Archives for 2009

TJ Conley: a WordPress natural.

tj conley employment blog website

As simple as we think WordPress is, often times it takes a bit of training for some folks to really understand how to use this intuitive blogging and content management system. Not so for Employment Attorney TJ Conley. We designed and developed this simple WordPress website in less than a week, and had him up and blogging in record time.

Washburn Connections: major branding turnaround for rebounding urban high school.

WHS internet marketing and social media

Washburn High School in South Minneapolis had enjoyed a proud tradition as an excellent public school for nearly a century. In the late 1990s, facing budget cuts and drops in enrollment, Washburn also faced a branding crisis..its reputation was at stake. The Washburn Foundation approached Zosel&Co about helping provide internet marketing assistance on a pro-bono basis, and we came to the rescue and helped develop washburnconnections.org.

A full featured WordPress website, Washburn Connections is dedicated to helping all Millers, young and old alike, learn more about what’s going on at Washburn High School, especially all the new developments already underway. The site offers find tons of good info and fun facts about the school, and allows needed two-way communications with it’s blog and social media capabilities.

Phenomenal Facebook Success

In addition to providing branding and site development, we also helped establish a powerful facebook presence that encouraged countless Alumni to join in the effort to revitalize the school. The facebook group gained over 1,000 members in less than a month and contributed to the success of a huge fundraising event late last Fall. The site and facebook presence will serve a foundation for all future marketing and fundraising efforts in 2010.

Facebook for Washburn

Go Millers!

Shavlik Print Ad Campaigns 2002-present.

Some great branding ads created for Shavlik Technologies over the years that have help them emerge as the #1 player in the IT security, and network configuration management software industry. Give company founder Mark Shavlik a lot of credit for having a lot of vision and bold attitude toward marketing his company. These ads are a testament to his marketing savvy.

August 2002 -- A virtual unknown in the security patch management market, Shavlik chose to make a bold statement with their first major branding ad. Principal Mark Shavlik was a bit nervous about the direction, but did not regret it later as brand recognition improved steadily, and lead generation improved.

October 2002 --This appears to be a fairly standard corporate ad, but it caused quite a stir in the IT industry, particularly with the target audience -- Network Administrators. It seemed unbelievable to admins that such attractive young ladies could be found in the IT environment, wearing such fetching attire. As it turned out, the attention was good for brand recognition.

January 2003 --This ad is a testament to the marketing genius of Mark Shavlik. Mark felt offering a fully functional version of the flagship HFNetChkPro (up to 100 users) was a sure fire way to hook the industry on Shavlik's Network Security Product. By July 2003, sales for HFNetChkPro were approaching $15 million. Not bad.

September 2003 --Pictures of attractive women. If it worked once, could it work again? Turns out, Network Admins approved. And sales kept soaring.

October 2003 --Shavlik needed an impactful ad to promote its Security Services Group. Who could ignore a mug like this?

November 2004 --Now that Shavlik had the attention of its primary target audience, Network Admins, the branding strategy was to continue to show them that we understood their daily problems, and could offer a simple solution.

November 2004 --More of the same: we feel your pain. And here's a way to solve it.

Looking to generate leads on the internet? You may not need a website.

RFIsite

Many small businesses looking to connect with new customers via the internet share a very common misconception about internet marketing. They believe the solution to lead generation is paying a web developer to build a search engine friendly website that will attract their prize customers, and close the sale.

Makes sense, right? Wrong.

When it comes to truly effective lead generation (B2B or B2C), a well-designed landing page system connected with a highly targeted paid search (adwords, PPC) campaign is the magic bullet that most business owners really need. If all you’re after is reaching as many customers as possible for the lowest cost, shelling out big bucks to build a website doesn’t really make sense.

For example, a few months back, we were approached by home realtor who was bound and determined to build a new website that targeted his area of town, and promoted his firm’s unique home buying and selling specialties. And, as usual in this down economy, his budget was as tight as they come. His expectation for a search engine friendly website that would meet all his lead generation needs for a tight budget was way off base. Long story short, we built the site for him, but sadly, his budget was not sufficient to really get his site rolling. 

A few weeks later, we were approached by another small business looking to accomplish the same objective: generate targeted leads from specific Twin Cities are zip codes for very specific promotional offers. And then we had an epiphany:

 this guy just wants leads. Why waste his time and money building a website? The client was an established home handyman business, looking to generate leads for small home repair and remodeling projects. So this is what we recommended:

  • Create a Google Adwords campaign targeting Minneapolis Western Suburban Zip Codes using ads and keywords promoting their capabilities and testing special promotional offers.
  • Create a series of specific landing pages each connected to specific ads, each with appropriate conversion forms.

Done deal. The home handyman’s adwords campaign and landing page system were up and generating leads within 10 days. No fuss, no muss. Here are the other advantages of our adwords/landing page internet lead generation system:

  1. Low upfront cost – a fraction of the cost of building an entire website dedicated to promoting your business.
  2. Start generating leads immediately – total project time is less than 10 days.
  3. Change on-the-fly marketing – change promotions, ads and landing pages in a heartbeat, at very little cost.
  4. Precision targeting – create a unique combination of ads and landing pages targeted by geography and demographics.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

WordPress – not just for blogging anymore.

When most people think of WordPress, the popular, easy-to-use blogging software used by millions immediately springs to mind. Here at ZoselCo, we think of WordPress as the website building tool without limits. You see, the WordPress platform is continually improved through a worldwide open-source community of developers that create plugins and modules to offer virtually any type of functionality any business needs.

In the past four months, we have done some great work making great strides in offering WordPress as a powerful, easy-to-use content management ssytem for businesses of any size who need a powerful marketing website that’s ready to take advantage of the many up-and-coming social networking opportunities.

Learn how a simple, inexpensive WordPress site can help your business:

RFIsite

Rockford Handyman ‘Change-on-the-Fly’ Landing Page System — To generate leads, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to create an entire website. All you need is a change-on-the-fly landing page system connected to your localized Google Adwords account. Setup is fast and easy. Perfect for any business that just wants a no-frills marketing system that allows your to easily add as many different landing pages as necessary, until you find the right formula to convert leads.
image

FURsite

Instant ROI for Government-mailing-lists.com — This is a fully Search Engine Optimized website for the Toronto based government marketing firm has already paid for itself, according to owner Richard Furlong. ZoselCo connected with Furlong through marketing discussion groups on the popular social networking site LinkedIn.
image

Globaltecsite

Multiple Templates — Globaltec is a worldwide engineering firm that specializes in large, public infrastructure projects. The dual-language site (spanish/english) is a powerful, easy-to-use content management system that allows the company to easily publish current project news that is based on a keyword strategy designed to generate significant targeted traffic
image

GRBsite

Greenbonds — the goal is to establish a renewable source of national and local investment capital for green technologies and solutions by introducing a new federal savings bond program. Green Bonds is modeled after the World War II era ‘War Bonds’ program. The site is intended to help generate 10,000 signatures necessary to make the concept a reality.

My IRA is tanking. The economy is slumping. Now this.

photo_thumb

A right-handed designer with a broken right arm: not the best way to start off Q2. But not to worry.

scottarm1If I didn’t laugh, I might cry. All things happen for a reason. I guess it’s God’s cruel joke, or something. A right-handed designer with a broken right arm. Anyway, as you some of you might know, I have been a volunteer youth baseball coach here in south Minneapolis for the past 13 years. About 10 days ago, I was coaching 3rd base in a tournament game when one of my 14-year-old players hit a screaming line drive in my direction. As I moved to evade the ball, it found me like a heat-seeking missile.

Crack. The ball hit my right forearm just about six inches up from my wrist. I immediately iced it, and stayed in the game, not thinking much of it although it hurt like hell. Later on that afternoon, I knew something wasn’t quite right, so my wife insisted that we head to the ER to get it checked out.

Long story short: diagnosed with what’s called a nightstick fracture to the ulna bone. I am now confined to a cast for the next three weeks. I am making the adjustments to working primarily with my left hand, and awkwardly mousing with my right when necessary. But, I’ve got to say, this is by far one of the most challenging situations I’ve faced in my career. It’s hard to describe, but the cast confines my arm to an angle that is not conducive to mousing, something I make my livelihood with. The frustration is maddening.

Julia Auerbach, professional wedding photo blog.

Photoblog for professional photograher

Julia Auerbach is a professional hoping to share with you what happens behind her lens with this simple photo blog powered by WordPress. Julia is focused on the professional wedding photography marker in the Minneapolis, MN as well as other Minnesota Communities. What the site brings to you is a permanent record of all the beauty and emotion that is revealed and all the hidden nuances that last a mere moment.

What’s the Point?: Smart techniques on how to use Facebook.

logo_facebook_thumb

Three key ways to enhance your social network through facebook.

If you are new to Facebook, you must be wondering, what is the point of Facebook? What will these virtual friends and groups do to help me in the real world? If you’re purely on Facebook for social reasons, it is a fun way to find old friends, connect with new ones, and keep in touch with anyone that is most likely connected to the world of Facebook. For other people that may be on Facebook for Business related reasons like myself, there are a million ways to advertise, connect, and learn tons of new information.

The #1 Key to Facebook: CONNECTING

  • Find people that are interested in YOUR group, fan page, business, etc…
  • Facebook offers two majors ways to instantly connect with someone. Keep these in mind when you find someone that you may have a good connection with or think may be of help.
  • Facebook messages are just like email. Use this to start a conversation with a new friend directly through Facebook.
  • Facebook Instant Messanger functions just like iChat, or Skype Chat. But on Facebook, you can see when your friends are on-line and have a live conversation. This is a helpful tool to hand information back and forth instantly, and connect to things you may not have usually found.
  • Your Facebook, and the work you put into it only have value if the viewers are interested. Make sure your content is Interesting,easy to follow, and holds the interest of your viewers.
  • Target YOUR Facebook friends. Facebook Fan Pages even have a tool that allows you to see who is viewing your page. Target those people and see the outcome.

The #2 Key to Facebook: VIRAL ADVERTISING

  • Interesting content is what attracts people to your facebook. Find engaging youtube videos, links to interesting news articles. Facebook groups and Fan pages allow you to easily connect your friends to the things you want them to see. Pull things from your site, your friend’s Facebook’s, publish what you find interesting and what will grab people’s attention.
  • People see your interesting content, grab it and post it. Before you know it, three times as many people are looking at it within hours and sharing it with people you would never have the tools to connect with.

The #3 Key to Facebook: UPDATE

  • People do not want to see old links, videos, and pictures.
  • Facebook allows a person to immediately post something NEW.
  • Keep your Facebook up to date with key things you want your friends to see that will help them and help you connect and learn.

Facebook has a million possibilities for any person. Take it and use it to your advantage today

Fish Where the Fish Are: How to reach the right people on Facebook.

may_fishing001_thumb

As a business owner on Facebook you want to connect with the people that matter the most. You want people seeing your Facebook profile, group, and Fan page that care about the content and will spread it to other people that care. What and where you post your information is the most important part. It is not that difficult. Facebook has many resources for people to find the people they need.

Sony created a very interesting way to connect with the people they were targeting. Sony built a site featuring their latest movie about Vampires. They needed a quick and easy way to connect with the people who like vampires. Sony received over 18 million hits to their Fan page in only three weeks. How in the world did they do that? They fished where the fish were.

Facebook offers a very popular application where people play in a virtual world of Vampires. The exact rules are beyond me, but sony knew that targeting that particular audience would be the perfect way to advertise their Fan page. Before they knew it their site was up and people were more interested then ever in their Vampire movie. This is a perfect way to target your ideal audience. Obviously this takes a bit of money and maybe a multi-million dollar company, but the concept is flawless. Don’t try to create a brand new audience for your product, that audience is most likely already out there on Facebook waiting for you. You just need to find them.

  • Find groups with your ideals or major concepts. Groups have walls where you can post things, and hear what other people have to say. Drop a line and maybe someone will see it and start talking to you, or vice versa, find someone and start talking.
  • Groups also have discussion boards. Post something on an interesting discussion.People use groups to advertise themselves. Make a wall post and insert a small bio. Someone is sure to see it and pass it along.
  • There are tons of great business applications that help you connect to people in the Facebook business world. Promote your business by adding your business card to your profile. Add a professional profile to connect to different companies. Don’t be afraid of Facebook. It’s not just a social site for your teenager, it has a million things to help someone in the Business world.

Facebook is a tool that takes time, patience, and effort. Facebook isn’t something that you can set-up and just let sit there. You need to work it a little to get what you want. Wander around Facebook for half and hour and see what other people are doing. That is the best way to get ideas and pursue the world of Facebook.

Brand yourself like Obama: how social media can help you reach new heights.

2550280207_b24986728d_thumb

(Case study on the power of Barack Obama’s political campaign through the use of Facebook and edge-based organizations.)

As an 18-year-old first-time voter living in a swing state with a Facebook, I was the demographic Obama was looking for on Facebook. Obama used Facebook to target the 18-29 year old demographic, which he did well. Obama had unbelievable success with Facebook during his campaign. I witnessed this first hand. As a politician, Obama used a completely out-of-the-box technique to target his audience.

I will quickly discuss how Obama used edge-based Organization. What does it mean to have an edge-based organization? It means that everyone is aware of the situation, is able to take action, share values, and can make decisions that empower the edge to take action. Obama used the Internet and Facebook as a huge way to help with self-organization and edge-based organization. People could use their own personal power to help Obama’s campaign. I will share with you some hopefully helpful examples.

As we have discussed in previous posts there are very strategic ways to advertise yourself or your business on Facebook. Obama used these same exact strategies with some obvious financial benefits, but used them and used them well.

Obama’s support through Facebook was viral and was used as a hugely successful way of brand development. Everything about his campaign snowballed in a positive direction to give him endless amounts of support. There were many things he did, that you yourself can try, or assemble ideas from:

  • Sidebar advertisements, selling t-shirts which immediately gave money to the Obama cause
  • Sidebar video blogs, immediate press release
  • Obama “gifts”, used to create fun viral advertising. (send one Obama gift, your friend sees who you sent it to on their mini-feed. BOOM, its sent again…and again..and again…
  • Obama Supporter groups. Ex) Barack Obama (one million strong for Barack Obama)
  • Obama Applications. Add the app – tell your friends about it. Ex) Obama Facebook Application
  • Bumper stickers — A Facebook application you can add where you can view thousands of “bumper stickers” that can say pretty much whatever you want. Most of these involve the latest pop-culture of funny YouTube videos, but around the election every other sticker was Obama related or McCain-Dissing stickers. Bumper stickers are strictly targeted at the High school and College age group. Just another way to state your political view and most of the time, your love for Obama. The amazing thing about these is that these are free to make and are usually made by the high-school to college age group. Obama’s campaign had nothing to do with making these. They were made completely by Obama supporters and spread by the thousands on a daily basis.

Obama on Facebook is the new political lawn sign. Your Facebook could easily advertise who you support. You could add the Obama apps, join the groups, become fans of Obama. People’s Facebook political views were even 100% in favor of Obama. Instead of saying Democrat, liberal, etc… It simply says OBAMA. People were Obama crazy on Facebook. Articles say that this is the new future of politics. Obama used Facebook to create an amazing tool for Politicians. From now on, if a politician is smart he will use the tools he has on the web to get the attention and press needed. Young voters were huge this year, and Facebook played a large part in that. Facebook made Obama not only the most elligable candidate, but the “cool” candidate. Obama used Facebook wisely and very much to his advantage.

I found one other specific example of Barack Obama’s success on Facebook. The New York Times Magazine sponsored Obama and created Facebook free “gift” that people could send the day after Obama was elected. It was a small cartoon graphic of a NYTimes paper with Obama’s face on it declaring “Obama Wins!”. An amazing example of how Obama’s campaign found big companies who could use their money and power to help his cause.

Another tactic Obama used was on the day of the Election people could dedicate their status to Obama. For example it would say Aurora is the xxx,xxx,xxx person to dedicate her status to the Barack Obama campaign. This was an amazing viral connection that I witnessed sweep through Facebook the day of the election. And on the day of the Inauguration CNN totaled 1.5 million people who had Obama related status’.

Obviously these are not all realistic options for small businesses, or people just entering the Facebook world, but hopefully you see the amazing things Facebook can do, and this inspires you to venture out and try new things.