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  • Local Web Marketing, Local Search Marketing
    more going on here Even without entering their location the top and right sides of this results page display ads for Frigidaire showrooms right here in Lexington One click to the local company s Web site can let the potential customer see current stock and a special Internet sale for Frigidaire buyers The merchant has been presented as both a solution for the information and a local contact for the purchase and the loop is closed A search for Tax Forms shows accountants ads Steel Building Types shows contractors and so on And more than half of these searchers don t have a particular vendor in mind at this stage making it a great opportunity to find new customers This is not spamming and I am not talking about those annoying pop up ads rather it s a chance for a merchant to react to a customer initiated request for help The search engines aren t providing this fancy technology out of the goodness of their hearts Businesses spends 22 billion a year on local advertising and many studies show that local firms are looking to shift parts of their budget in favor of the Web There are many reasons including the difficulty in saying We re in the yellow pages without Which one coming back as the reply Some of the programs being offered for local search placement in major search engines are Google Adwords Yahoo Search Marketing and Verizon Superpages pay per click Each wants to become the consumer s and by extension the advertiser s next choice for local purchase oriented searches These large ad networks claim to cover 70 to 80 percent of the Internet with their pages and partner sites In addition to the timing a benefit to the advertiser is the pay per performance pricing model The ads are free until someone clicks at which time a small fee is charged and the visitor is sent to the advertiser s Web site There are no long term commitments and advertisers can change or stop ads any time They can create predefined budgets for the day or month and fraud proofing mechanisms prevent competitors from rapid fire clicking Markets can be limited by single or multiple cities states languages and countries The actual cost of a click is usually based on a bidding model Whoever is willing to pay the most for the visitor in a region is able to buy his or her way to the top in most cases For markets the size of Lexington bidding wars are not that common and you can usually get into a good position for under 50 cents per visitor If you re like my clients the value of a targeted site visit is many times this amount During a campaign reports are generated about click through rates how many visited a site from an ad and conversion rates how many visitors made an inquiry or purchase Advertisers can nurture effective ads and remove poor ones My

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/local-web-marketing (2016-02-01)
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  • Podcasting Basics - Starting a Podcast
    with compelling ideas and thoughtful references to previous and forthcoming episodes The continuity you ll establish shows organization and has a cliffhanger effect on listeners Podcasts do not need to be long I recommend that you vary length according your best content There is never a good reason to use filler in a podcast with no program schedule to adhere to If you have seven and a half minutes great stuff then stop at seven and a half minutes You want to be an authority figure but a time sensitive one respectful of a listener s limited patience I heard a podcast of around six minutes in length recently It gave a great anecdote with a thoughtful ending summed with That s today s idea in a box I know you re busy so good bye for now It was true I was busy and as corny as it sounds it made a connection Producing At a minimum producing requires a computer a high end headset microphone and some recording software If you plan to do interviews a desktop microphone is needed I ve conducted very good quality direct to computer phone interviews using Skype or you can purchase a couple of little boxes to record regular phone calls over old fashioned lines Those wanting higher fidelity can go all out and purchase studio grade equipment to give their podcasts a real sonic edge Listen to podcasts from Business Lexington and you ll see what I mean Professional investment also pays off in voice overs for introduction and exit audio You will use it in every episode so it s worth every dime The podcast content itself is recorded using the computer s sound card directly into the hard disk in most cases so the microphone and sound card are critically important The finished product is then encoded into MP3 the standard for podcast audio and saved ready to be published You ll want to learn a little about bit rates to decide on the quality level you need then write it on a post it and use it every time Publishing Before publishing you will need web hosting space to publish the files I have seen podcasts run happily from bare bones hosting packages costing as little as 5 00 per month providing you don t need any support cause you re not going to get any at this price In order to publish the Podcast onto the Internet so it can be subscribed to a pointer to the audio is inserted into a package This takes the form of a special text file called a feed which describes the podcast to with elements such as its name length description file type category MP3 file location and more To assemble a podcast many use a simple program to aid in formatting the XML Feed file I use Listgarden and Feedforall both are less than 30 With these you define parameters enter Feed names and so on and then they

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/making-a-podcast-the-basics (2016-02-01)
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  • Web Based Online Backup Systems - Avoiding Murphy's Law
    rot of CD and DVD media can produce unrestorable backups As much as 80 percent of the time business critical files are stored on a single computer in an office and this is often on the administrative assistant s machine I ve found this computer is usually bought in a rush from an office supply store and built from very poor components Worse yet many make or break files are on laptops the least reliable computers available and rarely or never backed up Thank goodness Web based backup has become so good and affordable Properly configured internet based backup can eliminate almost all of the risks while keeping costs manageable You set up the system once and then it pretty much runs itself I ve not touched my setup for months except to add new folders to the backup plan and it has flawlessly saved my butt several times The only challenge is deciding what files are important and where they re located on your hard disk or network Email for example may be in different places depending on your configuration Many never stop to think how much of a disruption the loss of their collection of Outlook emails and contacts would be but I have witnessed the pale expression on the face of someone who has lost over a gigabyte of Outlook data and it s not pretty Each of us has our own way of organizing word processing spreadsheet and other files and we simply need to teach the off site backup software what that is Some of us can use this opportunity to improve our organization a bit It took me about 45 minutes to configure iBackup to point to the important files on my server Laptop users only need to keep their machine connected long enough for the backup to complete occasionally such as overnight at the hotel or at home Since the backup tools only copy what s changed it s often surprising how little time is required to complete the backup The costs for off site backup with commercial systems average around 300 600 per year for 50 gigabytes of storage plenty for most small offices and dropping fast A few services offer pay as you use services by the meg but they end up being far more expensive in the long run Packages exist for as little as 5 GB but you ll be surprised how fast you use that up I tried several systems including iBackup com AT T s Vault and XDrive Each is easy to set up and offers many features I think that iBackup s system is about the most comprehensive while AT T s system is set up for a single user and highly simplified Some are Web based while others involve a small desktop program Some of them work directly with Microsoft Exchange Quickbooks Act and other databases to maintain the integrity of these systems structure In most cases you must remember to close the programs with

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/online-backups-covering-your-assets (2016-02-01)
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  • Instant Messaging in Business
    of others in communicating with you so we hope Research shows that a ringing telephone requires 20 minutes of recovery time before the previous task level is even if the phone call lasts two minutes Some studies show receiving 5 7 phone calls per day can cut the productivity of a knowledge worker in half Another emerging application of IM is language translation where a person can communicate with someone else in their own language with a minimum in distraction Translation happens immediately and conversations can flow easily It offers a great tool for nurturing international relationships as well as facilitating communications with those who cannot speak or hear Voice over IM such as Skype and Google Talk provides voice functions on demand Quality is excellent and costs low making it ideal for globetrotters or home office workers A text chat can change to voice if that would better suit the conversation IM for website customer service is the biggest growth area in B2C IM mostly via website buttons saying click to chat Customers are becoming so comfortable with this that many prefer it Forrester Research published results which gave some insight into the use of chat on business websites In the Forrester survey website chat users said that it was both faster 44 and easier 34 than using the phone They also cited more time to formulate thoughts 33 and improved personal feel over email 33 The problem is that many of the website Customer Service Representatives CSRs are unskilled in rapid fire support In the Forrester survey complaints included unskilled staff who ask them to call instead 22 and the use of pre fab responses 17 A comprehensive training program and conducting Mock IM sessions with experienced chatters can help The CSRs need resources for answering customers questions such as pricing stock and shipping data Customers expect fast brief responses rather than watching the representative is typing indicator for two minutes for example Many companies are delegating the role of customer message response to current employees depending on geography or skill set Some have specific web page links that will connect with the most proficient person about the page Some are routing inquiries to part time home workers who are experts in a given area and are paid per interaction and chat conversations aren t as impacted by little Suzie s tantrum I just set up a web chat link that adjusts depending on the site visitor s geographic location Chats from the Southwest go to one representative while Michigan clicks to another If that person isn t on line a round robin algorithm transfers to the next closest CSR transparently Soon Australian and Irish operators will handle the overnight inquiries and visa versa forming a 24 7 loop of service IM with customer monitoring can provide trained CSRs great knowledge of how to approach a chat with a given customer Past page views and activity tell much about the nature of the visitor s intent Certain patterns

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/im-instant-messaging-in-business (2016-02-01)
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  • Internet Use Policies, Avoiding Lawsuits Internet Innapropriate
    In addition high quality spam and virus blocking systems can prevent pornographic or offensive emails from ever entering your company network at all Only 10 years ago conversations on the phone or in the hallways were forgotten quickly introducing reasonable doubt if ever questioned in a legal context But now these conversations conducted electronically are woven into the history of a company via electronic logging and backups Nancy Flynn executive director of the ePolicy Institute puts it this way There are three main reasons employers monitor employees legal liability issues employee productivity and security breaches For example e mail creates a written business record and employers are becoming increasingly aware that e mail and Internet activity is the electronic equivalent of DNA evidence If a company is sued or investigated by a regulatory agency you can take it to the bank that e mail will be subpoenaed One of the early reasons for inappropriate use on the web was the availability of high speed connections at work but even with high speed connections at home some employees are not getting the message Though most employees are aware 85 of monitoring fully 25 of the firms in the survey had fired employees for inappropriate Internet use and one in five had email subpoenaed by law enforcement It s clear that we must look beyond fancy software to solve the problem for us A proven method to avoid problems is rather old fashioned Clear consistent communication about what is expected from employees This is usually done in the form of written policies and some sort of signature Having consent can be important if a problem emerges even if it s implied through policies Employers should notify employees that they are being monitored what type of monitoring is being done and how data from monitoring will be used says Beth Givens executive director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Employees also should know that accidental viewing of offensive material is not something to worry about as it happens to us all sometimes All types of electronic communications are subject to risks and you with legal counsel should have a policy covering their use An outside consultant can be used to help educate the manager or executive in the best ways to present the information but should not be used to deliver it to employees in my opinion In addition I recommend examples of violations along with more generic common sense expectations I would encourage some sort of automated reminder mechanism as well Email reminders can be set to send reports to employees on a regular basis with information about numbers of emails sent pages visited or a simple note A gentle reminder keeps the rules on the minds of the users with regular frequency Yep they re still monitoring The message should be matter of fact and straightforward not oppressive in tone The Federal Wiretap Act provides allows via some rather elegant technicalities employers to monitor email and IM communications in the workplace under

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/internet-use-policies-employee-survaillence (2016-02-01)
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  • Typical Internet Users - A Study by Pew Internet
    of the Internet as democratic sometimes looks can be deceiving Lackluster Veterans 8 They re highly educated technology users who usually don t get excited by new gadgets Having adopted the Internet and cell phones before others they now maintain a love hate relationship with their ICTs though usually not because of difficulty using them Often fathers with children under 18 these users often seek breaks from being connected Productivity Enhancers 8 Similar to connectors the forty somethings in this group tend to use ICTs to help squeeze more out of each day They understand are remain interested in Web 2 0 technology but are often too busy with families and jobs to really get involved They appreciate the ability to talk to a friend while stuck in traffic or to juggle babysitters using text messaging Middle of the Road Users 20 Mobile Centric 10 The phone will be in use far more than the keyboard and mouse for this group They don t think of ICTs as productivity tools rather as ways to remain connected and entertained Young and middle income African Americans have a disproportional representation in this group Connected but Hassled 10 While technology is felt to be a necessary evil they re likely to turn the cell phone off There is a sense of information overload and perhaps a longing for days when technology wasn t so ubiquitous Low Tech and Non Users 49 Inexperienced Experimenters 8 This group would possibly be placed in other groups if they had the technology available Their comfort level with technology is very high and when available they tend to consume information rapidly Light but Satisfied 15 These have acquired technology but it remains on the periphery of their lives While generally happy with ICTs they employ the tools at the most basic level Only 15 have broadband connectivity at home which is a third of the national average Only 18 have graduated from college Indifferents 11 They may own ICTs but there is no feeling of loss when these devices are not available Often men in their late 40s they could care less how ICTs make them more available to others They prefer Television and other media when available Off the Network 15 They do not have an internet connection nor do they own a cell phone often actively resisting them choosing to watch television almost every day They are typically from a lower income bracket and have lower levels of education Some may have digital cameras and use computers to support the display of these pictures along with similar utilitarian tasks It s worth considering that the Technology Elites are in a position of power like owners of the Gutenberg press into the Renaissance The paper for the Web 2 0 press is today s inexpensive Internet enabled browsing devices and the movable type are search engines and blogs Even with participation spreading it is still concentrated and Google s ubiquitous presence in every corner of the Internet

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/technology-adoption-and-consumption-by-americans-disected-by-the-pew-internet-american-life-project-2 (2016-02-01)
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  • Customer Relationship Management for Business
    disruptions CRM can help companies prevent these issues from happening CRM Technologies Today two major flavors of CRM technologies exist hosted and on site Hosted CRM solutions are fast becoming the solution of choice for SMBs for reasons I will outline Literally dozens of new players enter this market annually with buckets of features for very little money At present at least one vendor Zoho will let you use its system unrestricted with 3 or fewer users absolutely free Hosted CRM With hosted solutions the data software and support are housed at the vendor Access is through the Internet via PC or mobile devices Upgrades backups and technical problems are handled by the vendor according to a Service Level Agreement Uptimes are usually over 99 5 and support is often 24x7x365 Hosted solutions are usually scalable from 5 to 500 users without changing the underlying setup Downsides to hosted systems include forced upgrades several times a year slower performance over Internet connections and limitations on what can be customized in the system Microsoft has recently mentioned it may be releasing a hosted CRM for use with Office Live and industry leader http www SalesForce com has began to integrate nearly as many customization features as on site CRMs offer On Site CRM On site systems are often much more customizable Improved speed and tighter integration with legacy systems such as ecommerce and email give these systems a unique place in larger organizations or with those with a flexible I T infrastructure Upgrades security backup and administration will be the SMBs responsibility requiring a commitment of I T resources hardware and administration The business has control over upgrades and can modify the solution as needed but great care must be taken or subsequent upgrades might break the system With either you must do plenty of homework to be sure the features and services you re buying meet your own business goals Most companies will give you trial or limited user license versions so you can get a feel for the tool prior to purchase A simple list of CRM solutions in no particular order is provided below What excites me most about CRM is the potential for it to unify an organization under a single set of processes that is repeatable and refine able Having a collaborative road map with directions on where to venture and where to avoid reduces risk and improves competitiveness The business systems once mastered become easy to repeat and with the software solution working for you taking friction out of the system In short you are able to work on your business more than in your business giving you re a better perspective on the future All business relationships occur in phases or cycles Whether Business to Business B2B or Business to Consumer B2C keeping aware of these phases and how best to communicate with your customers is often the difference between one time sales and lifelong customers These relationships have hundreds of small opportunities for

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/internet-marketing-articles/crm-for-business-leads (2016-02-01)
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  • BuzzMaven Background
    otherwise doing due diligence please also use the other names Same company same guy What I do Since 1997 I have worked with web designers ad agencies media companies franchises small and large businesses and others Sometimes I even wear a suit and tie My blog will mostly cover search marketing but I ll slip in a bit or two about Lexington Business and some of the newer things I think matter and rant about things I think are wrong If the weekend shows something I do which displays a little of my personality I ll post that too so no complaints about off topic posts You can click on the categories if you want things filtered Most of what I do is search marketing but in the design world my claim to fame if you call it that is a rather stern dismissal of many ego designers I think that many of these people are simply guessing and so have left a few people scowling in my wake I think they are often selling snake oil to unsuspecting people and they deserve to be called out They know I do not believe in should be design processes and will tell you this to their face The conflict will be proven in data performance and profit not in an aesthetic wish fest A Bit of Personal Information I live and work in the medium sized city of Lexington KY 250k in the lower right of a triangle formed with Louisville and Cincinnati Lexington is a progressive and one of the top 10 smartest cities in the USA rated by CNN Money magazine You ll find me hanging around Common Grounds laptop unfolded or possibly zipping around downtown to meetings I find it problematic that anyone who knows HOW to code gets put into the I T bucket If potential clients think of me as an I T guy then there has been a tremendous communications breakdown That may be my fault and I certainly will try to clear it up I Get Busy If the blog has a few days of silence it s probably due to a deadline I m cranking under or because I m working on a magazine article I write the Webology column in Business Lexington about web business which is read by about 25 000 monthly I volunteer time and knowledge to various arts oriented organizations around Lexington Almost 100 of my clients are referrals and word of mouth which makes me very proud I ve sprinkled a few testimonials through my site I try not to overbook or overpromise but would be happy to discuss your ideas with you anytime just be patient with me if things are busy I m usually a short flight from most cities in the Eastern USA as Lexington has a great connecting airport I look forward to talking to you soon Scott About BuzzMaven Labs BuzzMaven Labs is the 15 year old consultancy of Scott Clark a veteran

    Original URL path: http://www.buzzmaven.com/scott-clark/background (2016-02-01)
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