Archive for June, 2014

Marketing to the Non-Internet Crowd

It may seem odd — bizarre, to even think that there are still people out there who have little or no use for the Internet. In an age when two out of three people own a smart phone and the average person uses three social media networks, there’s still a huge chunk of the population (fifteen percent, or nearly fifty million people) who disconnect themselves from the Internet by choice. How can your company market to these customers?

The Printed Word

Much of the reason that people wall themselves off from the e-world comes down to a preference for physical rather than digital content. Just as some people prefer to hold a paper book than a Kindle, so too do others prefer to use snail mail rather than email in order to gain a sense of connection. Printed mail helps companies to connect with these customers by delivering information or promotions directly to their doorstep. Although Daily Tech reports that 20% of Americans have no Internet access, every American has access to a postal route. Creating a direct mail marketing campaign allows you to ensure that your brand and listed products end up in the customer’s hand, which is more than any email marketing campaign can promise.

Offline Customers

It’s not just the Americans who prefer not to use the Internet who benefit from mailing campaigns. The Seattle Times reports that coupons are the newest hot commodity in the retail game, with consumers going out of their way to track down deals and even watching television shows based on cost cutting. Offering deals by mail puts your marketing in the driver’s seat by giving the customer a sense of positive energy that digital marketing could never achieve. Ask yourself: when was the last time you felt as positive about a pop-up ad as you did a set of coupons by mail?

 

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Quick and Easy Tips to Improve SEO

These days, if you want your website to stand out in the search engine results, you need to implement effective search engine optimization strategies. This includes not only strategic keyword placement and back links, but other proven methods as well. Read on to learn a few quick yet effective tips for boosting your site’s SEO.

Use Title and Meta Tags

If you’re not using title and meta tags in your HTML already, you could be missing out on a lot of search engine exposure. Title or h1 tags should always be keyword-focused, so be sure to brainstorm a list of keywords that your prospective customers or clients would likely be searching for. When writing meta tags, aim for action words and keywords while keeping the message succinct and to the point for the best results.

Blog and Update Regularly

In order to have a fighting chance in the content world these days, you’ll need to have a relevant blog that links back to your site and that provides relevant content. Furthermore, you’ll need to update this content regularly; otherwise, the search engines won’t consider the site to be relevant. If writing isn’t your thing, consider hiring a freelance content writer to crank out some quality content for you.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Signing up as a business on a social media site is free, so why not use your social media page as a way to boost SEO? Make sure to fill out your business profile as extensively as possible and post regularly, encouraging people to leave reviews and testimonials.

Maximizing SEO for your website does take a bit of effort, but it’ll be more than worth it in the end when your website is more easily visible and begins seeing more hits.

 

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Ways to Build Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty: for many companies, it’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Customers who are loyal to a brand can ensure the future of that company for years to come. But where does brand loyalty come from, and how does one develop it?

Give Consumers What They Want

It may sound obvious, but an article in Forbes.com recommends that companies who wish to build brand loyalty start by offering relevant, well-made products. Don’t sacrifice quality for a good bottom line. Customers will return for products that last, work harder, perform better or offer value that just can’t be found elsewhere.

Innovate

The world does not stand still, and neither should your company. It’s not enough to develop a single product or service that customers want. Do more. Make more. Develop more. Companies that offer a stagnant product line will eventually lose the interest of their client base.

Develop a Corporate Identity People Like

People like to buy from companies that have attractive corporate identities. There are two ways to build a favorable corporate persona:

  • Give your brand likability. Whether your company’s identity is based on trustworthiness, respectability, ingenuity or overall quality, your corporate goal should always be focused on building that identity. Smart marketing is one part of this equation, but equally important is living up to the name your company builds for itself.
  • Philanthropy. In this day and age of social awareness, consumers like to buy goods from companies that do the right thing.

Listen to Your Customers

It sounds easier than it is: solicit feedback from your customers, and then listen to what they have to say. If you’ve recently released a product or service that your customers are unhappy with, customer feedback will guide your company down the right path. Take action before you lose customers. If your customers are demanding a new product, make it. This type of behavior strengthens the bond between your company and your customers, makes customers more likely to recommend your products, and gives them incentive to return.

 

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Best Types of Posts for Businesses to Share on Social Media

This is business marketing, not personal chat. That is what you don’t post for marketing and promotion. The function of social media for business purposes lies in nurturing the ability to enter into new relationships relevant to your business. The objective is not specifically to directly push a product or service. It is to expand reach.

As in all relationships that you want to nurture, you provide what they want. Promotion of your brand with social media is about providing content that has value to your audience. They will make the connection and your brand will be enhanced without any direct sales attempt on your part.

But while you do not want to support personal chat, you do want to be social, in as much as you contribute to relevant conversations. The most important factor in the success of this marketing strategy will be in how frequently you interact and post content.

Post benefit-based information that draws the reader to your business website. Information about new features or changes to your product/service is excellent. So are pricing discounts and special offers with promotional codes to be entered on your site.

Provide informative content or link to external content to offer needed information in your industry. That may seem to be a monumental task, but finding such information is no longer all that difficult. As they say, there’s an app for that.

Look to any of the following for help in finding relevant content on the Web. SproutSocial.com, Mention App, and Feedly.com all locate content for specifically targeted subject areas. You can also contract with content professionals to provide content that you specify. Whatever you post, know that the important part of this process is in the establishment of trust and ongoing relationship with your clients. The conversation is of paramount importance, not individual sales. Those sales will follow. You need to focus on developing a community.

 

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How to Increase Customer Engagement Online

These days, running a successful business online is all about setting yourself apart from the competition by engaging your customer base. However, if all you’re doing to reach out to your customers is maintaining a website, you might not be doing enough. Here are some simple yet effective tips for increasing customer engagement online.

Set Up Social Media Pages

According to Convince & Convert, 58% of Americans these days report that they have at least one online profile with a social media website. Therefore, if you don’t have a business page set up for your company on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter, you could be missing out. By setting up a page and updating it regularly with photos, polls, and contests, you’ll better engage your customers and prospective customers while spreading the word about your business in the process.

Offer Special and Exclusive Content

Today’s consumers love receiving special recognition, so if you’re not already offering exclusive content to your customers, you might want to start. For example, consider sending out a special promotional code to customers who have purchased from you in the past few months. Doing so encourages loyalty to your company while rewarding your customers in the process.

Encourage Feedback and Participation

Believe it or not, your customers want to feel like they have a say in your company’s decisions. Therefore, you should start including them in some of the choices you make. For example, if you’re a candle company thinking about offering a new scent, why not ask for your customer’s suggestions or hold a contest where the winner gets to pick the new scent name?

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to better engage your customers online. Be sure to give some or all of these a try; you just might be surprised by the results.

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Compelling Direct Mail Designs

The key to a successful direct mail design will always include a few important elements. Arguably the most important, however, is that the content must be compelling in the first place. If you plug all of the appropriate information into a direct mail design template and send your message off to your mailing list, you won’t stand a chance of making it past a reader’s inbox if you aren’t giving them something worth reading. To help make sure that your direct mail design is as compelling as possible, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind.

Urgency and Call to Action

One of the most important things that you can do when creating a compelling direct mail design is to create a sense of urgency in the copy as a whole. Inform the reader of the problem that they’re currently having that can be solved by the product or service that you’re offering. Entice the reader to want to learn more about how your company can fit into their lives and make it better than it was before.

At the end of the message, you also need to make sure to include a call to action to let your reader know what to do next. This can be as simple as including your phone number so the reader can get in touch, or can even involve adding a link to your website where the reader can find out more information.

Brevity

Another important factor that you’ll want to consider is one of brevity. Keep your sentences as short as possible while still being direct and to the point. Use a lot of white space and embrace bulleted lists with active words, as these are great tools for readers who want to skim your mailing but still need all of the important information.

So long as you make sure to include a few key elements, you’ll have a direct mail design that will improve your responses in a significant way.

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Most Important Pages on your Website

In today’s modern climate, it’s difficult to do business without some type of web presence. Having a website is hugely important, as it allows readers and potential clients to find out more information about the product or service that you’re offering even if someone isn’t physically in your business to greet a walk-in customer or answer the phone for a sales call. Understanding the most important pages on your website, however, will go a long way towards helping you improve your design and get the types of responses that you were expecting all along.

Home Pages

These are some of the most important pages on your website because they are often the first thing that potential customers and clients see when they attempt to make contact. There’s an old saying that goes “you can only make one first impression, so make it a good one.” This is especially true in the world of business-related websites.

Your home page should always include information about the product or service that you’re offering, as well as about your objective. It should be clear and concise and should have an introductory paragraph that allows the reader to first experience what you have to offer in a way that is pleasing to them.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are the parts of your website that you use to convert leads into sales. A lead is someone who arrived at your site from an external destination. While they’re there, you want them to buy whatever product or service that you’re offering. That’s where a landing page comes in.

A landing page should always have a clear call to action and should include some type of offer. A successful landing page will be solely focused on that one thing above all else: the offer in question. It should include headlines, plenty of white space and a large number of action words to entice the reader to make the sale in question.

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Which Social Media Networks Should You Be Focused On?

While Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn seems the surefire way to social media networking success, which one REALLY gives your company the highest success rate for your company’s needs?

The print and mailing industry effectively attracts new customers with social media marketing, a strategy that works hand in hand with printed marketing materials.

Companies are not finding that one method is better than the other in fact, according to a study conducted by Pitney Bowes 76% of small businesses reported “both mediums work effectively together enhancing marketing capabilities and social media presence”.

Benefits of Social Media Networking

Using social media marketing allows a company to connect directly, to the target audience, giving an inside advantage to see who is buying and more importantly how to best reach them.

Another benefit is finding out what customers think of your competitors, who consumers prefer and who they do not. Companies learn a lot from this strategy for example:

  • What consumers are buying and who they are buying from
  • How consumers value your products, along with competitors
  • Value and interest in other products-what makes them different, more appealing
  • Allows companies to plan more effective business strategies

Working Together To Achieve Success

Once a company has this knowledge, using it to effectively attract a target consumer audience becomes easy to reach. By creating a marketing plan tailored to the needs of valued customers, while attracting newbie’s!

While Facebook and Twitter remain the most popular and useful for media marketing, combing the efforts of both social media and print material has proven successful.

If you’re social media site focuses on; a target audience, brand identity and generates calls to action with consumer response, then that is the site to focus on!

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