get as many as 20% of your visitors to leave their contact info if you do it right. That's a lot of email addresses when you start advertising and getting lots of traffic.

But what do you do withrepparttar 101191 addresses?

You treat them like gold.

Regularly publish an email newsletter to your growing list of addresses. Contact them and offer your expertise. Give them more free, valuable information related to what they requested originally. Make them feel special and grow a community. This is how long-term profits are made online.

Once you have tackledrepparttar 101192 two items above, there is one last step before you actually spend money on advertising...

3. Make sure you have a way to measure your results once your advertising starts.

I do this simply by copying my main entry page and usingrepparttar 101193 new URL inrepparttar 101194 ad. When I checkrepparttar 101195 stats my web host emails me I can easily see how many visitors came through that URL. This is just ONE way to track traffic. There are TONS more. But you getrepparttar 101196 idea. You need some way to measurerepparttar 101197 results of your advertising or you are wasting your money.

OK, once you have tackledrepparttar 101198 three items above, you're all set up to do some ad buys.

I have tried many strategies online and here'srepparttar 101199 straight scoop on what works and what doesn't. I've ranked nine online advertising strategies as follows...

Poor: Don't waste your time. Fair: Worth a try at least once or twice. Good: A solid way to spend ad dollars. Excellent: Should be a regular staple in any online marketing budget.

OK, here they are...

1. FFA submissions (Free for all links pages)

You know, those interfaces that say "submit to 50,000 websites for a few bucks. Well, save your few bucks. FFA's had their time inrepparttar 101200 sun. They worked great when they were first introduced. Now they are not worth a dime. Heck, even if you can do a free submission it's probably not worth your time. The last three tests I ran submitted my URL to nearly a half a million sites. I got four visitors. 'Nuf said.

Rating: Poor

2. Bulk email

Sure, you CAN get website traffic using bulk email. You can do it yourself or hire a company to hide behind. Butrepparttar 101201 fact is, you risk your business reputation and you'll anger a ton of folks. Your domain will end up blocked by many ISPs and could even get sued. Unsolicited bulk email is not worthrepparttar 101202 trouble.

Rating: Poor

3. Safe lists

This is a twist on opt-in email marketing where you pay forrepparttar 101203 privilege of being able to send email to a list of other marketers who have donerepparttar 101204 same. While I have not tried this personally I can comment on it simply because lots of my subscribers have tried it. And I have not heard one good thing about it other than from people reselling it. The folks that have used it have found that while safe list "members" have agreed to be onrepparttar 101205 safe lists, most never actually read messages or buy anything.

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