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Sticky Blog…

Q:  What is a sticky blog?

A:  It’s simply a blog that makes you want to stick around!

Q:  How do you create a sticky blog?

A:  That’s a little trickier.  To create a sticky blog, you should use a couple techniques.

Techniques of Creating a Sticky Blog:

First, find opportunities to link your blog to other posts to create a more in-depth view of the topic.  The objective here is not to link to other sites, but to link to other posts you have written.  As the reader clicks through the links, they are staying on your blog and becoming a “sticky” reader.  This technique is not to be confused with linking to outside blogs to increase your search rankings!

One goal that you should create for yourself is to get people to read and then comment on your blog posts.  As people make comments on your post, other readers will want to read more and will stay on your blog site longer.  Sometimes the best part of a blog is simply reading the comments!  So, spark some conversation and get people motivated to keep coming back for more.

You can also pull people into your blogs by taking insightful comments and quirky sentences from your post and sending them out via other social networking sites.  By posting these to Facebook, Twitter, etc. you will gain a wider audience on your blog and will create more buzz.

- Jennifer DeMarco, Marketing Manager

5 SEO Tips

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital part of having a successful website and has proven to be an art form.  Here are some tips that we have fond and utilize in our own business practice:

  • Research, research, research!  No, this doesn’t require a research paper to be created!  However, researching the best keywords to use is an extremely important part of putting your website as a competitor with others in your industry.  Everybody is using the same keywords and people all research differently. So, it is important to use keyword analytics tools such as Google’s Free Keyword Tool.  The tool will help find keywords that you may be missing, which will increase your competitiveness in an organic search.
  • Set-up is key.  Web “crawlers” looks at your main navigation bar as the most important parts of your site.  Your most viewed pages should be accessible through the main navigation and associate it with major headings, keywords, etc.
  • Play the match game!  After you have created a list of keywords (through your research), match your keyword phrases with text on the page.  This will allow the web crawlers to make connections of what your site/company is really about.
  • Integrate title tags, meta descriptions and marketing copy.  This ties in with the previous tip…write descriptively so that your keywords are found throughout the page title, descriptions and text of the page.
  • Measure your success.  Measuring success on online work can be tricky, but when it comes to your website – it can be easy!  Use analytics tools – such as Google’s Analytics Tool – and measure targeted traffic and conversions.  When you have a conversion, that means the person was interested in your company enough to fill out a form.

Social Media Marketing for your Salon

Social media marketing has become a key component for networking in the beauty industry.  Salons should be inquiring as to the importance of this marketing tool. Salon owners could try to tackle this monster themselves, but to really target your clientele and still have time to run your business you may need to seek out professionals. The chances that a large portion of your clients being on some sort of social media page is highly likely. Working with a company who can market for you would be a very smart investment.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to social media. There are so many avenues to reach your clients now with the largest and most obvious being Facebook and Twitter. People of all ages are now engaging in Facebook and Twitter. You can reach your clients no matter what age or personality. In fact, an article on Reuters.com proves that social media is booming amongst all age groups by mentioning that “…social networking usage among the over-65 population is up 100 percent–more than three times the overall growth of social networking as a whole”. Do you want to reach audiences across the board? Your best bet is to work with a marketing team that can help you customize and add reputability to your salon.

There are companies such as Strike Marketing that specializes in this type of marketing for the beauty industry. Since they are familiar with the industry they are going to be able to meet the needs of your business with the knowledge of the industry needs behind their ideas. Having a quality website for your business should be your top priority.

“At its’ most powerful, marketing isn’t about branding and buzzwords. It’s about giving your true target market the information they need to make the right choices. Purchasers need clear, compelling information to help them make the best possible buying decision. Give them that information, and you win”, says Kelly Conway, Founder and General Manager at Strike Marketing. Strike Marketing is a based out of Los Gatos, California.

- Vanessa Barnhill

Face & Body Conference

“On Saturday, July 17 I had the privilege to participate on a panel discussing marketing tactics at the 2010 Face & Body conference. The panel was moderated by the Dean of the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology, Deedee Crossett. Also participating were Shelley Costantini, owner of the Belle Pelle Skin Studio in San Francisco and Sally Haims of Sally Robb Haims Public Relations. More than 125 conference attendees listened in and shared their thoughts on marketing trends in the skin, face and spot industry.”

- Kelly D. Conway
Founder and General Manager

Your Social Network is Required!

Social networking sites were once viewed as a place to speak peer to peer, but has quickly become a forum for companies to connect with their consumers.  Opinion Research Corporation conducted a survey in September of 2008 which concluded that 63% of men and 52%  of women (who use social media sites) felt better about companies when they were able to interact with them via social networking sites.  60% of men and 51% of women felt a stronger connection to companies that they were able to interact with.

Q: As a company, what social networking site is the best forum to become a part of?

A: Picking a social networking sites requires two things to be considered.  First, which site are my consumers already talking about me on? Second, what is the demographic of the social site?  The easiest way to determine this information is with a little Google searching.  If I wanted to know whose talking about Strike Marketing – I’d simply type the company name into Google and look at the results.  Wherever we’re talked about, is where I want to be!

Q: What kind of information do I talk about?

A: Talk about things that are going to provide value.  Value is the key to social networking by a company. Companies can talk about events, promotions, new product lines, exciting news, etc.

Q: What kind of time does social networking require?

A: That depends.  How much information do you want to provide to the community or how involved would you like to be with your audience?  And who is going to disperse the information?  Social networking could take as little as 3 hours a month to 30…it all depends.

Q:  Who is going to take the time to do my social networking?

A: Again, it depends.  Companies like Strike Marketing offer services to aid companies in dispersing the information to consumers or an employee can be in charge.  It all depends on how much extra time an employee currently has to devote to a potentially time-consuming project.  But, the effects of social networking can be astounding when done properly.

What is Inbound Marketing?

The traditional forms of marketing include: trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail and other forms that have been around for years.  Yet, with new technological advances, it is becoming harder and harder for businesses to reach their consumers with these methods.  How often do you jump off your sofa to talk to the telemarketer on the phone or answer the door at dinner time to purchase the new “goodie” from the salesman?  I’d guess the answer is: not very often!

The new generation of consumers come from a high-tech world.  The internet is a primary source of information about a product or company before making a purchase.  So, why is it that we still think of traditional ways to market to our consumers?  Human nature moves towards consistency and working in the same manner that we are used to…but it is time for a revolution in marketing!  The new crave: Inbound Marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing you ask?  Inbound marketing is inviting your consumers to come to you… because they are already searching for your company!  Instead of pushing a message to the public, invite the consumer to become a part of your world – the world they are already so involved in.  Inbound marketing allows the consumer to “come to” the company in a virtual sense: Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.  This involves an open dialogue between consumer and company in which information flows frequently and freely.

Strike Marketing is a huge supporter of Inbound Marketing and we invite you to speak with us about the opportunities your company may be missing by excluding the realm of inbound marketing.

SMM as the new Word of Mouth?

We did a story in 2009 about the possibility that social networking sites have allowed for a new version of having a pen pal. I’ve been pondering more out of social networking lately and it crossed my mind that social sites have allowed for a new form of word of mouth.

Word of mouth was once deemed the best form of marketing – when cast in a positive light. Word of mouth is free and spread by a trusted source. It wasn’t encouraged by a business,, but from peer to peer.  But word of mouth has changed forms, in a sense. People still talk at school, work, or on the phone; however, social networking sites have allowed for an additional forum for peer to peer talk.

Social netwokibg sites like facebook, myspace, Twitter, and yelp have allowed peers to speak to eaach other about great sales, services, companies, etc. Yelp was recently hit with a lawsuit regarding their rating techniques by a business.  Businesses are worried that their image is being misrepresented. If you think back to word of mouth, it can be good or bad. It is all based on how the consumer views the company it’s products and/or services. So why should companies be outraged by what people are doing or saying on social networking sites?

If a company wants good reviews, then it is their responsibility to provide great products and customer service. Social networking is a way of open, honest communication that reaches millions. Create a positive business and the payback should be immense with such a large forum talking about their business practices.

Jennifer DeMarco
Marketing Manager

SixthSense creates new challenges for marketers

Technology has been expanding rapidly and has seemed to slow at the creation of the internet.  People questioned, what will be next to rival the internet?  Still, technology grew to include phones with internet capabilities (I.E. iPhone) and games that allowed the gamer to play through movement (I.E. Wii).  These seemed like advanced products, but what happens if you connect the two concepts?  Could this rival your basic internet in the near future for gathering information?  Check out the video below about the new SixthSense created by Pranav Mistry.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUdDhWfpqxg]

On another side of this technology, I question: How will this revolutionize the marketing industry?  If the SixthSense takes off and becomes the “norm” for gathering information, what will marketers have to do to increase their efforts?  Will we simply need to understand our demographic more and utilize the standard internet technology to improve search data? Or will we have to learn an entire new system and market to MORE than our target demographic?  If consumers can gather information instantaneously, anywhere, how flashy does product packaging need to be?  Will consumers be drawn to packaging anymore or simply what their SixthSense is telling them about the product, use, safety, ethics, etc.

What are your thoughts on the impact this technology will have on both (or either) the technology or marketing industries?

“Bing” Here comes the Challenge

It sounds as if a bell has rung or an idea has just struck in a cartoon.  “Bing”!  But as reality sets in, this is simply the name of the newest search engine created by Microsoft.  As of June 4, 2009 Bing has already become more popular than Yahoo!‘s search engine with a 16.28% of the market share.  However, Google still ranks number 1 with 71.47% of the market share.

A few months ago, Bing was something that was seen on random billboards talking about searching for cougars – and slowly became something that had television advertisements.  Then, one day, it became something that people were actually saying “I searched for it on Bing”.  Amazingly enough it wasn’t until that point in which I realized that this was a website that was going to need some monitoring.  For years it has always been “I Googled it” and SEO firms focused the majority of their efforts on Google.  But, now I question, “Do we [marketers] need to start learning the process of Search Engine Optimization for Bing?!”  My answer to this is “Yes!”.

After reviewing more features of Bing, it seems as if this site could be a miraculous discovery for the search engine era.  The site seems to mimic the human thought process and provide people with more relevant information to what they are truly looking for.  Therefore, I think Bing may become a powerhouse competing with Google for the number 1 position, in time.  This is definitely a site that Strike Marketing will be watching in order to provide great service to our clients!

-Jennifer Daily, Marketing Associate

Customer Service: The Differentiating Factor and Social Media Marketing’s Role

With every factor that goes into marketing, many companies, especially major corporations, tend to over look the very basic essentials that can ultimately be the deciding factor in customer loyalty. Two words, customer service. In the article “Can Social Marketing Save Customer Loyalty”,  from the Chief Marketer, awareness is created that shows just how crucial customer service is and uncovers the secret is of some of these big corporations and how they maintain phenomenal customer service, social networking.

Zappos, Intuit, and Comcast, are just a few companies that are crowned as king of customer service and how they have utilized social networking to their advantage. Customer service is essentially the last factor to differentiate companies, however, the experience in dealing with a company and their product is a large percentage of retention in customer loyalty. Yelp is a social networking site that is purely dedicated to customer reviews, ranking their experience and satisfaction with a company.  Studies have shown that through customer service, customer loyalty or the loyalty effect can increase retention by 5% which can inevitably lead to an increase in revenue anywhere from 25-85%. Read more…