Monthly Archives: May 2009

2009 Worst Website Ever Contest!

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Is your website an embarrassment? Are you losing business because your website doesn’t engage visitors or drive leads? Haven’t updated in years?

Submit your website to Strategic Guru’s Worst Website Ever contest today!

Enter your website by June 15th for a chance to win a Website Makeover.

To enter, read the Official Rules and then send the URL of your site to andrew@strategicguru.com. You can also Twitter your entry to @strategicguru. Strategic Guru will select 4 finalists from the entries and the winner will be chosen by voters at www.myworstwebsite.com.

Submissions will be accepted Monday, June 1st through Monday, June 15th.  The winner will be announced June 23rd.

The winner will receive a Website Makeover valued at $9,000. Prize package includes redesign, copy editing, search-engine optimization and development.

Official Rules

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. All winners must be 18 years of age or older, unless otherwise stated and/or posted. The website must be in existence prior to May 1st, 2009 and must be an active URL.  You must be the owner or representative of the company authorized to enter the contest. Entries that are offensive or illegal in nature will not be accepted. Strategic Guru reserves the right to refuse any and all entries.

You understand and intend that any information submitted by you to Strategic Guru may be available for viewing, rating, review and comment on by the public, and understand that comments or ratings with which you disagree or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with any information you submit to Strategic Guru. By submitting any information to Strategic Guru, you hereby waive any privacy expectations that you may have with respect to any such information submitted by you to Strategic Guru.

Winner will receive one website design concept, one round of design revisions, one round of copy editing and a fixed number of hours of development time.  Prize package does not include logo design, flash animation, sound, video, e-commerce, custom software development, stock or custom photography, or website hosting.

Winners are solely responsible for all taxes and/or fees that may be incurred. Winners may not request substitutions of prize winnings.

Strategic Guru reserves the right to alter any rules of any contest at anytime.

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Filed under Worst Website Ever Contest

Don’t be the Jerk at the Social Media Party

Perry Belcher’s perspective on social media is spot-0n.  Think of social media as a party – the last thing you’d do at a cocktail party filled with a mix of strangers and friends is burst in and shout “buy stuff from me!”  He’s right, you’d be the biggest jerk in the room.

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Filed under Economic Downturn, Entrepreneurship, Facebook, Flickr, marketing basics, north carolina, social media, twitter

5 Rules for the Social Media Playground

Jumping (or dipping a toe) into the social media pool is great – after all, you do want to increase your online real estate.  But it’s important to understand a few guidelines first:

  1. Are you prepared to engage? It’s important to understand that social media is a two-way street.  Sure, it’s a relatively easy to way to broadcast messages to your marketplace.  But the market talks back –and it’s crucial that you engage with them.  A Facebook page for a well-regarded television drama posts exclusive behind the scenes videos but doesn’t reveal the date of the next season premiere, despite fan pleas.  Don’t leave your customers in the dark.
  2. Make the Commitment Lifestyle guru Oprah (@oprah) made a big splash recently by joining Twitter and sending out her first tweet, albeit in all caps.  But she’s only sent 44 messages since April 17th, indicating that she’s not a loyalist.  It’s important to set goals for your social media campaign and then execute.  An abandoned Facebook page, Twitter stream or blog sends the wrong message.
  3. Be interesting What does your target want to hear?  What are the issues in your industry?  How can you relieve pain?  No one cares what you had for lunch — unless maybe it’s the special at your restaurant!  Understand what information you can share that’s worth knowing.
  4. You can’t control the conversation Understand that social media can’t be controlled.  People are talking about your business or industry, whether you participate or not.  You can’t suppress negative comments, only respond to them so better you be there than not.
  5. Social media offers no fast fixes Social media campaigns usually can’t deliver the same kind of metrics as other marketing tactics. A good plan should develop over time and results will emerge over time.

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Filed under Blogging, Facebook, Flickr, marketing basics, social media, twitter, Web Marketing

Would You Wait 97 Minutes for a Taco?

Apparently, hundreds of Los Angelenos will. They wait for Korean tacos, prepared by a Culinary Institute of America grad, served out of Kogi’s roving trucks.  Taco trucks and lunch vehicles are nothing new in most metro areas – but few do anything more than station themselves outside construction sites and other under-served locations. Kogi has embraced social media and taken their effort viral. By announcing to their over 24,000 followers the trucks next destination via Twitter (@kogibbq), they have created a buzz about their unique fusion food and earned some big time ink (see here, too) in the process!

Serving 400 pounds of meat (kogi means meat in Korean) per evening to hungry foodies, Kogi has done what so many people want to do with Twitter – drive business growth. The food, by all reports, is great and customers have been inspired to create Kogi Kulture – a fan club of sorts that has designed t-shirts and named Kogi’s trucks.  Kogi’s success has allowed them to branch out into a brick and mortar location.  The owners are also looking to dispatch more trucks to other cities.

See Koji’s Flickr so shots of the yummy-looking food!

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Filed under Entrepreneurship, social media, twitter, viral marketing

Top Ten E-mail Marketing Mistakes

With the presence of bulk e-mail services and new software, e-mail marketing has become increasingly easy to execute.  Now is not the time to let your guard down – make sure you aren’t making any of these common mistakes:

1. Sending An Email Without A Strategy. You must have a strategy detailing the who, what, and why for each message.  Otherwise, you might be reaching the wrong audience.

2. Using A Old, Tired or Just Plain Mysterious List. If contacts haven’t opted-in to your e-mail list, you may be flagged as spam and prohibited from sending messages in the future.  Also, a fresh list cuts down on undeliverable emails.

3. Missing Subject Opportunities. Your top-line message should include a link to a Web-based version in case your message is being viewed by a reader with a PDA or other e-mail system that doesn’t support HTML content.

4. Focusing On The Wrong Content. The audience of your message needs know that it is important.  E-mails with the highest open rates come from thought leaders in the industry or from personal insights on industry trends.

5. Being Too Graphic or TextHeavy. Having too much text or graphic content in your e-mail can be overwhelming to the reader if there is nothing there to move them smoothly through the page.

6. Having An Obvious Sales Pitch. If your readers sense a sales pitch, they are likely to stop reading, delete the email, and may even report your email as spam.

7. Testing On Only One Browser. Don’t assume that all e-mail systems will display your message the same.  Testing with a Mac, PC, Internet Explorer, and Firefox and in the most used email clients will ensure that readers are able to see all of your content correctly.

8. Ignoring Statistics. Metrics will reveal whether your message was successful, along with showing bounce rates, open rates, opt-outs, and spam reports.

9. Sending At The Wrong Time. Keep your contacts’ time zones and business hours in mind.  Recent data suggest higher open rates occur on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

10. Forgetting To Lead Your Web Traffic.  Opinion-driven news letters are most effective when they have content directing web site traffic.  A portion of your story should have a link to “read more” and have links relevant to specific website pages.

One more thought – what are you using for your “From” line in your marketing e-mails?  B2B Magazine recommends using a real person’s name for this line because, after all, B2B buyers are still people.  Personalize the “From” and ‘Reply to” fields so that they are coming from the sales representative that the particular lead or contact “belongs” to.

What strategies are you using to give your e-mail a more personal touch?

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Filed under Economic Downturn, Email Marketing, marketing basics

Maximize Your SEO Efforts With Key Tactics

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Facing the urgency of a struggling economy, every marketing expenditure is under greater scrutiny.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing tactic that can be clearly measured and carefully implemented.  Each search matters, and a few simple tasks can help drive prospects to your website via search.

Here are several tactics your company can use to maximize the time and energy spent on SEO:

Error-Check Your Code. Search engine spiders may be missing entire pages of your site because of a few simple errors.  Code validating services are offered by providers such as the World Wide Web Consortium (http;//www. w3.org).

Help Viewers Navigate With Ease. Easy-to-navigate sites are preferred by Yahoo! and Google just as much as they are preferred by your users.  Search engine spiders and your users will have an easier time finding information on your website with your help.

Create A Sitemap. An XML sitemap will show spiders the pages on your site and how often they are updated.  User-friendly sitemaps provide additional navigation for users and are becoming the standard for crawl submissions.

Describe Yourself. Each page within your website should have a unique title and description based on the pages’s content.  “Home” is not an acceptable description for your business unless you are a realtor or construction company – and even then it’s weak!

Optimize Keywords. Isolate the terms that are leading your site towards success and test them in a pay-per-click (PPC) environment.  Take the most successful PPC terms and place emphasis on them for future SEO efforts.

The world of SEO is ever-changing as Google, Yahoo, and other search engines continuously update their website submission algorithms.  How can we help you better reach your target audience?

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Filed under marketing basics, Web Marketing

Strategic Guru Welcomes New Graphic Designer

Welcome our new graphic designer, Janet Danforth! Janet joined the team in April and we’re thrilled to have her!

A graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, Janet brings a wealth of experience to the team. Her background of client work in media, arts, financial and sports will be a true asset.

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