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If you have already created an Instagram account for your business but are looking for a few ways to use it to your business’ benefit, SLN is here to help! Here are 3 quick tips to get your followers to interact with your content.

Include a Link in Your Bio

Instagram only gives you one opportunity to have a link leading directly to another page, and that is in your bio. Make sure you use this opportunity to post either a link to your business’ website or a link to your business’ Save Local Now Business Profile.

Lighten Up!

Lighter Instagram images get 24% more likes than darker images. Take these sunny summer days as a blessing and go promote your brand! You can even consider having an instagram theme for the summer time and edit your pictures so that they all have a matching hue.

Photo from : https://blog.kissmetrics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/lightness.png

Sharing is Caring

If your followers are tagging you in posts, Share Them! This promotes a “feel-good” atmosphere for your brand and will bring more activity to your profile because of users coming back to check if they have made it on your feed. Not to mention that it is free content you won’t have to work on editing yourself!
With these 3 tips you will build a connection with your users in no time!

August is here and students everywhere dread the feeling, but businesses are preparing for a boost in sales! In 2014 the National Retail Federation conducted a survey and found that the average family will spend about $670 each year on school apparel and supplies (grades k-12). This survey also mentioned that over 17% are planning to seek out small retailers for their back to school shopping! So here are some ideas on how you could promote your business for this back to school season

School ID Discount

Back to school shopping can be frustrating for everyone, but when your consumers see that (instead of going to Wal Mart) they can save some money at your business that takes some stress of their shoulders! To promote an idea like this, log onto your Save Local Now account and create a deal saying something like : For the first week of August anyone that brings in their student ID gets 5% or 10% off their purchase.

Sharing is Caring     

Social media is the way to go if you are promoting your Back to School supplies.

Over one-third of smartphone users that took the survey said they would be using their mobile devices to research products. Creating a mobile-friendly promotion on Save Local Now will allow you to show consumers what you have in store, and the best part is that as soon as you create your post you can share it to your facebook and twitter accounts right away!

A Personal Update

Gathering information on you customers is always important, lots of retail stores ask their customers for an email address at the register. If you have this kind of info gathered up group the members you believe would benefit from you back to school deal or promotion and make an email list. Once you have a list created you can send a marketing email through Save Local Now sharing your deal or promotion directly with your customers!

 

Stats from : http://tinyurl.com/oe4nz6h

Keeping track of who is interacting with your social media helps you build a better understanding of what content you need to push out. Facebook Insights stores a lot of data to help you take control of your page and fan base. With all the data Facebook Insights stores, it may seem overwhelming so here are the key points you will should keep up with.

  • Fan Growth

Recording the users that like your page on a either a weekly or monthly basis. After  getting an understanding of your average fan growth rate, set a goal of how many new fans you would want on a monthly basis and then you can plan your content creation accordingly!

access facebook insights

  • Demographics

 

Facebook provides you with the age, gender, and location of your fans. Once you know what the characteristics of your general fan base are you can concentrate specifically on what content you believe that group would enjoy and tailor your posts to them.

facebook insights people tab

Visits Tab
The visits tab shows you the areas of your facebook that most of your fan base crowds to.If you would like to dive a little deeper you can also see specific actions taken, like others that post on your page, check-ins and mentions. Knowing where on your page people spend the most time will give you an idea of what content to create.  

facebook insights visits tab

If you keep track of these three points you should feel confident in knowing which content to push out and when.

 

Graphs from http://tinyurl.com/jfcwj7b

Summer is an amazing time to offer amazing deals to engage new and returning customers. Here are a few samples for every type of business!

Food and Drink:

Title: Fourth of July Catering Specials!

Description: 4th of July celebrations often involve family, food, grills, and fireworks. Whether you’re looking to bring people together at your office or set-up a picnic with family and friends, we can help you put together some delicious options.

How we may be able to help:

  • Putting together a celebration at your office (or an offsite venue) with some specialty cocktails and fun fourth of July inspired food
  • Sending sides (or the full menu) for a bbq with family and friends. We can add staff if you need some help
  • Letting you pick up a few sides or picnic related food for a smaller at-home event

Shopping:

Title: Christmas in July Sale!

Description: Save BIG this summer with our Christmas in July Sale! Up to 50% off of select items both in store and online!

Beauty and Spa:

Title: Take a Mental Vacation and Relax with Us

Description: Treat yourself this summer with a relaxing day of to our spa! Services include skin care services, massage services, body treatments, hand and feet treatments, aqua detox, organic waxing bar, and many more!

Automotive:

Title: Summer Detailing Discount

Description: Your kids washed the outside, let us help you clean the inside with an interior and exterior detailing for only $30! Package includes: undercar clean with undercoat, trim protectant, tire shine, wheel brite, mat cleaning, door/steering wheel/seat wipe down, and fresh scent.

Travel:

Title: Book a Romantic Summer Getaway to our Local Winery

Description: It’s not too late to plan your summer getaway! Surprise your special someone with a romantic Wine Country Getaway! Relax in a room or suite of your choice, and receive a complimentary bottle of wine or grape juice and luscious local truffles. This package also entitles you to a private tasting at one of our local wineries.

Activities:

Title: School’s Out! Bring in your Report Card for a Free Game of Bowling

Description: Is you report card something to be proud of? Reward yourself with a free game of bowling on us! If you earned an “A” (or the equivalent) on your final 2015-2016 report card, bring it into our location to redeem your free game!

Health & Fitness

Title: Get Your Beach Body This Summer! Free Invitation Fee!

Description: Now is the time to get that beach body you always dreamed of! Join our gym this summer and get the invitation fee waived!

Home:

Title: AC Broken? No Problem! Here are some quick tips to stay cool while you wait for it to be repaired!

Description: Follow these quick tips to stay cool while you wait for your AC to be fixed!

  • Use satin sheets/pillow cases
  • Drink lots of water
  • Set fans to counter-clockwise
  • Wear a water-soaked bandana
  • Close your blinds
  • Avoid hot showers and steam

Service:

Title: Your Summer Just Got a Little Easier: We Now offer Pool Maintenance!

Description: With our new, affordable pool maintenance service, your summer just got a lot easier! Check out our deals and packages for all your lawn, yard, and pool care needs!
Have any other ideas! Share them with us in the comments below!

Summer is the time for family, friends, fun, and community. Many local communities organize concerts, festivals, fairs, and other events to celebrate the warm weather. These are the perfect opportunity for small business owners to gain exposure and meet locals and other event goers.

Here are some tips on how to get started marketing your small business at local events:

Do Your Research

Your first step is to research what events are occurring in your local community (and the nearby communities) in the upcoming months. Some examples of events you should look out for are festivals, art walks, farmers markets, and flea markets.

Prior to choosing an event to attend, make sure to know your target audience. While researching local events, research what type of customers it brings in. Choose an event/events that are a good match!

When you have an event in mind, contact the organizers to get the details and see what opportunities exist. This could range from sponsoring the event, having an information booth, or actually selling your products. Be sure to ask about all of the costs and requirements involved.

Prepare Yourself and Stand Out

Decide what your goal is at the event. Are you planning on selling products? Make sure you have enough stock and that there are several ways to accept payment. Generating leads? Make sure you have enough literature to hand out and you have an easy way to collect information.

Make sure you have several energetic, well-trained staff members to work the event. Your business’s presence shows that you and your staff are actively engaging with the audience. These details can make or break effectiveness and help you to stand out.

Assess Your Results

Like any marketing effort, you need to track results to see if the event was worthwhile. Set goals for how much you want to sell, how many prospects you want to talk to or how many leads you want to capture. Track them and assess your results afterward. Fine-tune your approach depending on what you learned.

Make Sure to Have Fun

Above all enjoy yourself. Customers are more likely to approach people who look like they enjoy what they are doing. Whether your booth is successful or not, it’s a great way to connect with your local community and build a great reputation for your business.

At the most basic level, buying local ensures that more money stays in our community. In fact, for every $100 spent at a locally-owned store, $45 remains in the local economy. The Chamber of Commerce encourages all residents to shop small and support our locally owned businesses! Shopping locally provides you with the opportunity to discover something different; it’s unlikely that you’ll find the same thing at a local store as you would the mall. Save Local Now, the Chamber’s “Buy Local” program, highlights and promotes Chamber members and the deals and promotions they create. Locals and tourists alike can download the FREE Save Local Now app to access deals, events and accurate business information. Saving money and buying local has never been easier!

Save Local Now was built by a Chamber exec specifically for Chamber members (especially small to medium sized businesses). Many of us are confused by digital and social media marketing. Without spending a fortune, how are we supposed to compete with larger companies with a much larger marketing budget? Email marketing costs money. Search engine optimization costs money. Social media management costs money.

While these components of digital marketing cost money, they are also essential for survival in the online market place.

That’s why Chambers of Commerce choose to partner with Save Local Now; to bring FREE digital marketing tools to their Chamber members.

With Save Local Now every member has access to their very own digital marketing platform. This platform lets members publish business promotions like: “BOGO for First Time Customers!” – “We’re open late on Wednesday’s” or “Check out our new product now sold in store!”

The SLN platform allows members to 1-click share those business promotions to their own social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

With the SLN digital platform members are also able to share those business promotions through SLN’s free email marketing. SLN reminds us that SOCIAL MEDIA IS TO REACH MORE CUSTOMERS, EMAIL MARKETING IS TO GENERATE REVENUE.

Lastly, SLN provides FREE search engine optimization to each and every member’s profile. SLN will help place your members higher and higher on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, allowing local consumers to find their products and services more quickly and efficiently.

Note for members: Regardless of if you have a small business or big business, there is benefit here. Online marketing for your business that you can do quickly, easily and completely free of charge.

Holiday gifts hold more meaning and value when you shop local and support small businesses. Every dollar you spend at a local spot filters back into the community by creating jobs, boosting the area’s economy and supporting the region’s talent.

Where we spend our money matters to the community, and there are so many ways to buy local. Grab a coffee at the independent café. Stop for a sandwich at the corner deli. Peruse local boutiques for something to wear to a holiday party. Find interesting gifts at shops run by people who live in the community. Dine out at a neighborhood restaurant.

Small businesses are a thriving, growing sector in our economy. They improve our neighborhoods and change our lives for the better. Here are seven reasons to shop local this holiday season.

Feed the local economy. When you shop local, the dollars spent at small businesses filter directly back into the community. The food, drinks, supplies, clothing, gifts and more you buy are taxed—and that tax income is confined to the area. Tax dollars support improvements in infrastructure, schools, parks, safety and more. So that gift you buy at your local shop is one powerful way to make important positive changes in your neighborhood. And every dollar counts.

Support our ‘makers.’ Entrepreneurs have a dream, and you’re supporting it by shopping at their places of business. The creative seamstress who opened a clothing shop—the home baker who went out on a limb and started a patisserie: These brave, hard-working individuals are making their dreams reality. Let’s patronize their businesses so they can thrive. Shop local, support our makers and their dreams. (After all, they’re supporting our communities.)

Find unique gifts for hard-to-shop-for relatives. You never know what to buy for your uncle. Your sister’s closet is already full of clothes you see at typical retailers. Let’s face it, some relatives are very difficult to shop for. Small businesses offer items you won’t find in the Big Boxes or run-of-the-mill national retailers. Some shops feature hand-crafted items or one-of-a-kinds. Isn’t it fun when you find a special gift that elicits an enthusiastic “Where did you get that?!” Explore area shops and wrap up something different this year.

Local shops create local jobs. Local businesses hire area talent. They need staff to keep their doors open. They need workers with an array of skills. Small business owners hire people from our own neighborhoods, people like us. When we keep local shops in business, we secure local jobs, which means improving the regional economy and boosting the community’s tax base. The goodness goes round and round.

Boost real estate values. You know that abandoned storefront? Remember that tired, old building? When local shops take up residence in our neighborhoods, they not only improve infrastructure by creating unique, interesting places to visit—they attract the visitors. More people shop, spend, enjoy and return for more fun. Everyone in the community benefits when local shops are successful.

Support local causes. Small businesses are tireless community champions. They sponsor our Little League teams and support school fundraisers. They volunteer time and talent to community causes. They pay taxes that improve the schools and local services. Our small businesses are true friends and thoughtful citizens, and they’re constantly giving back to our cities. By patronizing their shops, we help them continue to thrive so they can continue being good stewards.

Get to know the locals. Shopping is more personal when you get to know the owner. By frequenting local businesses, we build relationships with interesting people who are serving our communities by providing places to eat, drink, dine, shop and buy goods of all kinds.

 

Original article here.

Constantly clamoring to grab the attention of prospective customers, small businesses are competing with a lot of noise. Consumers are cutting through clutter by fast-forwarding television shows, subscribing to ad-free digital radio, installing ad-blockers to browse their favorite websites sans-ads and customizing what’s in their social media feeds.

To avoid getting skipped over or ignored, savvy digital marketers must craft messages that their target audience wants to see. When small businesses communicate with their customers by providing information instead of offering a sales pitch, the consumer will listen. The message and the brand is no longer an interruption, but a valued information provider.

There’s a name for this tricky tactic — it’s called content marketing. Content marketing means consistently creating and distributing information that is valuable and relevant to those people within a small business’s target audience. Ultimately, the goal is for your content to entice a consumer to do business with your company.

You might be thinking, “That’s not what I do — I’m not a writer!” But whether you sell gizmos, fix cars or build homes, content marketing for your company can help you attract and retain customers.

Here are some of the ways content marketing drives results for small businesses.

1. Boosts brand awareness.

Consistency is a key ingredient to a successful content marketing strategy. This means publishing fresh content at a regular frequency, creating many opportunities for a target market to see the company’s name. Your brand becomes familiar to them, and you’ll be top-of-mind the next time they need your services.

2. Builds an identity as a trusted expert.

If there are 10 plumbers in a town but only one provides helpful information that educates the community about plumbing maintenance, problems, options and innovations, that brand will stand out as the expert. By doing this, a brand is demonstrating its expertise, so prospective customers need not question or research its know-how. Since this small business is helping consumers without getting paid for this advice, it will also earn a reputation of being trustworthy.

3. Encourages your customer to take action.

When consumers need to spend money or make time for a service, it’s natural to procrastinate. However, once a consumer gets clear answers to his or her questions, or hears a story that he or she can relate to, that person could finally be motivated to make a purchase or schedule an appointment. Producing content that guides a consumer through the buyer’s journey (awareness, evaluation and purchase) results in more sales.

4. Sharable content brings people in the door.

Creating a steady stream of fresh information on a variety of topics opens several avenues to drive traffic to a website — through search, social media, traditional media and more — which ultimately results in phone calls, orders or foot traffic. Marketing tactics that are already in place, such as pay-per-click advertising, digital banner ads, public relations efforts, social media accounts and search engine optimization don’t work as well without content to promote.

These vehicles need something to talk about and link to. Publishing new, relevant content gives people a reason to click. Covering unique, timely and seasonal topics will interest a broader audience and encourage repeat visitors. It also boosts ranking in search results, making it more likely that potential customers will find your small business before one of your competitors.

5. Keeps your website fresh.

Most consumers today rely on the web to find information they need to make decisions. So, a website often will be a consumer’s first impression of that business. A stagnant, stale website is less interesting and less professional than one with updated content that changes regularly. Undecided consumers who are researching their options might check out a website and social media presence more than once. When they come back, seeing something new and relevant makes their visit a better experience — and shows that the brand is a professional organization.

 

Original article can be found here.

The holiday season will be here before you know it, and now is the perfect time to map out your digital-marketing campaigns in order to drive the most revenue for your business.

Waiting too long puts you at a severe disadvantage — you need to be ready to capitalize on the increased traffic and the mindset of consumers during this period. They will be ready and willing to click that buy-now button, so run through this quick six-step checklist to make sure your online business is ready for the fast-approaching holiday season.

REMEMBER: Save Local Now is a completely free member benefit. Included in your digital platform: content publishing, email marketing, search engine optimization, and social media sharing.

1. Analyze previous holiday-season data.

This is something so simple, yet many businesses completely ignore the gold mine of data they have available to them. Where did the majority of your holiday traffic that lead to conversions come from last year? Was it email marketing, social media, paid search or organic traffic?

2. Build out holiday-specific landing pages.

You will want to have several landing pages to split test, so rather than scrambling to get them done at the last minute, build them out now. This allows you to start your holiday marketing with a large group to pull data from.

The sooner you are able to clip the poorly performing pages and identify your highest converting landing pages, the sooner you can push the majority of your traffic to the best performing landing pages. You want to make sure you have identified your best performers before the peak of holiday season.

3. Set up your holiday email-marketing campaigns.

There is a good chance that your holiday email offers and funnels will be slightly different than your traditional email campaigns. For example, your traditional conversion funnel might reach the consumer every 10 days with an offer, but during the holiday season you will want to be a little more aggressive. Consumers are in the buying mood — if you wait too long you might lose those potential customers to a competitor that reached them sooner.

4. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

It’s been said a million times — you need a mobile-friendly website. While running your site through Google’s mobile-friendly test is a good start, you need to also test your user experience with real visitors.

Ask friends, family, employees and complete strangers to access your website via their mobile devices and have them navigate your pages, access your offers, submit your forms and attempt to contact your business. You need honest feedback — if something sucks they need to tell you. Holiday visitors are in the buying mindset, so you need to make sure they don’t get frustrated or annoyed while on your website.

5. Map out your holiday content marketing.

It’s never too early to start planning your holiday content. Start chipping away at it now and you can have all of your blog posts scheduled ahead of time.

You will also want to consider increasing your posting frequency during the holiday season. This should be something that you start discussing early with whomever is handling your SEO. You will often want to create your content around holiday specific keywords.

6. Schedule your holiday season social-media posts.

If you aren’t using an automated social-media tool, now is the time to look into it. I use Hootsuite — it costs me less than $120 a year and allows me to schedule posts far in advance. You never want to automate all social media, but it’s nice to know that you always have posts scheduled that can spark interaction and drive website traffic.

Holiday-specific images, hashtags and messages are key — your approach will be a bit different during the holiday season. During peak holiday season, don’t be afraid to throw some direct offers out there — people will be searching for deals and using the correct hashtags and keywords can help attract purchase-ready consumers.

Original Article: http://entm.ag/1NB1ifs