Marketing your business, especially if it is a small business can be tough. You don’t have the big box store budgets, you probably have competition down the street and you are limited with resources. So how do you do it? Here are some tips I found that do work and if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to us here at FDMC Digital Media.
Use video as a major part of content strategy
Visuals are everything. There’s a reason YouTube sees more traffic than Facebook. By next year, video content is expected to be at or over 80% of all consumer-based internet traffic. Perhaps see this himself , Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook has said that within five years, his social platform will be mostly video as well.
An online ad campaign, at this point, is synonymous with the integration of some sort of video. And with the accessibility of HD cameras and editing software, there’s no excuse for why your brand shouldn’t be making great video content. If you are not comfortable with video always look to a professional to get your brand out.
Personalizing email marketing campaigns
Only a small amount of business owners have recognized the importance of email marketing. The benefits of email marketing for companies with limited time and money are untold. Unlike other digital marketing products that can cost more, it is neither costly nor time-consuming.
In fact, it’s one of the cheapest campaigns you can launch and requires only a bit of writing ability and a strong list of contacts. You’re able to connect directly with your consumers or clients with a click of a button and collect important marketing metrics, like open and conversion rates. Contrary to popular belief, email is by far, not “dead” or “old skool”. It still works.
One of the most sought-after traits in the millennial generation is authenticity. There’s no better way to create an authentic brand than by leveraging your consumer’s willingness to collaborate with you.
With the incredible power of social media, your customers can communicate your brand for you and foster its growth. Engagement with social followers or those who will share or become a user or your brand can be a gold mine for your business.
Reach out to well-known bloggers, contact podcasters that may be interested in your product or service and encourage a conversation about your company.
Use free analytic tools for business marketing data
While many business decisions are powered by intuition, marketing decisions should be motivated by data. Google Analytics, for example, which gives you advanced metrics about your site, such as bounce rates and the number of unique users visiting your site, is available to you at no cost whatsoever to you. Other free tools such as Keyhole, provide you with the numbers you need to assess your social media marketing campaigns on Twitter and Instagram.
These are just a few examples; there is a cornucopia of free resources waiting to be properly utilized by your marketing team.
Your brand, your voice
Making a brand more personal doesn’t necessarily require data mining or expensive billboard campaigns. It’s as simple as creating a brand voice that sounds natural and in-tune with your target audience; a brand that facilely engages with its consumers on a multitude of platforms and produces spot-on hashtags and curates amazing posts.
Digital marketing is never easy. Especially when you’ve got a small team and lack a six-figure marketing budget. Continue to research and re-fine your marketing strategy to fit your audience and customers. Some campaigns will be great and others will fail but always listen and know what the current trends are.
Tags: #digital media, #branding, #marketing, #small business, #digital marketing #advertising
Every time one goes to a trade show, a chamber networking event which allows your business to buy a table for marketing, you are faced with what to bring for promoting your business. In other words, collateral material. So What works and what does not work?
The Printed Word
Even if you are not physically out and about, how do you maintain your branding presence? Looking around and what we do and physically have, here are some tips to share with you. A large portion of your marketing materials will be copy-based. And it makes sense: The average company that’s versed in content marketing increases their online visibility with prospects primarily through text. Here are the assets you’ll likely be working with and how you can use them as recurring collateral:
Blogs are the front doors to your website. They’re perfect for owning keywords in organic search, sharing on social media and curating into newsletters. So, with just one individual blog post, you can publish it on your domain, on third-party websites, via email and social, cut up into shorter micro assets and refer prospects to them via a quick hyperlink. One asset, multiple avenues for ROI. Thank you, trusty blog.
2. Case studies
I am not a big fan of case studies but there are many out there who like to read them and it brings validity to your field of business and expertise. Consider it a rubber stamp of your product or services. The drawback of this as a reading supplement is that many case studies are long and boring.
3. White papers
White papers allow your technical expertise to shine. Put them behind form fills on your site, distribute them via email and use them to collect leads. Again, like Case Studies, White papers are cool to have available on line but to bring them to a fast paced trade show or marketing event, nobody is really going to read them there and very few pick them up.
4. Landing pages
Your core landing pages are the front line of your online presence. You need that strong foundation first before you can do much else that’s measurable. Product, services, contact and About Us pages are must-haves, and they give you a vehicle through which to talk about your company, your brand and your capabilities as they relate to customers. Landing Pages also allow you to present your CTAs.
5. Employee bios
This one may not be top of my list for various reasons but employee bios provide a level of assurance that customers are working with a reputable, talented staff. The disadvantage of this is company turnover (which none of us like but it is a reality) and the upkeep of adding or deleting bios.
Infographics perform amazingly well through virtually every distribution channel because humans process information visually. By using icons, illustrations, characters, graphical narratives and design cues, you can convey even the most complex ideas. You can also print out infographics and bring them to your next trade show.
The more beautiful cousin of white papers, eBooks scale back the text a tad in favor of more color, branding and illustrations. Gate them on their own landing pages and capture leads left and right. Saved as PDFs, you can circulate them via email.
Calls to action are a necessity. Embed them in newsletters, blog posts, landing pages and more. Your marketing communications must provide next steps for readers/viewers to take, and CTAs are just that conduit.
10. Social media posts
Social media is a visual artform. This is your chance to use feature images with text overlays, .gifs, punny memes and brand-conscious designs in addition to your snappy headlines and captions. The point is to generate comments, likes and shares, so they’re effectiveness is easily measurable.
11. Product/sales sheets
One-pagers are useful in both physical and digital marketing realms, so they should definitely be part of your collateral playbook.
12. Partnership logos
Your logo is important, but sometimes the logos of your business partners and affiliates are even more important to those becoming aware of your brand for the first time. You don’t need to do any design work yourself; just ask your partners for a hi-res .jpeg of their logos and you can stick them on your marketing collateral to really add authority and emphasis to your messaging.
13. Email newsletters
Newsletters are your digital magazines, the way you stay in contact with email subscribers. Include graphical components like images, CTAs and border formatting along with a few clickable hyperlinks to your blogs or gated assets.
Whether physical or digital, a brochure still holds weight as both marketing and sales collateral. They’re easily distributed and can be circulated for an endless number of purposes.
15. Business cards
Similar to the employee bio, a business card confers a level of sophistication, assurance and credibility that is often understated. Ever have someone ask for your business card and you don’t have one? I have and it’s downright embarrassing and potentially perceived as unprofessional.
16. Email signatures
Adding contact info, CTAs, links to newsletters and other collateral to email signatures is an easy way to promote your brand with every email you send.
Video makes up 80 percent of all web traffic. We’re inundated with video on our laptops, our smartphones, our flat screen TVs; you better believe it has applications as collateral.
17. Video blogs
Using an on-screen presenter, a short 60-second script and a rotating carousel of images, video blogs are digestible in a way that longer-form blogs are not. You can also create them very quickly and publish on a number of channels like your website, YouTube, Vimeo and social media.
18. Video testimonials
Essentially Case Studies 2.0, video testimonials put your satisfied customers in front of the camera, empowering them to talk up your brand, rave about your excellence and recommend others to your business. That’s collateral that is as closely tied to potential ROI as there comes.
19. Web demos
You can think of a web demo as a more appealing stand-in for a sales rep. By demonstrating a product, explaining a service or detailing an intricate process, you let viewers see how your product or service works for them. Using video n this fashion is very popular.
Webinars are seemingly everywhere these days. By soliciting signups from webinar viewers, you gather leads. You can also email the recording after the fact so that you stay in contact with those who may have missed the original viewing. The said thing about these are in our fast-paced world, webinars are losing steam. I am even guilty of this as with our busy schedules, who has time to sit and watch these?
Flyers, promotional products and various trade-show giveaways like branded swag still play a role in your comprehensive brand image. People love swag. Freebee hand-outs is one reason people love to come to trade-shows or visit your networking table.
Collateral is collateral no matter how it is published or made. It is your mouth piece of your business. Make sure you always have enough on hand as you meet potential customers everywhere be it on line or in person.
Tags: #marketing material, #branding, #business, #marketig collateral, #advertising
Recently, in my daily scouring of social platform tips and news I found a great article on Social Profiles. We often do not think too much of our business banners or our profile graphic other than we need to slap something up there and typically, it is our logo in one form or another. When people visit your social media profiles, one of the first things they’re going to see is your cover image.
Given this, it’s important to use that valuable space on the top of your profile to make a meaningful statement that your audience will remember. On mine, I decided to use video (at least on the Facebook platform) to convey what my business does.
Yet, despite this, many businesses make the mistake of using a generic image, a low-quality picture, or a larger version of their profile picture.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words," and on social media, where attention spans are low, you should always be making the most of opportunities in this regard. Your cover image is the perfect place to do just that.
Your Profile Cover Image Reflects Your Business
Your cover banner or image is what your visitors typically first see and with that if they decide they want to stick around. Given this, you should use your cover photo to show some personality, and give visitors an idea of what to expect from your brand and social feed.
This is why it’s so important to use a custom image that reflects your brand - no one's going to stop or remember you for a stock photo or something generic that is bland.
Take the time to create something that'll make people want to keep scrolling and stay with your content for a while. You can also use it to have some fun - unlike your profile picture, you should consider switching up your cover photo from time to time to create interest and possibly engagement with your victors
Profiles Can Be Used For A Call To Action
Because of its position on the top page, your cover image can be a great place to plant a CTA.
Remember, it doesn’t need to contain a blatant pitch to sign up for a newsletter or make a purchase for it to be effective - get creative and use it to inspire curiosity and prompt action.
Prime Promotional Space
I only mention this for retail type businesses. For those of you offering services either professional or industrial, this may not work for you. For retail though,your cover image is also a great place to promote new products and services.
Regular posts can easily get buried in your stream along with all of your other content, but the cover image remains at the top, taking up prominent space. So you should definitely use that as an opportunity to let people know about products, offers, or any events you might have coming up.
While you probably don’t want your cover image to always be a promo, using it when you have something special to announce will catch your audience’s eye.
A simple image can say a lot about your brand, and make an impression on page visitors. Take the time to really think about how to use your profile space. Typically, it is the first-place visitors look and if it does not catch their eye, it probably will be the last place they look as well.
Tags: #business, #branding ,#profiles, #marketing
So Instagram is becoming more and more popular. We in the biz all see this. However, many businesses who are trying to push their brand are still very unfamiliar with what Instagram can do for them and even when they are on it they do not understand why nobody is engaging them or why they can’t build an audience. Here are some tips I found to hopefully help you. Keep in mind, Instagram is no longer a “teen” app for selfies. It has become a very powerful tool for using still and video images.
1. You're not engaging with your audience
If you don't respond to comments, your followers simply aren't going to keep bothering to interact with you - it is called 'social' media after all. While the main focus of Instagram is to show-off your visual story, it is still a social network. If you’re devoting all your time and energy into just posting, you’re not doing much to keep your audience from unfollowing you.
How To Make It Work:
Plain and simple - start responding to people in your posts. By engaging with people via your own content, you send a message to you, and to Instagram's algorithm, that you're active and open to discussion, and that your comment is engaging in itself. You should seek to trigger a conversation - don’t just make vague and random comments like “Got it” or “I understand”, provide insightful comments and extend the topic.
2. You are not consistent
Posting more frequently generally results in more engagement and followers. It obviously takes more time, but it's worth creating more content, and scheduling it out for consistency. Some Instagram accounts that have plateaued in their growth believe that they have the privilege of posting less and still seeing the same engagement and followers. That’s flawed logic - as you reach a certain number of followers, especially in the 5-digit to 6-digit mark, you’ll need to invest even more in your content to maintain it, let alone expand it. Consistency is the key.
How To Make It Work:
Plan and create a posting schedule. By devoting time to creating a content calendar, you can better strategize what you’ll post, when you’ll post it and what your feed will look like. You should also ensure that your content has a single unified visual theme, sticking to relevant subjects and topics. That doesn’t mean that you stop being exciting - it’s okay to surprise your viewers once in a while to keep things fresh. Just don’t go overboard.
3. You don't interact with other accounts
If you want to get your name out there, you need to reach out to other Instagram accounts in your niche. This can facilitate collaborations, and enable you to build business relationships. Stop living in a bubble - the best way to grow your account is to grow the relationships you have with others.
How To Make It Work:
Connect and build bonds with other influencers and accounts, and make a conscious effort to expand your network. The more people you’re connected with, the more likely you’ll expose your content to new groups of people that never heard of you before.
4. You don't use stories and maximize Instagram’s features
Photos are awesome, but if you don’t maximize Stories, videos and Instagram's other features, you're missing out on a heap of opportunities. Expanding your content to other elements will make your profile more compelling, and boost your brand exposure in new ways.
How To Make It Work:
Post stories with hashtags and location markers to boost discovery potential. Similarly, you can use Instagram Live to share live events and updates.
5. Your content is boring
Take time to think outside the box. Mix your posts up with sincerity, funny, business news, and everyday life. People like variety not blah, blah, blah…
How To Make It Work:
Always add value. A simple selfie with no caption doesn't do the trick. Tell us your story. Also, not everything is meant to be posted on your Instagram account. Think about quality all the time, and ensure that you put a little extra into everything you post.
6. You’re not being you
Being real and authentic is important on any kind of social media platform, but this is especially true on Instagram. People want to follow real people - its why influencers are so popular on the platform, why the Kardashians remain relevant. They open themselves up and make us feel that we are within their reach.
How To Make It Work:
Keep it real. Assess what you post, and the tone of your captions. Avoid making your photos too processed and overtly edited. Also, ensure that your captions always represent your voice. They shouldn’t be too bland or robotic or sound like a sales presentation. Always strive to be real and you’ll help to ensure that your followers will believe and trust you. One of the best ways to do this is through behind-the-scenes content or even post content that is spontaneous.
7. You over-promote
This is reason why ad blockers exist - as consumers, we tend to block or tune out marketing content. We avoid it like a virus. If you sell too much, your audiences will simply stop consuming what you post.
How To Make It Work:
It’s not bad that you use Instagram as a way for you to sell or market - this is, after all, the reason advertisers are on the platform in the first place. But you need to make it subtle. Be less promotional and make the content more organic in your feed. Don’t just go out and flat-out ask people to buy your products. Add some substance that will resonate with your audience.
Tags: #instagram #social media #marketing #apps #branding #small business