“Since I started using Ad Words six years ago my business has tripled; I now get 95 per cent of my business through the ‘net,” says Raymond Mellick, more commonly known as Amazing Raymond the Tattoo Man.
Thanks to his online advertising campaign, Amazing Raymond’s tattoos are now used by a well-known hardware chain and his tattoos have been used by Robert De Niro in his coming film The Killer Elite and by the cast of TV show City Homicide. Other high profile clients include Fox Studios and New Zealand’s South Pacific Pictures.
He also has a longstanding association with Melbourne’s Crown casino, for which he produces special tattoos for events such as AFL grand finals, Mother’s’ Day and New Year’s Eve. He also works with many corporate clients, creating tattoos of their logos for company events.
Initially, Amazing Raymond worked with digital agency Yodel Australia to set up his Google Ad Words campaign, but he has subsequently run his campaigns by himself.
The ‘net works so well for him as a marketing tool because he has a number of different products and aliases and can run individual campaigns for each of his product lines.
“Because it’s so instant and measurable you can tweak a campaign and see results straight away. I also ask all my customers how they find me, through a sponsored link or through an organic search, and it’s usually through a paid search,” he says.
According to Amazing Raymond, success with online advertising is all about trial and error.
“I started with a $30 a day budget, then gradually increased it to $40 a day, then $50 a day, and the new business I get through online advertising now covers the cost of the campaign plus a lot more.”
Raymond, who has a marketing and graphic design background, developed his Melbourne-based business more than 20 years ago after seeing a similar concept in the US.
He spent 14,000 hours developing cosmetic formulas that are safe to be applied to the skin, as well as a screen-printing formula. All the inks and papers he uses to make his temporary tattoos are tested to Australian standards.
“My main philosophy is to give people a fun way to have a tattoo without them having to commit needle to skin,” says Amazing Raymond, who has no real tattoos.
“Kids get boozed up and choose a design they haven’t even thought about. Then they find they have trouble getting a career job because despite what they think, tattoos are still taboo. If they go for a temporary tattoo initially they can at least make an informed decision if they want something more permanent.”
Amazing Raymond’s advice to other small businesses thinking about embarking on an online advertising campaign is “just do it”.
He says “you can’t really make a mistake because you can change your campaign whenever you want. With Google Ad Words you can work out how much you want to spend and call for expert advice whenever you need to. My secret is to check how my campaigns are going once or twice a day. That tells me which keywords are working and how you need to tweak them – it’s always a work in progress.”
But, says Raymond, make sure you have strong customer support systems in place to be able to handle an increase in business as a result of an online campaign.
“I always make sure I tell my customers that their order has been received and let them know it’s on its way and give them a tracking number,” he says.
“Online advertising has transformed my business and put me on the world stage; I now get lots of overseas orders thanks to my online ads. It’s amazing!”
Follow the link to the story…http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/tattoos-get-amazing-exposure-online-20110330-1cfn4.html