The Edge - Q1, 2014 - (Page 21)

Business Feature The Latest and Greatest Online Marketing Tools by Aimee Duffy FOR SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES, marketing is all about seizing opportunities. It's a chance to roll out attention-grabbing campaigns and find new ways to engage customers. More than ever, it's also about staying on top of technology developments and trends. And, of course, these days it's all about online marketing. The pool industry is swimming with opportunities to market on the Internet, but you have to know where and when to do it. FIRST THINGS FIRST Whether you're a small business with revenue that comes from local buyers or a larger company with a full-blown digital strategy, if you don't have a wellbuilt, well-managed website, you're losing business to companies that do. I've seen it firsthand, time and time again through my work with clients. Too many companies are losing in the marketplace for this very reason. But the good news is there are other ways to thrive online beyond having your own website. The hottest online marketing tools are free and easy to use - and even better, they can build your business 24 hours a day. Are you using them to build yours? Take a look at some of the larger companies that are using the site and getting it right. GET PINNING ON PINTEREST As we move into 2014, image-centric content will rule the web. As consumers are constantly bombarded with information, it's more important than ever to make content quickly and easily digestible. Enter Pinterest - the social media site that lets users "pin" images and videos they find online to a virtual pinboard and share them with others. Because it's such a visual medium, the site is especially effective for pool businesses looking for a way to showcase great-looking products. Smart businesses are already taking advantage of Pinterest for advertising and style trending. Take a look at some of the larger companies that are using the site and getting it right. * L.L. Bean's Pinterest page focuses on what its target customers like to do rather than the products. The boards showcase everything from fishing to "outdoor fun." By giving the impression that customers like a certain type of activity, its target audience will feel like L.L. Bean would work with their lifestyle. Its impressive 5.6 million followers must like its approach. * Lowe's has gained almost 3.6 million followers by focusing on specific boards about a single topic, including, "Grillin' and Chillin'" and "50 Projects Under $50." * Beauty retail giant Sephora has grown its Pinterest following to more than 200,000, making sharing extremely easy on its e-commerce product pages, which has made a top10 referrer for its website. According to a 2012 report by Experian, Pinterest was ranked nationally as the third most-popular social network based on traffic. If you want consumers to find you, it's time you got pinning! ARE YOU ON YOUTUBE? The popularity of video content is obvious to anyone who uses the Internet THE EDGE 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Edge - Q1, 2014

The President’s Message
Taking Your Business to the Next Level
Don’t Hire ‘Deadbeats’ – Use Talent-Based Interviews
Three Routes to Increased Profitability
The Latest and Greatest Online Marketing Tools
The Outdoor Room Boom
Successful Collaboration Between Landscape Architect and Pool Builder
Project Focus: Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools and Landscaping
Add Profits to the Job with Artificial Rock Waterfalls
Safely Operating the Service Truck
Selling Energy Savings
Service Award Winner Honored
Moving Beyond the Basics of Water Chemistry
Index of Advertisers

The Edge - Q1, 2014