Online Marketing Solutions For Small And Medium Scale Businesses – Learn The Secrets Today

Online Marketing Solutions – Big, overgrown, international corporations consider them as one of their top advertising priorities. They organize entire divisions that specialize in this area of business. They spend large sums of money every year to fund and develop this area of marketing. And for good reason too. Businesses and Corporation that do not … Continue reading “Online Marketing Solutions For Small And Medium Scale Businesses – Learn The Secrets Today”

Online Marketing Solutions – Big, overgrown, international corporations consider them as one of their top advertising priorities. They organize entire divisions that specialize in this area of business. They spend large sums of money every year to fund and develop this area of marketing.

And for good reason too. Businesses and Corporation that do not have websites are not taken seriously by their customers. An online presence is essential for your business. Your website is your business’ representative in the online world. It’s not just your tool, it’s not just your means of communication; it’s also a projection of your business to all of your would-be customers who are online.

Yes, you need an online marketing solution. Yes, you need an online marketing consultant to set it up.
Yes, your business needs it. But there’s a little problem, right?

“Can you afford it?”

The answer to that question is yes.

Online marketing consultants and solutions are generally within the price range for small and medium scale businesses. Internet Marketing services with regards to small enterprise sector has been growing in the past few years. In fact, recent statistics seem to indicate that small and medium scale businesses are the driving force in expanding E commerce and the online marketing industry today. In short, online marketing solutions are getting friendlier and friendlier with the little guys of the business world.

With such advantageous developments, it’s only rational that you get yourself, and your business, in on the internet marketing scene today. Here’re a few tips to help you get started:

Search Engine Optimisation

When it comes to Search Engine Visibility, small businesses and large corporations are on equal playing terms. Google, which holds approximately fifty percent of all search engine users, is not all that concerned about how big or small you are in real-time business. It does, however, care about maintaining its reputation as the top search Engine on the internet; and this means keeping quality as one of the top priorities of its business operations.

This means that you need to comply with it’s laws and guidelines. And this is what SEO is all about, abiding by the laws of Search Engines in order to get good search engine visibility.

Content Quality

When you’re setting up your website, you are also setting up your online shop. The only difference is that your website will be using content and not salespeople to do its selling. When I’m talking about Content I’m referring to that most important part of a website’s quality: its texts.

Content is very important. Search Engines like Google want it. Your customers will look for it. And your website needs it to make an impression that is necessary in establishing its status as a professional aspect of your online business.

Multimedia

Multimedia is generally used by large scale businesses to promote themselves as the “big guys.” However, in the internet marketing world, it’s not about big or small. It’s about content and Multimedia is generally not a good type of content.

Multimedia and graphic images are not as important as your website’s usefulness, good Internet Marketing Consultants will tell you that bit of advice. Video and Audio Files make your website work slower, they are difficult to upload and even more difficult to manage. In terms of providing information, multimedia is not as efficient as text contents, contributing more in terms of aesthetics than actual knowledge.

If you must use multimedia files, use only what is necessary for your business. Also take into consideration the maximum capacity of your hardware, don’t drive it beyond its capacity or your website will begin to slow down.

Online Marketing Basics

For people who have been in Internet Marketing for quite some time, they will tell you that the most important aspect of an online marketing solution are the consultants and professionals who are constantly working to update the website and its contents.

If you intend to have a great and versatile website, you will need to employ a highly qualified internet marketing consultant to manage and oversee the development of your online marketing solutions. This is, after all, the first and most important part of the development process.

How Small Business And Nonprofits Can Afford Multimedia For The Web

Multimedia is everywhere on the Internet, whether in the form of floating ads at major websites, streaming video or animated presentations. Of course, there is a good reason why multimedia has become such an integral part of the web experience: it’s an effective tool for capturing attention or provoking visitors to buy or contact the site owner. For these reasons, many educational institutions, businesses, and other organizations desire multimedia presentations. Unfortunately, at first glance multimedia, often appears prohibitively expensive for small businesses and non-profits. The following represent a number of ways to control the high cost that typically accompanies multimedia production without losing quality. We believe these suggestions will ensure that you save money but still feel good about your investment.

Let’s begin by understanding the components of professional multimedia production, which include creative development, actual production, and various stages for revisions.

The lion’s share of multimedia production costs typically stems from creative development. This is often the most controversial line item for frugal business owners, who may ask, “shouldn’t the cost of the creative be part of the design or production costs?” As with fine clothing, where the choice of designer adds to the cost of your product more so than the actual material or sewing, multimedia design costs depend on the creative input as well. For example, if you hire a designer with more experience or with a track record of creating unique, catchy concepts, your creative development costs may be higher. Of course, the final product may result in having a stronger impact as well. The solution isn’t to pick the least expensive creative professional, but rather to understand their process in order to help speed production (thus reducing cost).

The second component of multimedia production, the design and production of the piece itself, typically requires less guesswork in terms of defining cost. The cost per minute of production depends on a limited number of specific parameters, such as the complexity of the animation and the overall quality of the design agency selected. Generally speaking, there are three types of firms – from a cost perspective – you can choose to work with: a purely on-shore, purely off-shore, or a hybrid off-shore/on-shore firm. The type of organization you choose will have a strong correlation with the quality and the price you pay.

The third component, client revisions, is an area controlled most easily and typically is the cause of inflating or deflating multimedia development costs beyond a designer’s original estimate, or your expectations. The most basic revisions consist of three rounds: changes to creative concepts, changes to a draft version of the final product, and a final review. Often, more revisions may be needed when a designer is provided with inconsistent or incomplete information. This invariably results in a higher cost than expected.

With the extensive time that some multimedia presentations call for, requiring the efforts of creative professionals and skilled developers, it’s not surprising that multimedia presentations and ads can be expensive. Why, then, consider them? Are they effective?

Multimedia presentations are very successful at grabbing people’s attention. Multimedia results in higher retention of marketing information by viewers, or more enthusiasm for an offer. When compared to static text, graphics, or even audio, multimedia is simply more compelling due to its ability to trigger multiple senses at the same time..

According to DoubleClick (quoted in ZDNet.com, Joseph, 2002) multimedia ads have a 71 percent higher impact than their static counterparts. Similarly, in 1997, the California Community College system, “implemented a test design to assess the efficacy of multimedia technology as a non-traditional form of instruction” (Luna & McKenzie, 1997). Surveys take after the test determined, “40% of the students felt multimedia improved understanding and 73% found it a positive addition to the course.” Finally, a study published in the Journal of Management Information Systems (Benbasat & Lim, 2002) determined that multimedia “facilitat [es] the retention and subsequent recall of explanative information…” The study consisted of two test groups. One group processed information through a “text-based system” and the other a “multimedia system.” The subjects who were tested on the basis of a “multimedia system” received a higher mean test score of 2.70 compared to the 2.10 of the text based group (p.114); clearly demonstrating that higher retention is possible with multimedia.
The case for implementing multimedia into your marketing, sales or advertising is clear. What can your business or non-profit do to cut its costs?

The first method involves separating the development of the creative (the message, concepts, and storyboards) from the production (design, animation, and sound production), or at least finding ways to control it.

An article by Mark Frits for EMedia Professional (1997) discussing a fax survey taken of 100 different multimedia production specialists determined, “the creative time spent by designers and project managers, as the most expensive factor of production.” Therefore, if a business has already developed a detailed creative concept, storyboard, schematics, or other documentation of what needs to be done, it can reduce the total cost of producing multimedia by utilizing a small design firm or freelancer. Costs are cut because the time and skill spent on one creative is replaced by an in-house team. Of course, to ensure success, only those small businesses who believe they possess strong creative assets (with professional advertising or marketing expertise) should attempt this approach.

Remember, if you do ask your designer or design firm to handle the creative, that the route of working directly with a designer (rather than a firm with a creative team) may cut costs and also quality. Firms with full time creative professionals that are not involved in day to day design are often able to craft unique storyboards that describe and explain products, services, or company mission in memorable ways. Freelancers are a poor choice for strong creative since they often work alone and have limited means to brainstorm and perfect concepts with other creative professionals – a principal differentiating factor and benefit of working with a firm.

If you do select a firm for your creative and production, make sure that the creative team understands the message you need to convey. Is a creative firm with a great portfolio and appealing style really able to promote effectively your product and/or service? Only client testimonials, references, case studies with solid results, or market research can tell you this. Even when obtaining the creative from a top line firm, if you do your homework, you can still keep costs down. Prepare as much information about your target audience, goals, customers, products and services as possible. Develop a few rough concepts of your own, in-house, to help orient the creative team. Finally, discuss these endeavors with your chosen firm up front and negotiate a reduction in fees if you both agree that the information you provide is helpful.

A second way to cut cots is to ask for fixed price development. This direction can mean losing some flexibility in the design of your site. However, the tradeoff can be worthwhile if you are able to exert self-discipline. For that reason, when choosing fixed price development, be limited with revisions, as you only get a few as part of a fixed price. Avoid common mistakes such as being unsure of what design direction you desire or being unsure of your marketing message. Carefully consider each deliverable in order to provide all your comments in as few phases as possible – take a couple of days, at least, to do this.

Finally, when working with a firm, make sure that you provide them with only one point of contact so they don’t spend additional time coordinating between people in your company – although seemingly amusing, that mistake is quite common, especially so with growing businesses. Requiring your designer to handle internal coordination of ideas leads to dramatic extensions in project timelines, so be sure that you appoint someone internally to act as a point of contact and clearinghouse of internal discussion. Another way to save on multimedia costs is by concentrating on developing powerful ideas while keeping implementation simple. When too much time is spent on design and not enough on concept, you will waste production money and effort. To make this strategy effective interview firms that may front load the creative, but also display portfolio pieces that focus on conveying ideas rather than showing off lots of special effects. Work with the designer to simplify the production process by brainstorming easier ways to animate key concepts, and be open to using less labor intensive “vector” animation rather than 3D animations or video production. When it comes to sound, seek out talented and “undiscovered” freelance musicians or voiceover actors working from home who can provide original audio that will cut licensing costs..

As a final point, the operational structure of your chosen design firm can impact cost and quality as well. Off-shoring software development is well established, but outsourcing design work abroad is less common and can lead to interesting results due to cultural differences or lack of marketing knowledge. At the same time, larger multimedia projects often benefit from repetitive production taking place off-shore. Depending on your needs, a “full” off-shore firm with just a sales presence in the US may not be able to provide you with the customer service needed. On the other hand, a fully US firm will likely double your production costs.

The best choice for small businesses is a design firm employing a hybrid approach, where creative development and high level design is handled by professionals that you can meet and build rapport with, but where larger production is handled costs effectively by a well managed offshore team.

By controlling the costs of multimedia your business can afford a highly effective communication tool that can pique site visitors’ or ad viewers’ interest. Remember these key points:

– Think “simple” when it comes to producing animations – focus on strong ideas instead.

– Be disciplined with your revisions to avoid charges for many rounds of changes.

– Take over creative development and let your designers simply produce your vision when your in-house creative is strong. Otherwise seek out a trustworthy design agency with a track record of strong creative development.

– Work with firms that employ an optimal mix of US and off-shore development.

One never needs to cut out quality while cutting costs. Strong concepts and ideas will make the biggest difference in your presentation’s success at the end of the day.

References

Benbasat, I., Lim, K.H. (2002). The influence of multimedia on improving the comprehension of organizational information. Journal of Management Information Systems, 19, 114-115. Retrieved August 5, 2004, from EbscoHost, http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=6976838&db=buh&loginpage=cpidlogin

Frits, M. (1997, February). The cost of computer based training: A directory of development houses. EMedia Professional, 10, 109. Retrieved August 12, 2004, from InfoTrac Web: General Reference Center Gold.

Joseph, P. (2002, January). Beyond the Banner: New strategies in online advertising. Tech Update, DZNet.com. Retrieved August 27, 2004, from [http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/o,14179,2841691,00.html]

Luna, C.J., McKenzie, J. (1997, February). Testing multimedia in the community college classroom. T H E Journal, 24, 78. Retrieved August 5, 2004, from EbscoHost, http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=9707163770&db=afh&loginpage=cpidlo

Copyright © 2004 Polar Design

Apple iPod Touch MC086BT – Standing on the Peak of the Portable Multimedia Player Heap

Now with multiple models in increasing generations, Apple’s iPod has certainly captured a huge slice of the portable multimedia market and this is all because of their ingenuity and innovations that allow their products to evolve one step ahead of the rest. What was once simply an MP3 player, the iPod has now become a multimedia player that caters to the needs of different people. Loaded with features and easily upgradeable, the iPod Touch MC086BT is one of just a few in the iPod stable that has constantly been upgraded and redesigned to stay ahead and above the competition.

The iPod Touch MC086BT is an 8 GB 3rd generation model of the highly successful Apple portable multimedia line of players. Along with the 8 GB version, the 3rd generation line up also has the more powerful 32 GB and 64 GB versions. Although they come from the same latest generation, it is significant to note that the iPod Touch MC086BT technically is identical to the 2nd generation 8 GB model.

There have been some significant changes though, especially with the release of the IOS version 4, which is free to download for owners of an iPod touch. Not that the second generation was any worse, with so many features packed into it as compared to the first generation, its new release, despite no dramatic hardware change in design, still has a high mark in usage and adaptability and its reign over the top has not changed either.

It’s difficult to say whether Apple’s decision to stick with the previous design is good or bad for the iPod Touch MC086BT. Try putting the Apple iPod MC086BT and its previous model together and you will find it difficult to distinguish the two from each other, unless you turn it around as the etchings on the back are different.

But for the benefit of those who have not owned the previous model and are first time buyers aiming to compare the iPod Touch MC086BT to another model the iPod Touch MC086BT also looks like the iPhone that utilizes a touch screen. The unit comes with a 3.5 inch screen that’s glass covered and has a pixel resolution of 480 x 320. There are also some physical buttons that are placed in the internal design. Notably is the home button on the front lower side of the unit just below the screen. You will also find on its top edge a hold button, on its side a slender volume control, and on the bottom edge you will find a regular 3.5 millimetre headphone jack and the universal iPod dock found in every model.

Another holdover to the third generation iPod touch is the Genius Play list. A feature that allows its user to instantly create play lists with twenty five songs that is based on the musical attributes of a song you have chosen. An addition to the third generation model is the ability of the Genius Play list feature to include in its selections recommendations from the App Store.

Sadly though, the Apple iPod MC086BT is the low man on the 3rd generation iPod Touch totem pole. The iPod MC086BT was not blessed with the new and faster processor built in the 32 and 64 GB models. This means that the iPod Touch MC086BT doesn’t have the ability to do multitasking, OpenGL graphic support, have home screen background images, use voice control, and other features with advanced accessibility. Even with the new version 4 interface, the old hardware just can’t simply support the newer and more advanced features.