• Marketing Trends for 2019

    On: December 1, 2018
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 19
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    What will happen next year in the world of marketing?  Marketing is always changing and the better equipped you are to manage those changes the better your results.   Here are some trends to be aware of:

    • Ads need to be more relevant and valuable to the consumer. This is the reason more dollars are going to be invested in content marketing and influencer marketing.  The 4 most trusted sources of advertising are: people you know, branded sites, editorial sites and reviews.
    • Consider using integrated campaigns and creative distribution tactics that focus on ways to engage audience members that your competitors may not be considering. Traditional media is not dead.
    • Consumers expect that companies will communicate with them in the ways they like. That is why it is important that you know your customer’s communication preferences.  Analysts are predicting that 50% of online searches will be made through voice search by 2020.
    • Use automation marketing with care. It can still cover the basic tasks, but it is important that you add a personal touch or offer direct help to your customer when possible.  You still can’t beat that personal interaction with a customer.

    These are just a few examples of trends to look out for in the year ahead.  Remember that there is no magic bullet to build a marketing strategy but these tips can help you achieve your marketing goal.

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  • Developing a Marketing Plan for a Small Business

    On: November 1, 2018
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 49
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    Many companies underspend on their marketing efforts when they view marketing as whatever is left over from operational costs or overspend when they do not define their target market. One of the best ways to ensure your marketing budget is being well invested is to create a comprehensive marketing strategy and plan.

    A marketing plan should include defining your target marketing, defining your position against competitors in your market and tactics to reach your target market and differentiate yourself from the competition.

    Here are the 6 steps:

    1. Figure out your sales funnel including tracking results through the revenue cycle from prospect to customer. Review website traffic, leads and sales so you have something to measure.
    2. Operational costs – how much cost in time and labor to deliver contacts? Do you have the staff to handle internally or can you hire an agency?  The costs may be higher, but the results can justify the additional expenditure.
    3. Determine business goals – what are the objectives per quarter and year
    4. Treat marketing dollars as an investment ~something that will bring you a quantifiable return over time.
    5. Where are you at in your business growth – you are either in growth mode or planning mode
    6. Understand current and future trends. A marketing budget should include traditional market approaches as well as the emerging social media market.  Don’t always react to the latest and greatest marketing idea without research.
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  • Making your welcome email, welcoming!

    On: October 1, 2018
    In: Email marketing, Marketing, Online marketing, Uncategorized
    Views: 86
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    We all know the importance of making a first impression whether it is your store, your staff and your advertising.  One of the elements a lot of businesses are using is email to reach new and repeat customers, but how often have you thought about the type of experience you are giving these people with your emails?  My guess is probably not much.

    The open rates for welcome emails are usually over 50% which is much higher than for typical email correspondence.  For this reason alone, it is imperative you take the time to make this first impression a lasting and good one!

    Here are some things you need to include:

    • Make customers feel good about signing up with you starting with the subject line (welcome to xxx), let them know they are part of a community of people who have joined your e-newsletter and make them feel safe by restating that you will not sell their information to a 3rd
    • List a preview of what they can expect from your emails such as type of content and how often you plan to send. If you’ve made an offer that required them to sign up, include a download or coupon of that offer.  One of the main reasons people sign up for your email list is to receive a special offer.
    • Make sure your emails are getting through and not going into spam. You can accomplish this by using the Spam Checker if you use a program like Constant Contact.
    • Personalize your emails to set you apart from competitors and use copy to engage your customers so the messages don’t look automated. Make sure the copy and words represent your brand.
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  • The Power of Video Streaming

    On: September 1, 2018
    In: Marketing, Online marketing, Uncategorized
    Views: 96
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    Video streaming is becoming standard fare for consumers and is giving traditional TV watching a run for its money.  Here are the latest stats on streamers from Nielsen:

    • 93% of streamers are watching traditional TV
    • Streamers aged 25-54 consumed 2 hours and 30 minutes of over-the-top (OTT) content per day. (OTT is the term used for the delivery of film and TV content via the internet, without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-tv service like a Comcast)
    • 47% of those streamers above only watch traditional TV while 46% consumed a mix of traditional TV and streaming
    • 59% of US homes are streaming enabled

    Streaming devices attract a young, affluent audience.  Homeowners that are 35 years old or less are 34% more likely to own a streaming device.  They are also 32% more likely to have children and 17% more likely to have a college degree.   If your target market includes this audience, your marketing plan should consist of a video streaming component.

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  • AdWords and Invalid Clicks

    On: August 2, 2018
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 159
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    An invalid click is defined as “any clicks or impressions that artificially inflate an advertiser’s costs”.  They can be a result of automated robots to suspicious activity.  Even though Google has an Ad Traffic Quality team monitoring its traffic to prevent advertisers from paying for invalid traffic, click fraud is still out there.  Is your AdWords campaign getting invalid clicks?  Here are some ways to check:

    • Monitor your own ad traffic
      1. Break down and segment your traffic based on different channels
      2. Use Google Analytics to understand the source of your traffic and behaviors
      3. Don’t partner with low-quality sites
      4. Don’t click on your own ads which may raise a red flag from Google
      5. Check to make sure your ad campaigns adhere to Google policies
      6. Use the site authorization feature so you can identify certain sites that have access to your Google ad code and prevent unauthorized use of your code by others
    • Keep in mind that click tracking through third parties is risky
      1. It can inadvertently disclose sensitive information about your website
      2. It can disrupt Google’s ad delivery and its Terms and Conditions
    • Google assists in detecting invalid clicks through:
      1. Filters – automated algorithms proactively filter clicks before it is charged to the account
      2. Offline analysis – Data from offline analysis is used to update the online monitoring systems. Both automated algorithms and manual analysis are used to detect any invalid clicks while offline.
      3. Investigation – all inquiries about invalid clicks is addressed by Google and commonly resolved within a week.
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  • How to tell if your digital advertising is working

    On: July 16, 2018
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 127
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    If done well, advertising online can really make a difference to your business, but you need to track and measure the process to determine what is working and what’s not working.  Here are things you need to measure:

    • Track your sales and website activity before, during and after the campaign. You need something to measure against to determine your position.
    • Use Google Analytics to track conversions to your landing pages and website. Also look at visits and unique visitors both new and returning to your site.  Returning visitors mean there is interest.
    • Social media posts should ideally hit the main funnel levels ~ awareness, consideration and finally conversion. You will have different prospects at different levels of their engagement checking your pages and products.   Be sure to review their comments, click-throughs and likes to gauge their level of interest.
    • Look to other media for coverage to boost your campaign such as PR outreach, email campaigns or video to see if you get increased clicks
    • Track traffic sources including direct, referral and organic. You want your organic traffic to be supplemented with referral traffic from your digital campaigns.
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  • The Importance of Analytics for Email Campaigns

    On: March 12, 2018
    In: Email Campaigns, Email marketing, Uncategorized
    Views: 371
     1

    Similar to reviewing analytics for your website to find strengths and weaknesses, looking at email analytics are as equally important for the same reason. There are not any rules as to how often you can pitch or provide content via email campaigns; however you should remember that an email list is permission based so it is always better to err on the side of caution.

    Here are the 3 important components to look at when analyzing your email campaign:

    1. Open Rate: this number will tell you how well you have built your relationship with the consumer. If the number is low, you need to provide a better value or expectation to the end user to increase the number.
    2. Click through Rate or CTR: this number shows how many people clicked to either a landing page or your website. A low number means your message is not targeted enough and you need to review the copy for improvement to get a better call to action.
    3. Un-subscribers: if this number is high in relation to your opt-in rate, then you need to examine when people are leaving your email. If they are leaving after an autoresponder message, then you need to rework the copy. If they are leaving after marketing messages, rework the way you are presenting the offers. If they are leaving early on in the process, then you need to fix your original subject line, message and call to action.
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  • How you can rise above the Facebook noise and get noticed!

    On: February 16, 2018
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 461
     1

    With over 600 million brands on Facebook, it is getting increasingly difficult to be successful on Facebook Business pages as competition for attention increases and attention spans decrease. So what can you do?

    1. Test Your Messages- Did you know that Facebook tests every post to determine if it deserves to be given priority. If your page as 200,000 followers, Facebook will show the post to approximately 200 of them to test the engagement. If the engagement results are low, your post may end up at the bottom of audience’s news feed. So test every post by looking at positive and negative interactions, percentage of engagement, and click thru rates. After reviewing the numbers, identify areas that need improvement and test again.
    2. Let others be early adopters – Let others test new and risky strategies with any new features and products Facebook rolls out. Learn from their mistakes and don’t waste your precious time and money.
    3. Be real – Write content that is engaging and inspires emotion. No easy task! Remember you have to grab a person’s attention in less than a second and stop them from scrolling past your post. Story-driven posts do particularly well over a post that just has an offer. Blame it on those cat videos!
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  • Myth – My organization doesn’t need at crisis communications plan.

    On: August 3, 2017
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 512
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    Oh my friend, yes you do. Even if it is a simple list of who gets called first.

    And why? Because anything that enters social media streams about your company, true or not, can be discussed with a potential for escalation. And if there is a real crisis you need to be prepared to speak with the media.

    A few things to consider: Who is the point person that delivers the message? Who is in the key team should a crisis arise? How and when do you reach out to your key stakeholders to keep them updated on the situation?

    Get your crisis plan ready before you ever need one.

     

     

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  • Creative Myth #5 Stock Images – fact and fiction

    On: July 19, 2017
    In: Art, Marketing, Photography, Uncategorized
    Views: 583
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    Myth:  If I pay for a stock image from a stock website, I own the image.

    Well, yes partially.  You have paid for the licensing rights to use an image or in other words you have paid for royalty free copyrights.  However, that image is still available for anyone else to “buy” and use.

    Why this is important…if you are creating a key marketing campaign around a single image or small packet of images and have only invested in the rights for usage, your competitor or someone else in your industry might also love and use them.

    Images are so critical to tell stories, based on shorter attention spans and massive amounts of daily messages.  If your image or images are critical to your “story”, hire a photographer or purchase full rights for the images.

     

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