The Web For Blog

Internet marketing observations, perspectives, tips and tricks for your education and enlightenment.

Don't Discard the Old Stuff

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, October 05, 2017

QuestionsRemember MySpace? Yeah, it's sort of lost the social media spotlight to Facebook, but it's not dead. 28 million users still use it. That's more than Pinterest (at 25 million users). Is it dead? Not quite. It's just not "cool" any longer.

The same can be said for other online marketing channels that a lot of people are writing off. However, there are still lots of businesses making lots of money using "old" techniques, so don't discard them yet. Here are a couple of thoughts to consider.

Email Marketing

With the rise of CASL and other anti-spam legislation around the world, marketers have to be more careful when it comes to marketing via email. While it's not new and shiny, email is still one of the most cost-effective ways marketers have to reach their prospects and customers. It's highly targeted, customizable, personalizable, and the tools to measure its success are easily available and understandable. You can also scale it up as needed. Email marketing's not dead. If you think it is, you should probably be asking yourself how you can use it more effectively.


Content will always rule online. While social media is being used to get wider distribution, the content often still comes from blogs. It's just been re-posted to a social media channel. If you're going to participate at all in content marketing, you need to have content on your website. Guess what? It's probably going to wind up on your blog instead of on a static page of your website. Blogging is far from dead. If it hasn't worked for you, start asking yourself what you can do to improve your results.

Everyone has the potential to their own independent media company. Video blogs (vlogs), podcasts (audio blogging, so to speak) and other technologies are giving creators more choice on how to deliver their message. The challenge for you now is to create useful content that your audience will find helpful. That's the cornerstone of any online marketing campaign. Don't get seduced by the latest sexy technology when the old workhorses are still doing a great job. If they're not, then it behooves you to figure out how to do things better. Or, call a professional.

Now is the time to start video marketing

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Video marketing is huge.

Let me say that again.

Video marketing is HUGE!

The statistics on this are pretty clear. Some of the statistics are shocking, but they demonstrate the online appeal of videos and make a clear case that all businesses should be using video marketing as a part of their online marketing mix.

  1. YouTube is the world's #2 search engine
  2. 1/3 of all online activity is watching videos
  3. 100 million internet users watch an online video every day
  4. 50% of users watch business related videos on YouTube at least once a week

What does this mean for you? Lots. Here's how videos affect visitor behaviour to your website:

  1. Watching a video can increase a visitor's understanding of your product or service by 74%
  2. A visitor to a retail website is 64% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video
  3. A real estate listing with a video gets 403% more inquiries compared to listings without
  4. Videos in email increase click-through rates 2~3 times compared to regular messages
  5. 20% of your site visitors will read all the content you provide: 80% will watch a video
  6. Websites are 50x more likely to show up on the first page of search engine results page if it includes a video

The barriers to entry for video marketing are much easier to hurdle than they used to be. Depending on a video's production value, it can be very inexpensive to create a video for marketing purposes. Best of all, they can be put on YouTube, your own website, Facebook and most other social media marketing platforms to get you more exposure.

Do your customers and your business a favour: incorporate video marketing into your online marketing mix.

Use Email to BOOST Your Networking Results

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, November 21, 2013

Business cards from a networking function on deskI attended a networking event last evening. Because I'm an online kind of guy, I sent out a personalized follow-up email today. While it's too early to know how things turned out from last night and from my email, there are a few things I think are pertinent to mention.

  1. If you are going to send a follow-up email after an event, it should be sent the next business day.

  2. You can make your life easier by planning ahead and composing your email in advance. That way all you have to is create a list of recipients to be ready to send it out.

  3. It doesn't take much to make your email look special. Why? Because it will likely be the only one people receive following up on the event.

Marketing is not difficult. Being mindful of the things that are most beneficial is the challenge. I can honestly say I did not put much effort into sending out my follow-up email. I typed around 25 people's names and email addresses into my email marketing software, sent a test to make sure things looked good and then hit send. It probably took around 30 minutes all-told.

I'm certainly not complaining that I haven't received a follow-up email or phone call from anyone I met at the meeting last night. It reduces the clutter for my message to get through more easily. That being said, I think a follow-up email is a beneficial thing to send out to the people you've met. It gives you a reason to connect again and is another step taken in relationship-building.

Relationships don't get built on their own. It takes work. An email is just one step on the journey toward creating a relationship with a potential client, a source of referrals, or even a friend. It can make your networking more productive. 'nuff said :)

P.S. We're still running our contest until the end of November, so like, share or comment on our blog to enter our draw for a free breakfast or lunch with me!

How's that strategy working out for you?

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chess - all about strategyStrategy can be defined as "a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim."

How is your online marketing strategy doing for you? This is a question you should ask yourself regularly. Things change quickly online and what may have been a great idea a year ago may not be so hot now.

Four points to consider:

  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not dead. Doing it well can take time, especially if you are trying to achieve top rankings for a competitive term (think "Niagara Falls"). However, if you've determined what the appropriate keywords are for your business to target, it can be well worth the effort.

  2. Email marketing is still effective. For those of you who do not regularly put out an email communication to your clients and prospects, this may be an area you want to reconsider.

  3. Social media is not a replacement for SEO, nor does it particularly help your SEO efforts in and of itself. Social media is about engaging with people. It requires as much time (or more) as SEO but it can also work well when done properly.

  4. Whatever you're doing with SEO, email marketing or social media, remember to track your website's performance. If the site has a high bounce rate or does not convert visitors to inquiries or sales very well, you're ultimately wasting your marketing efforts. If you don't know how to measure your bounce rate or your conversion rate, take the time to learn or seek professional help.

Our business slogan used to be "Making the internet WORK for business". That can be read two ways - to make it more effective or to make it more work. It reflected the reality that to get results there is an investment required. Either you invest your time or your money, but if you do nothing, that's generally what you'll get.

In the Quest for New . . .

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

. . . are you neglecting the "old"?

I'm not talking about the elderly here. I'm referring to your online marketing methods.

Is social media now the focus of your marketing efforts?

Great - but how's traffic to your website? Have you updated it recently?

Are you still thinking about your SEO?

Have you blogged lately?

How's your email list growing?

Social media is the latest way to get the word out about your business, but it's not the only way. Are you so busy trying to understand the newest platform (Pinster, at the moment, judging from the inquiries we're getting about it) that you're ignoring what you've been building elsewhere?

If every social media platform went offline tomorrow, how would your brand be positioned online? Would it have a robust online presence with good search engine positioning and quality content that attracts and converts qualified visitors to leads?

My suggestion: build your online assets first and foremost on platforms you control. That means your website, blog and email list. Once those are in tip-top shape, take those strengths and build on them with social media. You'll create a stronger online presence all-round.

What's the Center of YOUR Online World?

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, December 15, 2011

I've gotten requests from people to join every conceivable social media platform. One person I know is probably involved in at least a dozen of them. When you're a person, that's fine, but if you're in business, is this the best approach?

The one thing many businesses have neglected in their rush to join social media sites is the one thing they have full control over: their own websites.

Think about this for a moment. Your business has its own brand, its own message, its own story. When you focus almost exclusively on Facebook, LinkedIn or any other platform, are you driving people back to your website?

Take the time to look at your website with fresh eyes. How many people are visiting? How many leads is it generating? How is it converting? 

Being involved in social media's a good thing, but it should be a part of your overall online strategy. Prospective clients are going to look beyond social media to learn about your business, and that means their next stop is your website.

Make sure your website's still doing its job. If your primary social media outlet shut down tomorrow, would you have created enough meaningful relationships through it that you would still be thriving? Perhaps this could be a resolution for the new year: make your website the center of your online world.

What Does Saturday Mean to You?

Mark Kawabe - Saturday, October 15, 2011

Everybody loves the weekend, or at least the concept of it. I don't have stats to prove it, but I have a gut feeling that the majority of people work at least one day on a weekend.

If you're an entrepreneur, weekends and weekdays often blur together.

I know I get some of my best work done on weekends, but I also enjoy taking the time off. My family also likes having me around. What's an entrepreneur to do?

My suggestion to entrepreneurs who are online: think about scheduling your email marketing campaigns to run on weekends..

Email marketing research shows higher clickthrough rates on Saturdays and Sundays. The theory behind this statistic is that people are more relaxed on weekends and tend to actually read instead of skim their emails and have more disposable time to learn more about the subject of the message - so they click the links and visit the website.

So, what are you doing this weekend? Enjoy!

When Will the Spammers Stop?

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I know I shouldn't, but I hope for a day when reputable businesses don't spam prospective customers. Now that Bill C-28 is a law, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the shaft. It seems though that most businesses are still in the dark.

Today I'll pick on the Buffalo Sabres who on Feb. 8 sent me an "insider" email promoting their game against the Thrashers on Feb. 23. The email address they used was only ever used once for one purpose - to register a domain for a client. It's never been used otherwise, so how did it wind up on a mailing list for the Buffalo Sabres?

Simple: the Sabres organization probably bought a list with email addresses and other contact information "scraped" from online domain registry databases. Oh sure, they were probably told that everyone on the list had "opted in", but the reality is there are precious few lists like that and the list owners, if they're smart, wouldn't dream of corrupting their brand by sharing their carefully-built list.

So, what can you do about spam now that there's a law about it? Until enforcement comes into effect in the next 6~8 months, you can expect things will stay much the same. However, you CAN help educate other business owners about the new laws so they will reconsider their actions. And of course, don't buy anything that is promoted through spam. If there's no money to be made doing it, eventually people will stop using it. Then again, with 200 BILLION spam messages being sent per day (as of August 2010), someone's making money, somewhere.

Please don't let it be you.