3 Email Marketing Trends Small Businesses Must Know

Posted by on Feb 10, 2017 in Blog

Before 2015 even began, a full 73 percent of marketers said one of their core business strategies was email marketing. This shows just how important this promotional tactic has become, but like all things in life, email marketing constantly evolves. It is because of this that small business owners must stay on top of evolving email trends. Video Integrated Into Email You may wonder, what is the point of integrating video directly into emails when you can just provide links to videos? The answer rests in consumers’ attention spans. When an email recipient has to leave your message to view a video, especially on sites like YouTube, they are inundated with additional videos, ads and other visual stimuli. Because this is distracting from the message, marketers are beginning to rely more heavily on in-email videos. Heavier Focus on Personalization It only takes one non-focused email for a consumer to mark your message as spam. If this occurs, all of your future messages will be filtered out, even if that was not the intent. This is why emails are becoming more personalized. This is more than just adding a greeting with a person’s name. With some marketing tools, you can have different messages sent to different segments of your list. If you separate your list by age, for instance, Millennials can get marketing emails focused on something different than those sent to senior citizens. Look into the many personalization tools available to see which is best for your business and email list. More Push towards Simplicity Wearable technology is hitting the scene like a storm. Unfortunately, this means changes will need to be made on email marketing. On these small screens, for instance, consumers will only see a small part of your email header and inner text. All of this will happen while on the go. So if you are unable to immediately grab their attention, your message will likely end up in the trash before they are even stationary to read it. Make sure your headers and text immediately grab their attention. Email marketing is not going anywhere. It is a marketing reality, so make sure that you are evolving with it. Resources:...

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Tips for Making Great Blogs for Content Marketing

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Blog

Inbound marketing allows you to get customers to actively seek your business, and when looking at the top inbound strategies, blogging definitely shows up. When blogging, in fact, business-to-business marketer see around 67% more leads than their non-blogging counterparts. Of course, this is only true if you are blogging right. Blogging Consistently Regardless of the marketing strategy your company undertakes, you must be consistent with it. This holds true in blogging more than other areas. Once your blog catches on with consumers, they will start expecting new posts consistently. If this does not happen, these consumers usually find their way to other blogs. You will also see increases in search engine reach if you maintain your blog consistently. Do Not Forget Search Engine Optimization Blogging, along with all content marketing, is great because it brings in people who may have just been looking for information online. This occurs when you optimize your content for search engines. Always remember this while penning your posts. Your opening paragraph, headers and even image file names should contain industry keywords and cities you work in, and if this is done effectively, your blogs could find top spots on search engines. All Blog Content Should Be Scannable Bloggers are now nearly as trusted as family and friends, but this statistics does not really matter if people are not reading your full blog. To make sure consumers are getting through your content, your blogs must be easily scannable. Paragraphs should remain short, and you should utilize images and sub-headers to separate sections of content. Consumers will find your content easier to digest, so they will be around long enough for you to earn their trust. In the world of marketing, blogging has quickly become one of the big players. Make sure you are following the aforementioned tips if you hope to capitalize on the power of blogs. Resources: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/business-blogging-in-2015...

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How to Combine Your Online and Offline Marketing

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Blog

Online promotion is an essential part of successful marketing. With around 81 percent of consumers doing online research before making large purchases, it is obvious how important online promotion is. You should never ignore offline marketing, though, because if you combine the two, online and offline marketing can really benefit your company. Make Offline Events, Promote Them Online Creating and hosting an event is a quick way to get new customers in the door. Whether you are offering a free class or simply hosting a networking event for local professionals, the additional name recognition will certainly pay off. You should do more promotion, though, than simple flyers, newspaper ads or bulletin board postings. Use Facebook to make an “Event Page,” announce the event on all of your social media, utilize blogs to let people know how to prepare and even drop a few dollars on promoting the event via social media. Take Word-of-Mouth to the Online Realm Many businesses get tons of promotion from word-of-mouth marketing, but why wait for the word to spread organically? Instead, snag video of a patron speaking with one of your best employees. Since you have the camera out anyway, take a moment to interview a happy customer or simply take a photo of them enjoying your product. Happy consumers are a powerful tool both on and offline. Use Calls to Action Offline to Drive Traffic Online Calls to action are usually associated with online videos and blogs. In reality, these calls work with offline traditional marketing too. From TV commercials to billboards, tell people to visit your social media pages or website. Of course, a little bit of incentive in these calls goes a long way, but it is worth it to gain new customers. No marketing campaign proves successful with only one strategy. Because of this, you need to utilize marketing both on and offline to garner success. Resources:...

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Social Media Marketing Myths Businesses Must Avoid

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in Blog

With about one-quarter of internet users using Twitter and over 72 percent using Facebook, it has become obvious just how important social media marketing is. Having an effective social media strategy means making all the right moves for your business, but it also requires more than that. A great strategy can end in failure due to one mistake, and falling for the following social media myths can quickly lead to one of these mistakes. Scheduling Tools Can Handle Everything Scheduling tools are great for businesses on social media. Unfortunately, they are not enough. You need to sign on to respond to and interact with people engaged on the page. It is also ideal to post certain content, such as industry-related breaking news, as it happens. Use schedulers if they help, but never forget a live person is always better. The More Followers, The Better Many local business owners gauge their social media marketing success on how many followers they have. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many page purchase followers and some companies gather additional followers through contests. In either of these cases, engagement is not likely to follow. Instead, focus on different metrics. The amount of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ is one important indicator, but looking at click-through rates and actual comments is even better. This shows real interaction, and it will tell you which content is doing best for your business. Social Media Is Free Social media technically is free, but oftentimes, having social media success is not. Facebook, for instance, does not show your content to everyone who likes your page. It all depends on how much engagement the post gets. Sometimes, it is necessary to promote a post. Unless a business owner is skilled in marketing themselves, it is also essential to have a social media manager. There is no doubt that social media marketing can do great things for a company. All of these advantages, though, can be quickly undone if you do not fully understand social platforms. Refuse to fall for these myths, and you will be a step ahead of the competition. Resources:...

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3 Mistakes Local Businesses Make with Facebook Contests

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Blog

Most local business owners have recognized the need to market on Facebook. With over 1.79 billion users signing onto the site monthly, it seems outright foolish not to utilize the site. One of the most effective ways of garnering reach on the site is through Facebook contests. Unfortunately, far too many budding entrepreneurs botch these contests. Avoiding the following mistakes can prevent this from happening.  Offering an Unrelated Prize Holding a contest where the prize is a weekend getaway, free airline flight or brand new iPad will obviously get plenty of engagement. Unfortunately, much of it will not be the engagement you want. This is because these prizes will attract everyone instead of just those who might actually purchase your product. Offer gift cards for your shop or something similarly related as a prize instead. Providing Ambiguous Rules When holding a Facebook contest, you must ensure that all rules are clearly defined. This means fully explaining method of entry, the prize, winner selection criteria and how long the contest will run. If your method of entry is something along the lines of “Like this status and share,” keep in mind that Facebook has rules against these types of contests. Local businesses do not typically have much to worry about, but to be on the safe side, many still use third-party apps. Regardless of how you run the contest, make sure you are clear on the rules. Failure to Promote Facebook Contest No one likes to inundate their fans with multiple posts about the same thing. This normal rule, though, does not apply when it comes to contests. It is not enough to make a single post and then forget about the contest until it is over. Share the status at least once a day, but make sure you are providing other useful content on the site as well. Successful Facebook contests can quickly get a business hundreds or even thousands of new followers. This is only, of course, if it is done right. Keep the aforementioned mistakes in mind when running your contest, and strive not to fall into their traps. Resources:...

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3 Tips for Improving Your Local Marketing Strategy

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Blog

3 Strategies that Can Improve Your Local Marketing Game Teaming up with other local businesses can also provide a fantastic local strategy. Find companies that aren’t your competitors but have customers that are likely to need your service as well. Car rental businesses and hotels, for instance, are typically fine with handing out restaurant menus. If you run a floral boutique, you would be smart to team up with a bridal shop. Businesses that are not your direct competitors will often see the benefit in a mutually beneficial partnership. Get Out into the Community Local marketing for your firm, they cannot replace getting out there into the community. You want to do this yourself. Ask a few staff members to attend local events to promote the corporation. Better yet, get involved in charitable events and promote them through other marketing channels. People love socially responsible businesses, so do your best to become one. Work with Other Local Organizations Another great method of local marketing is working with other programs. Seek out businesses that are not in direct competition with you but whose customers may be interested in your product or service. If you own a bistro, take menus to local inns and car rental places. If you are a florist, trade business cards or pamphlets with bridal shops. As long as a company isn’t competing against you, they typically will have no problem with a quid pro quo relationship. Ask for Reviews from Customers While an advertising and marketing expert can ask people to review your service through online means, it is up to you to get on the front line and request these testimonials. Reviews are a significant part to local marketing. They enhance your SEO score and let locals know they can trust your enterprise. Remember, though, that you can’t offer incentives for positive reviews. You can, however, offer incentives for a client’s sincere opinion. In the grand scheme of things, all business is local. This is especially essential for small businesses to remember. And although hiring a marketing expert to handle the heavy hauling is a smart move, there are still some things you need to do all by yourself to...

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