January 15, 2010 | 12:24pm
Jay Berkowitz, its founder and CEO, is a true entrepreneur in the internet marketing field. He's promoted such companies as McDonald's and Coca-Cola. In November, he was selected as a 2009 Mover and Shaker by Business Leaders Media.
Before TGR, Berkowitz was president of the American Marketing Association's South Florida Chapter as well as a founding board member of the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association.
Q: How do you focus creative development (websites, ads, etc.) to promote branding on a local level? In other words, if your goal is to reach South Floridians, how would you focus your creatives to do that?
We focus on bringing people to the website and converting them to sales or leads when they get to the site. We use a range of internet marketing strategies to achieve website traffic including search, social media, affiliate marketing, conversion strategies, and analytics.
Search marketing includes both the paid ads on the right side and natural search engine optimization -- designing the sites to be friendly for Google and the search engines. Search engines require that your pages include the words people search when looking for your products.
For example, our website has to have "South Florida Internet Marketing Agency" as words on the site if we want to come up in a search for that term. We also need lots of other sites linking to our site to make the site important in the eyes of Google. We request a live activated link to our site from all of our business partners, associations we belong to, and from the website of any organizations when we speak at their events.
Q: Are there ways to utilize the new wave of geo-location and local search options with Google and others to focus marketing for a brick-and-mortar or traditional business in Boca or Delray?
For success in local advertising, businesses should focus on three steps. Step one is to make sure your company is listed in Google
, Yahoo, and Bing maps.
Step two is to include local city, town, county, and other geographic designators in your website copy to get free "natural" search engine listings. For example, don't call yourself a search company. Use a "keyword" phrase "Boca Raton Internet Marketing Consultant."
Step three is to test Pay-Per-Click Marketing. Start with Google AdWords and select a local area to show your ads. You can run your ad only when someone searches for your products and services in a small radius around your location. Make sure you have a free offer on your website such as a free brochure or a free white paper to encourage people to start a two-way dialogue with you.
Q: What do you see as the future of internet marketing for the next generation of surfers out there? What technologies, up-and-coming tools, and social trends do you see as driving the foreseeable marketing future?
The big five of social media are blogging, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIN. Blogs are great for the search engines, as they foster lots of links from other bloggers and websites and the search engines love lots of words and frequent updates. Also, a hidden benefit of blogs is that people subscribe to your blog and get a feed each time you do a new blog pot. Facebook is really growing in popularity with over 350 million users. For businesses, a Facebook page will get picked up in the search engines and allows you to build "fans" who will receive updates and links from your company. YouTube is now the number-three website in the world according to Alexa
-- behind Yahoo and Google -- and amazingly, it is the number-two search engine behind Google.
You should create product demonstration videos and how-to videos as well. Blendtec
has had over 50 million views for their blender videos, where they blend iPhones and golf balls, and their sales are up over 500 percent. Twitter is a great tool to listen to what people are saying and to address customer service concerns. Businesses should search their brand name at search.twitter.com
. LinkedIN is the social media site for business. As in all great networking, help people by answering questions, connecting people looking for jobs, and the good karma will come back to you.
People often ask me what is next. The most exciting new trend I see is location-based social sites. These kind of sites allow consumers to log in and tell their friends where they are for impromptu meetups, and importantly for business, these log-ins create a very current list of retail locations and restaurants. Sites Like FourSquare
are two examples.