Using QR Codes to Make Money with Mobile Marketing

Quick Response Codes, or QR Codes for short, are those funny looking little black and white squibs that you see on subway signs, magazine advertisements and lots of other places these days.

QR Codes are a variation of the bar code – also known as the Universal Product Code (UPC) – which has been used since the 1970s at retail checkout areas. Bar codes also are commonly used for inventory purposes.

QR Codes were first used in 1994, when engineers at a Japanese factory owned by a subsidiary of Toyota wanted to create a three-dimensional version of the bar code that could hold exponentially more information and that could be decoded at faster speeds. The first QR Code was used to control the inventory of automobile parts as they moved through the manufacturing process.

How QR Codes Work

Unlike UPCs – which are mechanically scanned by a narrow beam of light – QR Codes are scanned as a two-dimensional image by a semiconductor image sensor. This image is then digitally analyzed by the processor the scanning device.

The processor detects the three distinctive squares at the corners of the image, and – with the help of a fourth smaller square in the fourth corner – automatically converts the image into a standard size, orientation and angle of viewing. The tiny dots are then converted into binary code, which is matched against an error-detecting code.

The binary code can represent anything, such as text or an image, but in most cases it is a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), or an Internet address.

Uses and Benefits

Anybody with a mobile phone or tablet can scan a QR Code. Scanning apps are free and can be downloaded instantly on iTunes, Google Apps, the Android store and elsewhere.

Other apps let users generate and print their own QR Codes for others to scan and be diverted a device to a URL, eliminating the need to the user to copy down and type in a web address.

QR Codes are used widely in advertising. But they also can be used by online marketers to promote offers and to send traffic to web pages. Other uses for QR Codes include:

  • Visiting a Google+ or Facebook profile
  • Showing your branding on textiles such as t-shirts or bags and other articles like mugs
  • Checking in on recommendation services like foursquare
  • Using QR codes in blogs
  • Playing a YouTube video
  • Easily installing an app from the App Store or Android Market
  • Sending a predefined short message (premium services)
  • Sending a Tweet with your content

Mobile Marketing Uses

QR Codes are most frequently used for mobile marketing. They are supported by Google’s mobile Android operating system; in iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod; on BlackBerry devices, on the Windows Phone, and even on the Nintendo 3DS.

Once scanned, QR Codes can use a URL to lead users to website where they can view useful content. This can include expanded product information, locations and store hours of the places where the product can be purchased, and even links to buy the product right away.

QR Codes also can be used for mobile tagging. This is when you capture the reading device’s phone number and automatically send an email or text message either right away or at some predetermined future time. Mobile tagging also can launch a sequence of email swipes designed to build excitement and encourage brand loyalty.

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Social Bookmarking for Internet Marketers

Social bookmarking is when you collect web pages, links, videos, and other web-based content that you use enjoy or frequently collect them all in a single place so others can see them.

Social bookmarking lets you save links to web pages you want to share. Usually, these links are published publicly, although there are some private social bookmarking sites. Other web users can then easily access those pages.

Uses of Social Bookmarking

Bookmarks can be shared with specific people, or with entire groups of people. Or they can be shared within networks of users or other combinations of private and public users.

Different social bookmarking sites post these links in various ways. Some allow links to be viewed chronologically, by category or tags, or via a search engine. One social bookmarking site – the popular StumbleUpon – even presents the links randomly.

Social bookmarking sites such as Tumblr and others also normally provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks, including lists organized by tags, keywords or categories. This is so visitors can view new links as they are posted by other users.

Some social bookmarking sites even include features that allow visitors to rate content, add comments, import and export bookmarks from browsers, email links, and even form or join groups devoted to particular links, topics or hashtags.

Social Bookmarking and Web Promotion

You can promote your products, offers and web pages with social bookmarking sites because they attract new and active visitors who are interested in very specific niche topics. Visitors can access your posts from many different access points then pin your link on their social bookmarking pages, creating free, targeted traffic streams to your web pages and offers.

Social bookmarking can improve your site’s search engine rankings as well. Most social bookmarking sites will automatically index your page. Google and other search engines then use these indexes to assign value to web pages. If your page appears on a lot of social bookmarking pages, its value increases and your pages get ranked higher.

Simple Categorization

Social bookmarking also has the benefit of letting you bookmark specific pages or entire sites. These can then be accessed by anybody by using niche keywords. If your page has content people find worthwhile, it probably will be posted on many other social bookmarking pages, resulting in a lot of backlinks to your page. This will lead to more traffic and revenue.

Top Social Bookmarking Sites

Social bookmarking sites’ popularity tends to have more volatility than social media sites, probably because people tend to lose interest quickly after the bloom of initial enthusiasm for a particular site wears off.

But some social bookmarking sites remain popular:

  • Digg – This is one of the biggest “social news” sites where users can post interesting articles and links. The most popular articles or links get pushed to the top of the Digg feed. Those that are unpopular fall to the bottom.
  • Flickr – This is a popular free photo sharing site. Users can upload photos or photo albums to the site and invite other users to look at them. You also can use Flickr to promote your products and offers.
  • YouTube –The biggest free video sharing site, YouTube lets users post videos then add tags to them to make it easier for other users to find them using the site’s own search engine. It’s one of the best social bookmarking sites for marketing your products and offers because video is the preferred way people seek content on the Internet today.

If you’d like more powerful marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready Internet marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about my done-for-you system.

Choose Topics that Draw Visitors to Your Website

Right now, people have more unrestricted access to information, entertainment, and other content than in any other time in history. While that is great for people looking to be informed, educated, or entertained, it can present a challenge for online marketers seeking to capture the biggest possible audience.

That’s because there’s simply more competition for your target audience than ever before. So if the content you are using to attract visitors to your pages isn’t interesting, cutting-edge, and exciting, you are going to have a difficult time getting people to visit or stay on your pages once they land there.

Would You Be Interested in Your Content?

A good starting point in determining whether the content you are providing is vital and engaging for your target audience is to consider whether you’d be interested in your pages if you were an outside visitor looking for content within your niche.

Why would you be drawn to your web pages? What are you offering your visitors that they can’t get anywhere else? How are you communicating to your core audience that the content you offer is unique, entertaining, and engaging?

Think about these questions and then identify the areas where you are failing to live up to your own standards. Those are the areas you should then focus on repairing.

Be Controversial … but Not TOO Controversial!

If you want to attract eyeballs, you need to have something to say. Choose topics within your niche that are “hot button” issues. Visitors arrive on your pages with their own opinions, but if you have something relevant and insightful to say about a current event or a controversial issue within your niche, they are going to want to hear it.

Yet you should temper your words so that you don’t go too far, otherwise you risk turning your visitors off. Stay away from extreme views or radical arguments. You can and should take a stand based on your beliefs, experience, and knowledge, but avoid giving the impression that you are close-minded or fanatical.

Visitors to your pages want to feel as if they are engaging in a conversation, not listening to a diatribe or monologue. Invite others to share their thoughts and let them know you value what they have to say. That way they will be more likely to return to your pages later.

Sexuality Sells

There’s no way around it: Sex sells. It’s simply the way we are hardwired as humans. We are attracted to anything that turns us on or stimulates our sexual curiosity. If it is a pretty woman putting on hot red lip stick or a man advertising his hot six pack, sweaty and toned. It is sexy…we want it…

Obviously, this is something that successful marketers have known since the beginning of time–or at least the beginning of advertising. If you want to attract more visitors to your pages, look for ways to ratchet up the sex appeal–even if your subject matter doesn’t ordinarily lend itself to being sexualized.
Sexy images are also always a huge draw, especially when they are used tastefully. Consider what your core audience wants, and then give it to them.

Mimic the Most Popular Sites in Your Niche

With internet marketing, there’s usually no reason to reinvent the wheel. Conduct a little research to determine what the most successful marketers in your niche are doing, and then steal their best ideas and make them your own.

Obviously, you don’t want to plagiarize or do anything unethical, but you can discover the most successful themes and topics and put your own spin on them in order to capture more visitors. Observe market forces to recognize what the public wants, and then provide them with it.

One of the biggest benefits of the internet is its global scale and universal timeliness. Whatever niche you are working in, there are certain to be hundreds–if not thousands–of other people competing for the same audience you are targeting.

By giving your visitors content that you would find interesting, focusing on hot button issues that fans of your niche have strong opinions about, injecting sex appeal whenever and wherever possible, and stealing the best ideas from the most successful marketers in your niche, you can choose topics that draw more visitors to your website.

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Free Marketing: Other Social Media Sites

 

The easiest type of free marketing is social media marketing. This has taken on increased importance in the wake of the Panda and Penguin upgrades to the Google search engine algorithm. Google now gives more weight to websites that have the most social approval signals, ranking them higher.

Like Search Engine Optimization, social media marketing can take a while to gain traction because it takes time to build a following of social media contacts, interact with them, bring them to your pages, then get them to give you social approval signals.

The best approach is to focus on multiple social media outlets, not just one or two, partly because the popularity of social media sites changes and what is the most popular one today may not be as popular tomorrow. Also, your prospective customers are also using multiple sites, so if focusing only on a few could mean you are missing a large segment of potential customers.

What are the most Important Social Media Sites?

Excluding Facebook and Twitter – which will be addressed in a separate article — the most important social media platforms that you need to be involved in today are:

1. YouTube – Video is the format of choice for web users today. Thanks to 3G and 4G networks and WiFi, nearly everyone has access to streaming video on their smart phones and tablets. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is the biggest and most significant distributor of video.

2. LinkedIn – This site focuses more on business networking rather than social networking. But LinkedIn continues to be an important platform for reaching corporate and commercial customers.

3. Pinterest – Currently, Pinterest is one of the most popular social preference platforms. It allows members post links to things they like. If that includes one of your links, you can expect a ton of traffic to your landing pages.

4. Google+ – Google+ tries to combine all the best features of the other social media sites – such as email, social sharing, social preference – with killer apps like free video conferencing to make it the premier social media site on the web.

Social Comment Sites

Thanks to the spread of mobile media, social comment sites are growing in popularity. These include such apps as foursquare, Urban Spoon, Yelp and many others. Social comment sites let users post comments, reviews, images, ratings and other opinions on businesses they visit or any topic they like directly from their mobile devices.

This can have serious consequences, especially for the brick and mortar business owner, because if customers post negative comments it can not only hurt your reputation but also can continue to linger on the web for a long time. On the other hand, positive comments can help drive more foot traffic to your business.

For the web-based marketer, social comment sites’ benefits lie primarily with social approval signals they can provide. Positive reviews of your web pages can help boost your web page ranking on Google. You also should quote positive reviews on your own web pages, social media accounts, or even in advertising and marketing materials.

Value of Social Approval

Social approval signals can help your marketing efforts go “viral”, which refers to techniques that use social networks and other web tools to produce explosive awareness in brand or product awareness.

Like viral infections or computer viruses — which spread from computer to computer exponentially – social approval signals such as Facebook “Likes”, Tweets, Google Plus “+1’s” and others can spread the word your brand or products quickly.

Internet users now have the ability to share and spread viral messages they enjoy faster and with more people than ever before with literally the push of a button. One person can promote your posting to hundreds or even thousands of social media contacts, who can then pass the it on to tens of thousands or even millions more.

Google+

Google+ takes the best features of the internet’s most successful sites – including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even YouTube – and puts them all in one place. That makes them easier to coordinate on your Google+ brand page.

Google+ allows you to create individual Circles for friends, family, acquaintances, employees, vendors, or any category you want. You also can create sub-categories within these Circles to make it easier to communicate effectively with specific groups.

Hangouts is Google+’s free web-based chat program that lets you interact with other users in real time using text, video, or audio feeds that are connected directly to your Google+ home page.

Hangouts can be used for many purposes, such as providing live video one-on-one video customer service, answering customers’ questions, or showcasing your products’ best uses. You also can use it to host webinars, record them and then make them available online as squeeze page giveaways.
Hangouts also offers a feature called On Air, which allows you to link your Hangout to your YouTube channel, where it can be broadcast and recorded, providing access to your videos to an unlimited number of viewers via YouTube. Viewers can even submit live questions and comments via text.

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Good and Bad Back-linking Techniques

On-page SEO are techniques you can use to improve your chances of having your site ranked at or near the top of searches. Examples include using the best keywords, saturating your text with the optimal number of these keywords, and placing those keywords in the locations search engines like best.

Other examples of effective on-page SEO include:

• Including your keyword is in the page’s title

• Making sure your site has great meta tags, which are the description tags that appear in search engine result pages. Be sure to use to mark the beginning and end of your meta tags. Plus, make sure they are limited to 160 characters in length, including spaces.

• Including your keywords in your header tags (also known as H1 tags). These are the headlines that at the top of your article and within your web content.

• Including your keywords in ALT image text. These are the descriptions added to an image that are displayed when a user places the mouse cursor over the image.

• Making sure your content includes internal links. These are links that connect to your other blogs or other parts of your website.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is just as important as on-Page SEO. One of the best off-page SEO techniques is backlinking, or link building. The more links your site includes to other sites – especially sites search engines considered “authoritative” – the higher your site will be ranked by search engines.

The biggest benefit of backlinks is that they cause search engines to give your site higher rankings on search pages. If your site is in the Number One spot on the first page of a search for your niche, you are practically guaranteed to be clicked on by thousands, if not millions, of people every day. And if only a tiny percentage of those visitors actually buy something on your site, you can make a lot of money.

But if you end up anywhere except the top half of the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your product niche, you aren’t going to make very many sales. At that point, it’s time to improve your SEO by creating more backlinks.

Good Backlinks vs Bad Backlinks

The best backlinks link to authoritative sites. These are sites that most people would visit if they were looking for specific information. Examples include Wikipedia, eHow.com, Wikimedia Commons, and others.

For example, assume your website offers automobiles for sale and you have included two backlinks on your web page: One links to Motor Trend magazine’s website, which says your site is a great place to buy cars. The second is to a food blog where there is a recipe you liked.
In this case, the first backlink would be substantially increase the value of your web page in the eyes of the search engines. The second wouldn’t help it very much, although if it had the proper keywords it might help your rankings a little bit.

Types of Backlinks

There also are three types of backlinks, each of which has different value by search engines:

• One-Way Links – These are links from one or more pages of another website to yours, without your linking back to that site.

• Reciprocal Links – These links connect to another site, and the other site links back to your page. Another term for this is link swapping.

• Three-Way Links – This is when you link to a website, but instead of linking directly back to my site, the person running that site links back to your site from another site.

The type of links search engines are one-way links because there is no reciprocity. Search engines also like three-way links because they look the same as one-way links.
Most links will add value to your web page for search engines, but stay away from getting backlinks from unsavory sources, such as gambling or pornographic sites. These will harm your site’s reputation among the big search engines.

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Follow This Email Marketing Etiquette to Get Yours Delivered and Read

Email marketing can be a very effective way of bringing new customers into your sales funnel. But due to the widespread use of viruses and malware, most people are cautious about opening an email that comes from a source they don’t recognize, that is strangely written, or appears to have come from a non-English speaker.

You can reassure your prospective customers that the emails you send are safe and reliable by following a few simple email marketing etiquette rules:

1. Don’t Sensationalize the Headline

The default setting for Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, and the other popular email providers is to show who the sender is and the headline. In some instances, the first few words of the email text itself will appear on the user’s email queue.

That makes the headline the first important element of your email. If it is overly exaggerated, makes extraordinary claims, or is otherwise sensational, there’s a better chance that the email will either be sent directly to the “Spam” folder or deleted by the user without being read.

The objective is to get the reader to open the email, so your headline has to give them a reason to do so. You want to capture their imagination and engage their interest, but not go over the top. Avoid using exclamation points – especially multiple exclamation points – as well as ALL CAPS and crazy colors because this will most likely tag your email as spam.

2. Use the Person’s Name, If Known

The greeting is the first thing the reader will see when they open your email. If you know the user’s name (because you either know them personally, they are already on your list, or their name was included on an email list you have purchased) use your autoresponder to insert their first name in the greeting, such as “Dear Paul” or “Dear Sandra.”

Email tends to be less formal than traditional letter-writing, so in most cases using the person’s first name is perfectly acceptable. Using the person’s last name can often seem off-putting, such as “Dear Mr. Stewart” or “Dear Ms. Simpson.” Exceptions would include formal titles such as “Doctor,” “Professor,” or a military title.

3. Get to the Point

Because emails are less formalized than traditional letter-writing, and because people get so many emails every day, the person receiving your email probably isn’t going to give it much attention. That’s why it is critically important that you get to the point of your email right away, starting with the very first sentence.

In email writing, you have to give the reader a reason to keep reading. Don’t waste time by beating around the bush or trying to build up to your point slowly. You have only a few moments to maintain the reader’s attention, so make the most of it.

4. Signing Off

Another difference between traditional letter writing and emails is the sign-off. You don’t have to include a formal “Sincerely” or “Gratefully yours.”

Simply ending with your name is perfectly acceptable. Or, if you prefer, you can use an informal phrase such as “Chat with you soon” or “Cheers.”

Following these general email etiquette protocols will increase the chances that the person receiving your email will open it and read it. Make sure the content of your email pushes the person to the action that you want them to perform, such as clicking on a link included in the body of your email.

To learn more techniques like these for improving the profitability of your business, check out our lead generation system by clicking on this link now.