While blogging may not be the latest trend in marketing, it has proven to be a valuable commodity when looking to expand your business. Social media is great for engagement with customers, establishing your brand and who you are, but blogging is the best way to demonstrate your expertise in your area. Customers and other businesses will be able to use your blogs for personal benefit, not only making you a reputable resource, but also potentially growing your customer base at the same time.
In the digital age of iPads, apps, and online reservations for everything, many forget about the all important customer relationship. People like to know they are viewed as a human being and not just a sales number. Here a quick few tips to maintaining your customer relationships, no matter how small or large your business is!
1. Get Social. Social media is a great way to interact with your customers. People can tweet your company twitter accounts about issues they are incurring with your products, or write on your Facebook wall about great service they received from your company. Respond to your company mentions. Thank any compliments you receive on your Facebook page! It takes mere seconds and lets your customers know they have been heard. Another great aspect of social media for B2B business is interacting with other businesses. Share exciting news from other companies in your area that is pertinent to you. Congratulate a client on new clients or products! It’s a great way to interact and show support.
When planning an event, or your next marketing campaign, budget is always one of the biggest factors to keep in mind. Whether you need to print marketing brochures, flyers, or begin a direct mail campaign, printed material can attribute to a large part of the budget. So check out these two cost saving print tips to keep your budget in tact!
Marketing is undoubtedly one of the most crucial success factors for new online businesses and should be a primary emphasis early on. But if you only focus on traditional traffic generation strategies like link building you're missing out on lots of potential customers.
The following strategies can easily help you increase your website's traffic - even double it - without having to do an ounce of marketing. Here's how:
In today's working day, offices can be anywhere: your kitchen, the local Starbuck's or even the beach! Here are some of the best apps available to keep your small business running using only your mobile device.
With so many different directions your online marketing efforts can take, here are a few quick tips to keep you on the right path!
1. Social Media Pages- While most businesses, small and large alike, have all established social media pages, one of the biggest mistakes we see made is not keeping up with them. Many businesses create a multitude of social media profiles, and then only post one or two things. This is not keeping your audience engaged, or growing your fans. Whether you are posting pictures, videos, promotions or simply fun facts- make sure to keep these profiles up. Your customers will notice!
2. Blogs- Blogs are a huge part of online presence and SEO. Keeping your blog up to date will show people you care, and that you know what you are talking about. Something not to do? Making your blog too sales-y. People want to read your blog to learn things, and hear interesting information, not be sold on your products or services. Demonstrating you know what you are talking about in your business realm however, will make you an authority and give you credibility!
3. Contact Information- A lot of today’s digital businesses make it impossible to find contact information! This is something that we just don’t understand. You want people to be able to contact you, whether it is through phone or email, to ask any questions! Make this information readily available.
4. Testimonials- Happy customers can be your biggest allies! Ask some of your clients to share their positive feedback about projects you have worked on, or services you have provided. Figure out if you’d like these to be in the form of video, written, or social media. Great reviews from current customers can be great for your reputation!
Keeping up with your online presence is crucial for your 2013 business plans, so make sure to include some of these great and simple marketing efforts!
To some people, trade shows may seem outdated and a thing of the past. However, with attendance growing and booth sales on the rise, trade shows are definitely making a comeback!
One issue that plagues many businesses that participate in tradeshows is preparation. If you are leaving your tradeshow prep till the day before, you are missing out on a lot of opportunity to get the most for your buck! The best way to hit your target contacts is to develop show mailers that differ from your normal marketing materials, which showcase a teaser or offer to entice people to visit your booth. Pairing these materials with targeted email campaigns to your audience will get people involved and aware of the shows you will be showcasing at.
Another key aspect of preparing for a tradeshow is to map your “plan of attack”. Designate people to be in charge of each aspect of the booth, as well as people to go out there and spread the word about your booth to attract more prospects. Don’t leave anything to chance! Make sure to have a lot of extra marketing material and business cards on hand as well as asking for cards from people who visit your booth. Many companies miss the opportunity to follow up with these people after the show ends, which is a missed opportunity to generate sales leads!
There are a lot of tricks of the trade when it comes to email marketing. One of the questions we’ve often wondered about is if there is a best time of day to get the most engagement out of an email. The answer is: yes.
GetResponse conducted a study that analyzed 21 million messages sent from US accounts during the first quarter of 2012. This study focused on click-through rates and open rates at specific times. According to the results, the best times were in the mornings, 8 AM to 9 AM both for opens and click-throughs; and in the afternoons, 3 PM to 8 PM for opens, and 3 PM and 4 PM for click-throughs.
Email marketers also need to take into account their target audiences. If you are a larger business with emails going all across the country, time zones are a factor that needs to be considered. If you are sending over seas, you must know the common work routines of the targeted areas, as many cultures aren’t on the same 9-to-5 schedules that the United States typically runs by.
Getting the most out of your email marketing tactics is important to your success, so try sending at these times and see if it makes a difference for your business and your email tracking reports!
As we approach 2013, marketing agencies have gone almost completely digital, and there are no signs of turning back. Customers are in need of e-newsletters, email marketing, social media management, etc., and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to online marketing. That being said, what’s the best way to reach new customers? Email.
While that may not sound like a new idea, many businesses only send outdated, text heavy emails in the generic sales approach. A new approach to email is to send simple, best practices emails demonstrating your area of expertise. For example, are you a marketing firm that can help clients produce video? Send a video email about how to make simple marketing videos using only an iPhone. These educational videos and emails not only show you know your stuff, but people will learn to relate your brand with these best practices, increasing awareness and your reputation.
One of our favorite web-hosting companies, Wistia, conducted a study in which they sent out two emails with generally the same content, one with text and graphics only, and one with little text, and an accompanying video. The video email had an open/click through rate of 38%, while the text and graphic email only reached 12%. That’s a 300% improvement with the use of short, fun videos!
So get out there, get creative, and get rid of your sales emails in exchange for more digital age friendly content!
We love a good infographic here at Graphics Plus! Check out this one from Eloqua to discover what content your prospects are looking at and for what reasons!
Have you ever been curious as to why your favorite brands chose their colors for logos and branding? It’s not just because they look pretty! There is actually a proven psychology as to what colors evoke which emotions. Take a look at the chart below to get a feel for what colors may be best for your company’s next marketing campaign, or simply what color to paint your kitchen!
Are you constantly searching the web for blog and social media inspiration? Sometimes you just get plain stuck when it comes to updating your accounts and it can be frustrating! Here are a few helpful tools that we use to keep our blog and social media accounts updated and interesting for readers like you!
1. Mashable: We LOVE checking out www.mashable.com for the latest news on marketing, advertising, small business, social media, technology, you name it! It gives us great ideas for article topics and just fun story links to share with our clients and friends.
2. Google Reader: After experiencing how easy it is to use this tool, you will wonder why you never found it sooner! This tool uses the keywords you input or topics you select, and pulls articles from around the web into one nice and neat spot for you to browse!
3. Share: Sharing content that other blogs you like, or social media accounts you follow, post is a great way to reach your audience. Not only will the company you shared from love that you have reposted their content, but you could even gain some of their audience as well!
These easy tools have helped us grow our blog audience, as well as our Facebook fans and Twitter followers, and we hope they help you too!
We found this great post by our friends at Wistia, and wanted to share it with our GP fans!
One of the most common questions people ask about our videos is “what camera did you use?”. Well, for this video, we only used an iPhone. (Notice anything about the music?)
Technology is evolving rapidly, and these days, even the simplest of video cameras is capable of capturing solid video footage. It’s not just flip cams and point-and-shoot cameras. There’s some incredibly powerful technology built right into your smartphone. It’s not so much about buying the most expensive, cutting edge equipment as it is about focusing on other important elements of a great video, like audio, lighting, and the message that you’re trying to deliver.
Okay, so we used our usual bag of tricks like the famed “Wistia backdrop” and a camera dolly. But this video was made to prove that you don’t need to worry as much about the camera in particular. There are plenty of tools and tricks all along the spectrum of budgets and skill levels to make your video look good.
Here are the tools that Chris mentioned in the video:
- Catalyst iPhone Underwater Housing - $90
- Glif iPhone Tripod Mount and Stand - $20
- Joby GorillaMobile Tripod - $20
- Filmic Pro - $4
- Diffusion Material - $7
Are we suggesting that you put your Canon 5D or RED Epic on eBay? Definitely not! The iPhone certainly has limitations, especially in the broadcast and film world. And no one can argue with the effectiveness of interchangeable lens format cameras and how far that technology has come. But the accessibility, ease of use, and overall image quality does make the iPhone (and similar smartphones) an effective means for shooting your next web video.
For more info from Wistia, check out the full post here!
With just about every business, whether it is B2C or B2B, growing their online and social media presence, we are often left wondering if it’s really worth it. Having a valid social media presence can be critical in increasing sales and awareness for your brand. According to a survey from ACTIVE Network, nearly one-half of social media users say they’ve taken some sort of action offline (e.g. making a purchase, setting a meeting, attending an event, etc.) after interacting with a social networking site. Here is a brief breakdown of which social media sites are best for the results you are looking for!
Facebook: This social media platform has proven its usefulness in the business world pretty rapidly. Facebook is the leader of the pack when it comes to driving sales, attending events, setting up meetings, and donations for a cause
Twitter: Twitter has proved itself to be a valuable tool for driving event attendance and activity participation, as well as donations for a cause (right behind Facebook of course).
Pinterest: Pinterest is used as a creative hub for all types of people! Moms, businesses, and students alike are all over this new social media hotspot. Pinterest has been shown to lead the way right behind Facebook in driving purchases. This theory proves to be most effective with B2C businesses.
LinkedIn: As one may assume, LinkedIn is the most useful tool in the professional B2B realm. Users can reach out to mutual connections, explore business contacts they have in common with others, and request meetings! It can also be a valuable asset when looking for a job change. Many companies post openings via the website, and you can get connected with the people in charge of hiring for that spot.
So before you dismiss social media as a tool to drive sales, think about these business uses for the trendy sites and give it a try! Oh and while you’re at it, don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
Small and large businesses alike have launched into the social media world in order to grow business and increase communications. Plus, it’s free marketing, how can you pass that up? However, while sites such as Twitter and Facebook seem to be taking over the world, there is still one group that has been slow to adapt: the executives.
The boardroom has been a tougher crowd to win over in terms of the benefits of social media. Many C-level executives have been hesitant to take the leap, believing that social media is merely a distraction to employees, and not seeing the marketing and ultimate sales potential.
A new report from McKinsey Global Institute indicates that according to an analysis of 4,200 companies, social technologies have the ability to produce $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value. Those boardroom members are listening now.
Two-thirds of the value is shown in savings from “improved communications and collaboration within and across enterprises” according to the report. Last year, the world’s largest software enterprises—Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle—spent near $2.5 billion on social media tools to add to their enterprise suites. With statistics like this, it will be difficult for CEOs to ignore social media for much longer.
Here at GP, we find it valuable and educational for ourselves and our customers to learn about what’s going on in the marketplace! We also love finding great resources where we can share our peers’ knowledge and expertise. That said, we wanted to share some great information on how direct mail marketing can be a huge home run if executed the correct way, in a business that is a perfect fit. We know not all businesses are created equal and what works for one company may not work for another.
Direct Mail Marketing offers certain advantages that set it apart from other marketing channels –
1. Directly targeting your customers
A good quality mailing list, crafted with the right selections and purchased from a reliable and reputed source that updates their data frequently, can help you connect with people who are more likely to be interested in your products or services. Whereas if you focus on internet traffic only you are likely to get generic visitors who may or may not be interested in buying from you. A mailing list can help you targets women, seniors, other businesses etc. There are a number of Demographic and Behavioral variables available to select the right audience for your business.
2. Flexible spending
Direct Mail Marketing Ad campaigns give you the opportunity to spend as per your budgets. Sending postcards, letters or brochures is a cost effective solution to get your message in the hands of your customer. You can also choose to have your offer included in coupon books that have a large reach and the cost is split with other businesses.
3. Reach more customers
For most small businesses, a number of their potential customers are not computer and internet savvy. Direct Mail Marketing helps reach that segment which is not likely to find your business or learn about your products on the internet. And even if most customers were using the internet, just by building a website you cannot make sure that they will frequently visit the site and purchase from it. Direct mail will end up in the hands of the people that you select and the communication will be tailored for them.
4. Promotions and deals increase sales
Sending promotional offers and coupons that are tied with holidays or major events for your customers (for example their birthday or anniversary) can be an effective way to realize sales growth. And doing that on a regular basis with controlled pricing segmentation can even impact the life time value from those customers.
In summary, Direct Mail Marketing can offer many advantages that other marketing channels don’t, as long as the campaigns are designed and executed well.
Source: Experian Blogs, Small Business Matters