How to Make Internet Marketing an Effective Tool For Lead Generation

Internet marketing, also known as online or inbound marketing, is how many businesses reach new prospects and stay connected with their current customers. By using the Internet (and its ancillary branches, such as email and social media) to market their business, they are able to get their message out to people across the globe in a fraction of the time it would take using more “traditional” methods. Because people are increasingly spending a lot of their time online, it’s important to know how to use Internet marketing methods in the most effective way possible. Here are some tips and techniques you can use to take full advantage of this type of marketing.TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR INTERNET MARKETING SUCCESSSocial Media MarketingOne thing people have always had in common is the desire to stay connected. Today, tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow people to connect immediately with friends and family as well as the world at large. Social media marketing is very important for businesses because it helps them nurture their current customer base while also giving them the opportunity to make contact with new customers.Whether you want to leverage your online presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any of the many social media platforms out there, the aim is the same: giving your customers the chance to connect with your business on a more personalized level via a two-way interaction. You may utilize your social media accounts to promote your business,; however, your primary goal should be to establish a conversation with customers and prospects to find out how you can better solve their problems and deliver what they are looking for. Professional internet marketers agree that selling on these platforms should be minimized; the focus is on engagement, creating interest and curiosity. Continual and overused sales pitches will likely have the reverse effect, and posts will be ignored.Mobile MarketingSimilar to social media marketing is mobile marketing. More often than not, your customers and prospects will be connecting with your business through their smartphones or tablets instead of their computers. It is much easier to check websites or social media on the go rather than to sit down at a computer, so it is essential your marketing approach is mobile-friendly. This means having your website transferrable from desktop to mobile without glitches, as well as utilizing apps or creating your own. Internet advertising also includes banner ads on relevant websites and SMS (short message service),or text message marketing. In the case of text messaging, the protocol requirement is for customers to opt in to an automated system by texting a reply or shortcode. Once the customer has opted in, text message specials or important product and service updates are welcomed.SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Marketing – Visibility MarketingWhen a person is looking online for something similar to fit their needs, they enter search terms in a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. If your website or page isn’t optimized for search engines, your page ranking may be so low that no one will find you – or you may not even show up at all! In order to be “found”, your website needs to be visible to all of the major search engines. The way you make this happen is by SEO marketing, which utilizes specific tools (such as keywords, link building, and relevant content, to name just a few) to increase visibility and elevate page ranking. At 1st Straw, we refer to SEO as “visibility marketing”, because every technique used is designed to make your website more visible to search engines. Improving your SEO marketing strategies will help get your business at the top of the search list instead of lost in all the other website links. Do this by thinking about what customers will search for instead of using typical words and phrases. The key to great SEO marketing is to think like a customer, and to create your keywords, build your links, and craft your content accordingly.E-Mail MarketingFor many of us, our first thought at the words “email marketing” brings to mind the annoying “junk” or “spam” messages that land in our inbox each day. This is a prime example of email marketing done wrong. The purpose of email marketing is to maintain contact with your customers and prospects. Effectively done, it can be a powerful tool to generate more leads for your business.You’ll want to design your email content to be compelling and relevant to your recipients. You can craft an online newsletter that’s distributed on a regular basis (e.g., monthly or semi-monthly). A successful email campaign has a clear objective, includes an “opt in” technique, and gets through the junk/spam filters so that it can actually be read. Be sure to use an email marketing provider that allows you to track your results so that you know who is opening your email and clicking through to your website or other links.Internet marketing is a significant marketing channel that can reap measurable results. Use these strategies to step up your inbound marketing game and improve your online presence. The end result is more leads to convert into sales!

Did Senator Pauline Hansen Break A Religious Code By Wearing a Berqa Into the Senate?

When Senator, Pauline Hansen, arrived to take her seat in the Australian Federal Senate today she caused an outrage from the leader of the House. She was wearing a berqa, a Muslim complete body cover, which many think is a religious garb. The rhetoric that headed her way from Senator Brandis was one of sheer disgust that she would offend a religious group in this way. The question is whether the covering is actually a religious garment?My observations and research into the Islamic faith proves that it is not. In the times when the Islamic religion was established in Babylon, some 4,000 years ago, there is no sign of any head covering for women in the images of that city or others built by the Amor, the inhabitants.They became the Romans when they established the city of Roma (reverse Amor) and the new religion set up by Constantine was the Catholic Church in 325 AD. Nowhere from the Assyrian Empire, the Egyptian or the Roman Empires shows anything like this garment being worn. By the time of the Romans women were wearing full length dresses but no head-gear.The Catholic Vatican appointed Augustine to start the Muslim Branch of Islam, based on its own formula, to add credibility to the things it claims, such as the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. He used a man named Mohammed whom he trained as a prophet and then possibly wrote the Koran. These things are verified in the Vatican archives and were released to the public by a Jesuit priest who worked with them.The first time I became aware of this garment is in relation to the Taliban and the Sharia law. It apparently follows the tradition from the 10th Century that women customarily veiled their faces as a sign of their upper-class status. At that time women were not allowed to partake in public-activities which heralds the start of the persecution of women.In 1899 a book by Qasim Amin noted that wearing a veil was a customary thing and not related to Islam. He lobbied for a new copy of the Qu’ran which caused considerable debate. In 1910 a woman, Malak Hifni Nassef, published the Womenests which argued against his claim, with some vigour.In the 1920′s King Amanullah stated that religion does not require a woman to cover their hands, feet, or faces. He reiterated that this was a tribal custom that impeded the ‘free will of the individual’. This is the best response to the veil so far. Also in the 20′s Ataturk from Turkey spoke out against the veil calling it demeaning, but he did not ban it.The Iranian king, Reza Pahlavi, banned the chador (means shadow) claiming the garment should be burned and anyone wearing it were not allowed on public transport and could have it cut up with scissors. He called it a symbol of injustice and shame.After the six days’ war in Egypt in 1967 women started wearing the veil as a symbol of superiority and domination. It appears that this is still the case in Australia, where it has become offensive to many in this free democracy.When Iran returned to a Republic after the revolution of 1979 women wore the chador as a symbol of defiance against the deposed king and its western support. Here again is purpose unrelated to religious values but more to a status symbol. The women were targeted who appeared in public without the veil. That means it is now a weapon of discrimination.In 1996 to 2001 the Taliban in Pakistan forced women to wear the garment in public. Their law allowed for beatings and worse if a woman defied the order. In 2004 the French government banned the burqa, and the hijabs in public schools. This brought about more rebellious reaction from Muslim women who seemed to delight in upsetting everyone around them. The president stated that “women who are prisoners behind a screen are cut off from society and deprived of identity.”In 2009 Belgium followed suit and banned the wearing of such garments in schools. In 2010 the French banned the wearing of berqas from public services and transport. Belgium then also banned the covering for public safety reasons.Pauline Hansen has called for the Australian government to follow suit as it is a mockery of women in general. With their faces covered they cannot be identified and the shield is a hindrance to law enforcement and the subject of abuse from objectors and who knows who is parading around under cover?In my opinion there is no place for berqas or any head covering in our society. The quicker they are banned for what they are the better. They have nothing to do with religion but more to do with sticking it up our noses and its time they were taken to task. Good on Pauline for raising the matter so dramatically that the world has taken notice of her.

What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.