What Are The Best Marketing Courses Available for Internet Marketing?

Many business owners need help navigating today’s realm of Internet marketing. If they have not been keeping pace with the huge growth and dramatic changes in online marketing, they can benefit by enrolling in various marketing courses.

Here are seven of the best marketing courses available for Internet marketing:

Mari Smith is well known as a Facebook expert, and she has branched out to become a leading social media expert. Mari Smith offers several marketing courses that benefit newbies and seasoned pros alike.

Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner, offers terrific blogs and training courses on social media marketing. Social Media Examiner certainly helps you stay up to date with what’s new in social media.

Guy Kawasaki is a best selling author who is widely respected for his marketing books. Guy Kawasaki offers helpful books that explain why Google+ is a great social media platform, and he also has a book that specifically helps people who wish to publish a book.

Chris Brogan is a widely read and respected social media blogger who has developed several marketing courses, including How To Write Better, Blogging, Write Your Book, Already, and Mastering the Digital Channel.

Seth Godin doesn’t offer marketing courses, per se, but he is a thought leader in marketing and the author of several wonderful books. If you are lucky enough to hear Seth Godin speak at an event, you need to pay attention because his advice is worth its weight in gold!

EducationChoices.com is a terrific resource if you are looking for online or campus-based marketing courses. It’s up to you whether you earn a certificate or a degree in marketing, but the marketing courses will be offered in a school setting, complete with a tuition, professors, and a rigorous curriculum.

YouTube is an incredible resource for marketing courses, and they’re free! If there is a particular topic you have in mind, just do a keyword search on YouTube and watch the amazing number of tutorials that teach you everything from how to use Facebook, to the finer details of website design, to tracking your online conversion to sales.

Whether you wish to have basic knowledge or wish to earn a certificate in marketing, there are marketing courses available everywhere. If you find that you prefer to work with someone who has already taken these marketing courses, feel free to consult with Jennifer Filzen of Rock Star Marketing at 408-833-9868.

How Does Mobile Marketing Help My Business?

When you look around at all the people surrounding you right now, how many of them are using their mobile devices? Chances are very high that if they’re not currently looking at their mobile device, they have one within arm’s reach. It’s not surprising that studies by the Coda Research Company predict that 2.5 billion smartphones will be sold by 2015, and the use of mobile Internet will increase 50 fold.

So, how do mobile devices affect the future of marketing? Here’s a hint: It’s HUGE! If people cannot find your business via their mobile device, to them, your business does not exist. The number of mobile devices and smartphones have exceeded the number of desktop computers, so businesses must have a mobile marketing strategy to keep the attention of their audience.

What are some of the mobile marketing services a business could use to help promote the business? Here are a 10 mobile marketing options that give your business direct marketing access to your current and potential customers:

  • QR Codes
  • Mobile Webpage
  • Capture Email Addresses
  • Mobile Social Media
  • Mobile Apps
  • Mobile Videos
  • Text Messages
  • Directions
  • Lists
  • Coupons & Specials
  • These ten mobile marketing techniques help people find you. When your business reaches out to people using mobile devices, they are more likely to:

  • Find out all the info they need, instantly
  • Buy your product right away
  • Attend your event
  • Sign up for special offers
  • Participate in your conversation and community
  • Subscribe to your social media pages, blogs, videos, etc.
  • Without mobile marketing, you are making it very hard for your business to grow and succeed. Do yourself and your business a favor by making sure that all of your marketing efforts, especially your website, are accessible by mobile devices. If you would like assistance with mobile marketing, Rock Star Marketing can help. Contact Jennifer Filzen at 831-324-0816 or jennifer@rock-star-mktg.com for a free consultation.

    Which Marketing Services Will Improve My Business?

    Marketing helps tell the world about your business. Whether your business is small or huge, there are marketing services that will help carry the message of your business to your intended audience. Which marketing services you use will depend partly on your audience.

    Here are 20 marketing services that could improve your business by attracting new and existing clients.

    A Search Engine Optimized Website (includes researched keywords, SEO content, appropriate backlinks, built in analytics, etc.)
    Blog Posts (daily or weekly)
    Social Media Posts (updates on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.)
    Pay Per Click Ads (on Google, Facebook, etc.)
    Newspaper Ads (including articles written about your business, paid ads, community announcements, and event calendars)
    Magazine Ads (including articles written about your business and paid ads)
    Telemarketing Inbound (the recorded message customers hear when they call you)
    Telemarketing Outbound (calls your sales team makes to connect with prospects and leads)
    Telephone Book (best for non-techie clientele)
    Word-of-Mouth Referrals (from friends, family, networking groups, etc.)
    Postcards and Mailers (sent to the prospect’s address)
    Radio Ads (has a wide reach, but difficult to measure)
    Referral Fees (payable when a contract is signed or a deposit is taken from a new client)
    Flyers and Posters (posted on walls, on cars in parking lots, handed out in person, etc.)
    Email Updates (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)
    Coupons and Special Offers (online and printed materials)
    Directories (industry specific directories, list of Chamber of Commerce members, etc.)
    Phone Trees (must have a team assembled to spread the word about your business)
    Banners and Signs (on your building, on your vehicle, online advertisements, corporate sponsorships, ball games, etc.)
    Special Events (fundraisers, expositions, demonstrations, fairs, parties, festivals, etc.)

    If you employ several of these marketing services, you will help spread the word about your business and grow your clientele. However, here are a few things to remember when using these marketing services:

    Watch your grammar and spelling to avoid embarrassing errors.
    Make sure the messages you use in your marketing services have a cohesive look and feel, including branding, logos, content, and “voice”.
    Measure and track everything you do to see what works best and what doesn’t work at all.
    Keep your expenses low whenever possible, but don’t be penny wise and pound foolish either.
    Marketing is an investment in your business and is not to be overlooked or skimped upon.
    Even the best marketing services fail if your business fails in the areas of service, quality, completion, or communication.

    If you would like assistance with marketing services, Rock Star Marketing can help. Contact Jennifer Filzen at 831-324-0816 or jennifer@rock-star-mktg.com for a free consultation.

    What Should I Look For In A Marketing Agency?

    There are many articles about marketing agencies and the top things to look for. I prefer to take a simpler spin and ask three questions about what to look for in a marketing agency.

    1. Do you like the people who work for the marketing agency?

    There are plenty of marketing agencies out there, but some are better than others. I like to ask if you like the people working there because in order for you to have a long term relationship, you should have a good feeling about them. You see, if they aren’t good listeners, or if they don’t understand you and your business, they may not be extremely effective at marketing you, your business, your service, or your products. If you like the folks at the marketing agency, that’s a great place to begin.

    2. Does the marketing agency do good work?

    This question answers some of the nitty gritty about the marketing agency’s worth ethic. Here is where you can make certain the marketing agency does quality work in regards to:
    Graphic design
    Copywriting
    Website design
    Search Engine Optimization
    Public relations
    Social Media Optimization
    Managing and monitoring metrics
    Sales conversion rates
    Marketing research
    Video marketing
    Etc…

    3. Does the marketing agency get the job done quickly?

    Okay, so you like them and they do good work. Now, how quickly do they get the job done? Do they underpromise and over deliver? Or, does it take them too long to launch your website, your marketing materials, your press releases, etc? If your marketing agency is slow to deliver, it could be annoying at best, or could kill your window of opportunity at worst. Ask around to see if the marketing agency you want to work with is known for rapid delivery.

    In summary, the way to judge a marketing agency is by the three legged stool of likeability, good work, and on time delivery. If two out of the three legs can support the stool, it’ll be wobbly, but okay. But, if you don’t have good standing with 2 of the legs, the stool cannot support the weight of your marketing campaign. So, make sure you start off with a solidly build stool with marketing people you like, who do good work, and are fast to the finish line.

    The Advantages Of Marketing Through A Mobile App

    I am delighted to announce that Rock Star Marketing has taken on a new client that is doing really cool stuff! Guurgle.com LLC is based out of Carmel Valley and is owned by Terrence Pershall. Guurgle is a wine app that is free to download onto your mobile device, including iPhones, iPads, Androids, Google mobile devices, and so on.

    Guurgle Wine App

    Download the Guurgle wine app at www.guurgle.com.

    The Guurgle wine app is cool for various reasons:

    1. It was designed to put all kinds of wine information at your fingertips.
    2. It allows you to feel more confident when you are given the task of ordering wine for a business dinner or special occasion.
    3. It maps the wineries and wine tasting rooms located near you.
    4. The app features user-generated wine reviews that let others on Guurgle know what’s good and what’s worth tasting.
    5. It has a digital Corkboard that promotes specials, announcements, and winery events.
    6. There is a wine trivia game that shows if you’re a Cork Dork or a Wine Snob.
    7. It features subscribed wineries from all over Monterey County and California.
    8. Your wine reviews are posted and shared on Facebook and Twitter.
    9. It’s an excellent marketing tool and boosts awareness for smaller and local wineries.
    10. It’s extremely helpful to wine lovers, restaurant staff, culinary students, and those who want to learn more about wine.

    So, why am I so excited about Guurgle? It is because they developed a free product for users that helps wineries market their businesses. The Guurgle app is part of the mobile marketing revolution that is making consumers feel more connected with the industries that serve them.

    What are the advantages of marketing through a mobile app?

    1. Apps provide instant results because people almost always carry their mobile devices with them.
    2. Apps are easy to work with.
    3. Apps are convenient to use.
    4. Apps allow for personalized, direct marketing.
    5. Apps allow you to track user response.
    6. Apps have huge viral potential.
    7. Apps help the marketer reach a much wider audience.
    8. Apps often tie in with social media marketing.

    How can your business benefit from an app? Well, if you’re not creating an app of your own, perhaps you can find an app that focuses on your industry and advertise your business on it. Using Guurgle as an example, the ones that fund the app’s development are the subscribed wineries that are featured on the app. Since subscribed wineries are paying to promote their wine business on the Guurgle app, they benefit from the advertising they receive on the app itself, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and promotional emails generated by Guurgle.com LLC.

    Quite simply, marketing through an app is smart, affordable, customizable, and utilizes the latest technology. If you would like to explore how your business can benefit through mobile marketing, contact jennifer@rock-star-mktg.com and we can discuss it during a free consultation.

    Happy Marketing!

    Positive Outlook & Marketing for 2014

    Have you heard the good news about how the U.S. economy is improving in 2014? It is so exciting to see that we are continually progressing into a period of modest growth and expansion!

    What does that mean for your business? Well, if you are meeting the needs of your clients and providing value with every dollar they spend with you, chances are very good that your business will grow this year. The trick is to attract those clients and entice them to do repeat business with you on a frequent basis.

    If you need help attracting new clients to your business, Rock Star Marketing is available to help. Most small businesses do not have a dedicated Marketing Department, and that is where we can assist. Hire us to handle your:

    Search Engine Optimization
    Website Design
    Content Writing for Websites, Blogs, and Articles
    Social Media Optimization on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, etc.

    Most of our clients are busy people who are marketing savvy, but lack the time to do the day-to-day marketing tasks. That is why Rock Star Marketing serves many small businesses that outsource their online marketing to us. For affordable pricing that often beats the cost of newspaper, print, and radio advertisements, we can boost and measure the amount of traffic directed to your website and your business.

    If you are curious to see how Rock Star Marketing can put your business in the limelight, contact us for a FREE Consultation today!

    How Effective Is Social Marketing?

    Some say that social marketing has a low conversion to sales. Others disagree. Here are a few case studies where social marketing has worked well in closing business deals.

    Social Marketing Case Study #1: Scheduling a Private Lesson with a Dance Pro.

    I am a West Coast Swing dancer and I often will see dance related discussions unfolding on Facebook. There was a cute status update posted by a fellow dancer about how her life has changed now that she’s a Westie. Some of her entries included, “‘Point’ now has a different meaning to me.”, “I am a connoisseur of hotel rooms.”, and “I no longer think it strange to have 8 hotel room mates.”

    After seeing her Facebook post, several of us contributed thoughts on how West Coast Swing have changed our lives, too. I posted something akin to, “I now have dreams of the Pros. I dreamt last night that I was supposed to take a private lesson with Arjay Centeno. Maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something.”

    So, what happened less than 24 hours later? I received a private message from Arjay Centeno, the Pro himself, offering a private lesson during the Boogie By The Bay convention. After a few questions about when, where, and how much, a private lesson was booked. Thanks, social marketing, for making that private lesson happen!

    Social Marketing Case Study #2: Blue Skies Exploration Academy.

    Blue Skies Exploration Academy is a fairly new child care center in Colorado Springs that uses the Reggio Emilia teaching methods. It is owned by Jennifer Barnes, and she is a brilliant teacher. Unfortunately, when she was in her first year of ownership, there was trouble in paradise because a lot of the pre-school kids were headed off to Kindergarten and there was not a full pipeline of new kids replacing them.

    What is a new business owner to do? First, Blue Skies Exploration Academy sunk some time and money into the Search Engine Optimization of their website. Next, they used social marketing to boost awareness of their business to their targeted audience. Social marketing posts included:
    Helpful tips for parents
    Craft projects for kids
    Information about their curriculum
    Fun activities they host for both parents and students
    Menus showing the healthy food they serve
    Storytelling about what makes Blue Skies Exploration Academy special and unique

    Within four months, they changed their low enrollment numbers to almost 100% student occupancy. By reaching out to the community via social marketing, they became part of the community, and the positive vibe about their child care center spread quickly. Way to go, Blue Skies Exploration Academy for using social marketing to grow your business!

    Social Marketing Case Study #3: Being Recognized at a Party.

    Sometimes it takes a while to establish your brand. If you keep using social marketing to bolster your brand awareness, you may be surprised at who is paying attention. Recently I went to a 65th birthday party for a friend of mine. The Birthday Boy introduced me to his daughter, and told her that I’m the owner of Rock Star Marketing. Her eyes lit up and she said, “I’ve heard of you!” Delighted, I replied, “Good. It means I’m doing my job well.”

    As our conversation continued and as we included more people in our chat, I received a lead for a new marketing client. Thanks to social marketing, my brand had “top of the mind awareness”, and that gave me credibility while meeting strangers (who are now friends) at a birthday party. Thanks again, social marketing, for working your magic!

    So, will social marketing convert sales 100% of the time? No, there are no guarantees that it will. However, social marketing is a crucial tool for starting a conversation, getting involved in your online community, creating brand awareness, and closing deals. If you think of it another way, social marketing is the new way of doing word of mouth referrals.

    How To Succeed Because Of What You’ve Been Through

    Have you ever felt like you were dealt a bad deck of cards during your lifetime? Or, have you felt like you’ve had to overcome tremendous adversity in order to succeed in life and business? Though I’ve not had a terribly difficult life, I have faced my own hardships and have worked hard to stretch beyond my fears and comfort levels to succeed.

    Well, I have recently had the pleasure of meeting an inspirational author and motivational speaker who embodies these traits, Rhonda Sciortino, and she teaches people how to overcome life’s challenges and succeed because of what they’ve been through.

    Rhonda is the author of several books, including From Foster Care to Millionaire, The Prayer That Covers It All, and Succeed Because of What You’ve Been Through. Her story is amazing and powerful, for she overcame childhood abuse, poverty, homelessness, and the foster care system to grow up and become an amazingly successful Christian, businesswoman, and entrepreneur. Visit www.rhondasciortino.com to view her website.

    The reason I mention Rhonda and her testimonial is because we can all apply that to our businesses and our marketing. I’m sure all business owners can relate to Rhonda’s story in some way. We had tough times. We had to figure things out on our own. We had to connect the dots in our lives to figure out life’s patterns, directions, and challenges. But if we keep at it, we will grow and become successful, regardless of the challenges and adversity we face.

    So, if you’re feeling lost and alone, know that it’s not permanent. Life is full of abundance and we will always find a way to survive if we keep walking our walk, talking our talk, and moving forward one day at a time.

    If your business is facing some sort of adversity or you have marketing questions, contact Jennifer Filzen of Rock Star Marketing for a free consultation at 831-324-0816.

    Expanding Your Brand

    Lately I’ve been exploring the process of expanding the brand of my dance business. The idea behind it is to make my company grow, so here is a personal account of what I’ve been up to in the past 12 months in regards to expanding my brand.

    When I first looked at expanding my brand, I was analyzing both my marketing business and my dance business. I imagine them as two horses, side by side, pulling a carriage down the road. One horse is the marketing business. The other is the dance business, working in tandem.

    Most businesses, when they grow and expand, add personnel, add locations, and add territories. That is why you’ll see a successful restaurants have multiple locations within a region. On a larger scale, that’s how McDonald’s, Starbucks, Target, Safeway, 7-Eleven, and other franchises have expanded their brand.

    So, I thought about licensing or franchising The West Coast Swing Dance Company (a.k.a. WCSDanceCo). I contacted an attorney to begin the trademark process. I consulted with my mentors in the dance world. I studied a lot of books and articles on the subject. Finally, my husband and I decided to license our dance business, offering our brand, our systems and processes, and our marketing engine. Thus, the dance business horse will run forward, and the marketing business horse will run evenly alongside it.

    Now, we are at the launching point. Now we are actively seeking licensees to become owner/operators of their own WCSDanceCo and raise the level of West Coast Swing dancing in their dance communities. So far, we’re gaining momentum and having conversations with licensee candidates, but we are still in the beginning stages of truly expanding our brand.

    That’s my story, and I’m curious how you are expanding the brand of your own business. If you are doing any of the following things, chances are very good that you are expanding your brand:

    Advertising your business via newspapers, printed materials, radio, social media networks, YouTube, Pay Per Click ads, etc.
    Networking with friends, family, colleagues, and customers, asking them for referrals.
    Sponsoring sports teams, non-profits, special events pertaining to your industry, etc.
    Opening up new locations and expanding into new territories.
    Adding new team members to your organization, especially salespeople.

    If you would like help expanding your brand, help is nearby. Just call me at Rock Star Marketing for a free consultation. I’d love to help you grow your business and profits. Contact me at 831-324-0816, or email jennifer@rock-star-mktg.com.

    Obtaining an Online Degree in Advertising and Marketing

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    The field of advertising and marketing is growing and there are an increasing number of positions available for those who obtain an online degree in advertising and marketing. Advertising and Marketing is an exciting field, for this is where companies invest their money into capturing the imaginations and minds of people whom they wish to become loyal customers of their products, services, and brand. Because technology in the 21st Century is growing exponentially, the technology behind advertising and marketing is expanding as well. Today’s online degree candidate is learning both traditional and new forms of communicating a company’s message to its consumers, and that is why people who have earned an online degree in advertising and marketing are in high demand.

    How To Obtain An Online Degree in Advertising and Marketing

    Obtaining an online degree is rather simple, but it requires the student to be a self starter and disciplined. In addition, a student pursuing an online degree program must be willing to learn the following skills in order to successfully pursue a full time career in advertising and marketing:

  • Understand how to operate computer hardware and software
  • Have a basic understanding of how the computer network and Internet connection operates
  • Video recording and editing
  • Sound recording and editing
  • Create podcasts
  • Use popular graphic design software
  • Create impressive multi-media presentations
  • Website design
  • Copywriting and Search Engine Optimized content
  • Business Development
  • Market research
  • How to create printed materials
  • How to develop a prospect list
  • How to generate leads
  • How to determine Return On Investment (ROI)
  • How to create and execute a marketing campaign
  • Develop creative thinking techniques
  • Learn how to communicate with multiple groups of various sizes
  • Project management
  • Managing a budget
  • Creating a marketing plan
  • Learn how to market for a small business vs. for an international corporation
  • Mobile application design
  • Cold calling and telemarketing
  • Business mail advertising
  • Public relations
  • Press releases and how to publish them
  • Product design
  • With an online degree program, any advertising and marketing student can develop the skills listed above. Depending on your advertising and marketing specialty, the faculty and staff guiding you through your online degree program will help you determine which online and traditional coursework will benefit you the most. After you have completed the online degree program, you will then earn your certificate or diploma, allowing you to pursue a career in advertising and marketing.

    What Advertising and Marketing Online Degree Programs Are Available?

    Because online degree programs are growing in popularity over traditional colleges, there is a growing demand for online degree programs specializing in the field of advertising and marketing. Currently, there are several advertising and marketing online degree programs that offer certificates or diplomas in:

  • Internet Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Marketing Offline
  • MBA Marketing
  • Business Administration
  • New Media Marketing
  • Sales and Marketing
  • If you are interested in pursuing a degree in advertising and marketing, consider enrolling in an online degree program. Online degree programs allow you to study at your own pace, can be done from anywhere in the world where you have access to a computer, have financial aid packages available, and often allow you to earn your degree or certificate at a faster rate than traditional campuses. Once you earn your online degree in advertising and marketing, you will have plenty of opportunities lining your career path.