Tag Archive : strategy

It’s no secret that Millennials are different from their predecessors. We are known for our lazy, entitled attitudes (but also for our passion, risk-taking, and open-mindedness!). With over 80 million Millennials in the U.S., we are the largest generation in Western History, according to a study conducted by Initiative in the United Kingdom. Regardless of your opinion on our unique generation, it’s ever important as a business owner to understand Millennials, and even more essential to understand how to market to them. Here are four marketing strategies that will attract Millennials to your business in no time:

1. Keep Things Authentic
Millennials respond well to authentic content. We spend hours upon hours online each week, and even more on social media. Content is important to us, and so is originality. So next time you create content, keep your brand identity in mind. Also, keep in mind that Millennials will respond best to a casual, colloquial tone.

2. Stay Away From Traditional Advertising
Most Millennials are drawn to the influence of peers or other individuals they see as influential. We are more likely to react well to word-of-mouth marketing than to an ad in the paper, for example. The best thing you can do is make sure people are saying good things about your business- keep your reputation in great condition! In addition, make sure to run updated social media accounts to catch the eye of Millennials.

3. Create Great Content
Millennials tend to be very visual people, since we grew up staring at screens all day. We know what good content looks like, and we are not ashamed to favor businesses or brands with better content. Anything from emails, to Instagram accounts would be a great place to display solid content for your business. Luckily, SLN makes this easy and

4. Do Something New
Instead of hosting the same sales, events, and products year after year- try experimenting with something new. Millennials are interested in trying new things, and taking risks. If you try new things and take risks, chances are, they will support it.

If you want to impress your Millennial customers, try applying these four strategies. After a little practice, you’ll be a pro!

sharkOften times the business world can mimic some of what we see in the natural world. With National Geographic’s ever-so-popular Shark Week coming to an end, we thought to connect marketers to the most powerful fish in the open sea.

1. Intuition

A shark has 6 senses. This means they are constantly aware of their surroundings. One of the best things a marketer can do is be aware of what is going on around them (both with their business and with their client base). What’s trending? What are people searching for? What part of your business is being utilized the least? Put your sensors out there and feel around in order to develop a plan of attack. The Aberdeen Group tells us that 79% of leading marketers use analytics to track how specific pieces of content preform, which, over time, allows marketers to know exactly what will work and what won’t in advance. Use your impressions page in Save Local Now to stay on top of your campaigns and see what is working best for your company!

2. Tough skin

A shark’s skin is made of something called “denticles,” meaning that the outer layer of their skin is literally made of tiny little teeth. This makes for a pretty impenetrable outer layer. One of the best things a marketer can do is be prepared for trial and error. Take the bad feedback along with the good and learn how to make changes as needed in order to keep swimming.

3. Adaptability

There are over 470 different species of shark; with each species, you will find a wide range of specialized skill that helps them survive in their environment. Businesses should also learn how to adapt and how to change their message, even sometimes their product, in order to meet the customer at their level. Maybe you had a certain idea for how you were going to brand yourself but it doesn’t seem to be working. Take a look around the market and see what other successful businesses in your industry are doing. Then come up with your own plan to blow them out of the water!

4. A mutually beneficial relationship

Sharks have a mutually beneficial relationship with fish called remoras that often swim with, or directly attach themselves, to many species of sharks. Both species benefit from this relationship as remoras get transportation and a free meal and sharks get a good cleaning! When you think of marketing, you should always try to think of it as married to sales. Your sales team needs a marketing plan that works for them, while marketing needs feedback from sales in order to grow and develop accurately.

So next time you think of how to best market your business, remember to think like a shark!

While I would love to take full credit for this article, alas, this article was inspired by this one.

steps to success

Would you like to know how to get that competitive edge and take digital media two, three, even four steps ahead of just simply using social media? Of course you do! It would be silly not to, so sit back, relax and learn your way to the top of this crazy digital world of ours.

Okay, so you have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a website. Do you think that is enough to separate you from the millions of other small businesses? (Psst….probably not). However, the fact that you are reading this blog tells me that you are ready to take things to the next level.

So let’s cut to the chase and jump right into the four steps that will create this much needed separation.

 STEP 1: STRATEGIZE TO RISE ABOVE THE OTHER GUYS:   chess strategy

 Ask yourself the who, what, when, where, why and how.

  • Who are you trying to appeal to? (Target Market)
  • In what ways can you effectively appeal to the right clientele?
  • Where are the right places to post your content?
  • When does your customer base most frequently use social media?
  • You are on social media platforms, but why?
  • How can you creatively use social media to engage with your customers?

These are the sort of questions you need to ask yourself. It is not enough to simply be on social media, you must have a strategic plan in place to achieve the results that you want.

Whatever you do, don’t be this guy!

don't be this guySTEP 2: UNDERSTAND THAT SOCIAL MEDIA IS ONLY ONE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE:

Be proud that you have a great Facebook page, Twitter account, Google plus, Instagram, etc. However, to be a big hitter in the game of business and the digital world you must establish something beyond that of social media. Jump on the email marketing boat (Helpful Hints for Email Marketing), become a blogger, create powerful networks with LinkedIn, stick your business logo/icon wherever you go, literally…..be everywhere. Make your name unforgettable!  In fact, “companies that blog 15% or more times per month get 5x more traffic than companies that don’t blog” (30 Digital Marketing Statistics You Can’t Afford To Ignore). Whether it be social media, email, or blogging, those without this online presence are at an obvious disadvantage. Bypassing digital marketing is like saying, “I’m not really looking for more customers.”

analyticsSTEP 3: ANALYTICS IS KEY TO TRACKING SUCCESS

Whenever someone asks me what analytics is or why it is so imperative for businesses to utilize its greatness, I always respond with this analogy: “when you throw spaghetti and meatballs at a wall some of it may stick and some of it may fall miserably to the floor.” Meaning that some things that you post (whether it be deals, events, etc.) get noticed while some may not. Without the analytics, how will you ever know if that 2-for-1 deal you have going on is getting the recognition you’ve hoped? When push comes to shove, analytics will save you time and money!

For a more in-depth look we recently dedicated a post that deals with everything you need to know about analytics and its significance to the business world. Check out the Top Three Reasons you Need Analytics (I am looking at you, small businesses owner).

STEP 4: PIECING IT ALL TOGETHERpiecing it together

You are so close! You have established a presence all over the web; social media, email, blog, LinkedIn and you now have the analytics to track its success. You are not finished just yet, so don’t quit on me!

When it comes to digital marketing the most important thing to remember is to link the pieces of the puzzle together:

  • Post everywhere because “distributing your content across multiple social media platforms and utilizing multiple touch points is vital to building brand awareness and connecting with your audience in ways that seem natural to the people you want to reach.” A Social Media Strategy on Multiple Platforms
  • To effectively engage with your customer base you need to create the perfect posts.
  • Make sure your social media pages are appealing, here’s 5 things you need in order to do that.

Some of the more popular ways that businesses try to establish an online presence is through the use of Constant Contact and Groupon, which are both a good place to start. While they all can help you achieve a pretty decent online presence in their own specified way, it will make your wallets bleed. But if you are looking for a digital marketing platform that can do it all in one attractive and easy to use place then check out Save Local Now……oh, and I forgot to mention…ITS FREE to chamber partners and their members! To learn more, sign up for your free 1-on-1 training! If you’re looking to create that competitive edge I talked about earlier, I know you’ll make the right choice!

Now that the big consumer holidays are over you may be having some trouble deciding what to offer your customers. Have no fear, we’ve got some great tips on how to build a campaign strategy to get you through the year.

Seasonal campaigns drive consumer buying patterns. Developing a marketing strategy early in the year will make you prepared and allow you to develop meaningful, creative campaigns that can help drive revenue even during some of the slower months. Take a look at a calender and make a list of special holidays or events that are happening each month. The goal is to make sure your deals and events are relevant to what’s going on in the world so they create a universal connection to all your consumers. Here are a few tips to help you achieve success in your seasonal campaigns:

1. Encourage in store visits

It may be obvious but encouraging people to physically come into your store can develop a better, more personal experience for the customer than just focusing on online sales.

2. Choose Wisely

Check out your records and select the months or occasions where your customers are most likely to shop. Then cater your deals and events so that they relate to your business. For example, if you are a clothing store, do a special Valentines Deal on everything red or pink just for that day. Choosing wisely will make your deals thoughtful and relevant.

3. Get Personal

It’s not always about the sale. Sometimes your customers just want to know that you’re genuine and not a faceless corporation. Use social media to show your support for certain charities and fundraisers or to comment on current events. Show your support for national events like the Winter Olympics or the Super Bowl. It’s fun and it shows a personality that your customers will appreciate.

4. Sharing is Caring

Get your customers to share your deals and events on social media and make sure you share everything on your end too. Save Local Now gives you and your customers social media buttons on everything to make this easy and convenient, so take advantage of them!

5. Plan Ahead

Timing and planning is everything when it comes to developing your marketing strategy. Make sure you give your customers plenty of notice about upcoming sales. If you have some spare time, you can plan all your campaigns ahead of time on Save Local Now and publish them later.

6. Review

Make sure you are monitoring the results of your campaigns. Identify the things that were successful as well as the promotions that may need to be improved. Save Local Now conveniently provides all the statistics on your campaigns you need to help you review and reorganize.

Planning out your marketing strategy may take some time but if done right, it will bring in more revenue. If you make the time now to schedule your deals and events, then it will save you time when you need it the most. Save Local Now provides everything you need to create a profitable and meaningful marketing strategy for your business.

 

What is branding? To some, it is the visual identity a company presents to the public, to others it is a business’ overall reputation. More often than not though, branding is a misunderstood field, often generalized and simplified by many. Because of its ever-changing nature, and our inability to concretely measure its success like we do with sales, market share, stock price, etc., branding is often viewed as an insubstantial add-on. Truthfully though, neglecting a brand is not only naïve but also shortsighted for any company, big or small.

When managed properly, a company’s brand can be their most valuable asset. Of all the things a business owns, its brand is one of the few items that will never depreciate. Rarely do companies intentionally manage their brands as the valuable resource that they are. Effective branding improves the visibility of and respect for a product, service, or company. It draws attention and can drive sales. It can also enhance margins, as customers are far more willing to pay more for a product or service from a company that they know and trust.

It is also important to remember that anything done or not done within an organization effects how the brand is perceived.  Company leaders who ignore this are doomed to fail. A company’s brand is not just their logo or mission statement. Branding includes everything from how a PR department deals with customer complaints to how a company is being represented on social media. A business’ brand needs to stand for something and give the customers something to believe in.  It must be presented with clarity, consistency and continuity. With the explosion in digital technology, mobile and social media companies now have the opportunity for a closer, more intimate relationship with consumers.  This increased connection between businesses and their consumers demands a stronger more consistent brand identify.

Here are 5 quick tips for how to better your brand:

1.     First off, build a brand you’re passionate about. Your enthusiasm will shine through all of your branding efforts and will get your customers excited about your product.

2.     Define your brand, and become an expert. Take the time to determine exactly what your company is and what makes it unique. Whether you are looking to gain media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus your efforts on becoming an expert in your field.  Keep it relevant to the goals you want to achieve.

3.     Incorporate a philanthropic component. People are drawn to companies that have a strong sense of corporate responsibility. Building a reputation and status with the community will help establish your company as a trustworthy and compassionate business.

4.     Establish an online presence. Social media, online networking opportunities, and web-based marketing are vital when it comes to establishing your brand. Like previously stated, the increasing importance of digital technology, mobile, and social media give companies the opportunity to establish real and personal relationships with consumers. Businesses not using online resources to engage with its customers are throwing away a valuable opportunity to further establish their brand.

5.     Remember the 3 Cs of branding. Clarity, consistency, constancy. You need to establish a solid foundation for your brand that is easy to understand, consistent with your goals, and use it whenever possible. By doing this your customers will develop a sense of understanding and trust for your brand.

Social media can be a great way for small businesses to market themselves without a big budget. When you decide to spend time on your social media marketing efforts, there are a few things you can do to plan ahead. Bring out a calendar and take notes on these tips and you could have your whole year planned out ahead of you.

1. Set Goals

As with any plan you need to start by setting goals. Not just numbers but what you really want to get out of your social media marketing.  Do you want to generate traffic, or revenue? Do you want to create a larger following or create more interaction? These goals will ultimately decide how you lay out your plan. It’s okay to have more than one goal and they might even change over time but setting these kinds of larger goals is a great starting point.

2. Look at what other companies are doing

It’s good to think outside the box but sometimes it’s also good to see what your competition or even big brand names have done. Look at what’s worked for them and what hasn’t. See how you can emulate their types of posts.

3. Create “social media” promotions to create more followers

Creating deals on your Save Local Now account that require following your company on social media is a great way to get more followers. With smart phones it is easy for customers to walk in and show that they have done this to receive the promotion. You can also go another step and ask that they share your promotion on their own account. This works especially well with Facebook and Twitter and is easy to set up from your Save Local Now deal creator.

4. Engage

Automatic posting and clicking “like” or “favorite” aren’t good enough sometimes. If a customer decides to interact with you on social media, sometimes it’s nice to leave a comment or engage in a conversation with that customer. One of my personal favorite clothing companies Conversation Pieces has built an entire marketing strategy around interactions and it has definitely made their customer base grow!

5. Up the Ante

Maybe you have time for this and maybe you don’t but eventually you should try to post more than once a day on your social media accounts. Use your research to see what days are best for posting and maybe try to do more posting on those days at first. This can make any small business appear more friendly and create even more brand awareness.

6. Use hashtags

Hashtags might be something that a lot of people use to be funny but a lot of people use it to search for products or even services. Facebook has jumped on the hashtag game but these are more commonly used on Twitter or Instagram

7. Follow back

When a customer follows you on social media, it’s obviously more likely that they will see your posts. If you were to “follow” them as well, there is an even better chance that they will share your content. Imagine that you start following your favorite little cupcake shop on instagram, and then you see that they have started following you back. It’s exciting and you’d probably tell at least 2 friends! It might also be a good idea to follow some other companies or organizations in town. The chamber of commerce is always willing to share your business and other groups or companies might be willing to do the same.

8. Use photos

Sharing photos of you and your coworkers is definitely a great way to show your stripes. It adds a human side to your marketing. Photos could be serious, silly, creative, or show some charity your team might be doing. You can also share pictures of products or satisfied customers (with their permission) but make sure you do include yourself and your team as well.

9. Create Brand Identity

Make sure that across all your social media pages you have a similar message and similar branding. It makes it easier for customers to find you if you have the same profile picture across all platforms plus it creates awareness for your brand. Big companies like Nike and Apple know the power of using a logo at every opportunity and just because you are smaller, doesn’t mean you can’t do the same.

10. Always keep your customers in mind

Ultimately your customers experience is what you want to improve. You should keep your own goals in mind but it’s important to ask yourself what your customers might like or want to see when planning. Take a peak at your social media followers and see that they are into. You can also just create one on one conversations with your customers in person to see what kind of things they might like to see on your social platforms.

These 10 tips are a great way to get started on social media planning. You might not use all platforms but I suggest you try at least one. Get started and see how you can improve and strengthen your companies marketing plan with social media.

Save Local Now’s commitment to inspire people to shop locally is near and dear to our hearts. We know how challenging it can be to try and get your community fired up about buying local. You might think you are just one business and nothing you do will have any impact, but I beg to differ. Here is a quick list of things you might want to try out this year that will really make a difference in your communities efforts to buy locally.

1. Meet your neighbors (and tell your customers about them) – From my own personal experiences with the communities I’ve lived in, as well as from the communities we work with, I’ve learned one thing. The more businesses promote their neighbors, the better and more thriving the community is as a whole. You should make friendly suggestions to your customers on other businesses they should check out. This will reassure them that you are a trustworthy business owner and not just out for your own profit, and it will also inspire people to keep checking out local businesses and keep returning to your town. Your neighboring businesses might return the favor and send people your way, and soon your whole community could become a giant web of local networking. I’ve seen this happen-there is nothing more powerful.

2. Join (or help out) local organizations – Aside from your local chamber of commerce, there are probably a multitude of other small organizations you could become involved in. Some might say they don’t have the funds or time to join all of these, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved.

  • You could reach out to organizations and tell them you would like to volunteer once a year for their big event.
  • You could tell YPO’s they may host their next networking event in your business space.
  • You could offer a discount to any member of the local book club.

However you want to do it, my bet is you will see some more business coming your way by word of mouth. Local organizations are usually just that: organized, and helping them out once in a while could mean extending your marketing efforts 3 fold!

3. No brainer: Buy Locally – Make it a point to frequent other businesses not just as a business owner but as a customer. Other business owners will appreciate it and will often return the favor. Use local suppliers, local farmers, and local services for all of your businesses needs as well as that of your personal life. It will show the rest of your community that you are standing behind them, so they can in turn, stand behind you!

4. Take local global – Register your community in national, or even world wide competitions or write into travel magazines to tell them about why they should check out your town. Sometimes there is only so much you can do locally and you need to let the rest of the world know why THEY should come to your town. Highlight the things that make your town unique and don’t underestimate how weird quirks can attract attention. I promise you there are people out there looking for just the kind of beautiful little town that is your community.

5. Create $LN awareness – In order for Save Local Now to have it’s affect on your community, you need to get people using it! I know I say this a lot but the bottom line is, being a free service to both consumers and businesses, we aren’t the ones who will benefit from people using $LN, YOU will. So tell your friends, family, community, organizations, newspapers, and schools. Tell them to try Save Local Now and stay up to date with everything local.

25 Mind Blowing Email Marketing Stats

Email marketing stats

Email marketing is one of the most effective tactics for driving sales, but don’t take my word for it. According to a study by ExactTarget, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email.

Quality communication with your prospects and customers can get you closer to that nirvana of people actually looking forward to your message.

So hold on to your coffee mugs; we’ve got 25 awe-inspiring email marketing statistics. Check them out:

  1. 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. (Convinceandconvert.com)
  2. 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. (Convinceandconvert.com)
  3. Roughly half of an email list will be active – either opening or clicking on emails. (Epsilon)
  4. Subject lines fewer than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58%. (Adestra July 2012 Report)
  5. Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. (Adestra July 2012 Report)
  6. For B2B companies, subject lines that contained “money,” “revenue,” and “profit” performed the best. (Adestra July 2012 Report)
  7. 64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line. (Chadwick Martin Bailey)
  8. 7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week. (2012 Blue Kangaroo Study)
  9. 39% of marketers have no strategy for mobile email. (eConsultancy  2012 Email Marketing industry Census)
  10. 72% of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via email. (Earnest Agency)
  11. 56% of businesses say they plan to increase their use of email marketing in 2013. (The Small and Midsize Business Email Marketing Survey 2013)
  12. Monday emails had the highest revenue per email. (Experian 2012 Q4 Email Benchmark Report)
  13. 27% of consumers were more likely to say their favorite companies should invest in more email. (ExactTarget)
  14. 1 in 2 marketers use animated gifs in their email campaigns. (Experian Email Market Study)
  15. This year, about 84% of all email traffic will be spam. (The Radicati Group)
  16. Email ad revenue reached $156 million in 2012. (Interactive Advertising Bureau)
  17. Emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate. (GetResponse)
  18. Women click 10% more often than men on mobile emails. (Tailored Mail 2012 Email Marketing Trends)
  19. Email marketing spend grows 10% year over year. (Forrester 2011)
  20. 40% of B2B marketers rated the leads generated by email marketing as high quality. (Software Advice Survey)
  21. For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment. (Experian)
  22. 82% of consumers open emails from companies. (Litmus)
  23. 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices. (TopRankBlog)
  24. There are 3.6 billion email accounts in 2013. (The Radicati Group, Email Statistics Report, 2012-2016)
  25. By 2016, the number will reach 4.3 billion. (The Radicati Group, Email Statistics Report, 2012-2016)

In an article posted by USA Today, journalist Rhonda Abrams makes a general round up of the year in marketing and the trends that will really make a difference. While her findings apply to both small and big business, she points out that it is really small business where marketing can make or break. In fact, I believe it is the new marketing trends that are really giving small business the up on big business.  However, as the article clearly states “few aspects of business change as quickly as marketing today.” So what do we need to focus on?

Mobile is not surprisingly at the top of the list, as it is with almost every other article I read on small business. It’s safe to say that when you look around at any public place you don’t need numbers to tell you what percentage of people are using a smart device these days-a lot.  Abrams goes on to tell businesses to “Design all your digital marketing messages to be read first and most often on a phone.” Which I would have to agree, is pretty sound advice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next of course is social media, which are quickly changing to offer a plethora of ways to advertise. Facebook (almost annoyingly so) is becoming more of a place for business, than for socializing with friends. Twitter too is allowing for paid advertising. So while budget can play a role here, the nice thing about social media sites is they are keeping it customizable to the user. For example, if I scroll through my news feed on Facebook and see an advertisement for a big box brand I don’t particularly like I can select “this advertisement does not appeal to me” and have it removed. Eventually my account will recognize the kinds of things I do and don’t want to see. This can really help small businesses who know their customers and can hone in on the kinds of people who might be interested where big business might not have that sense of familiarity.

The article goes on to mention a few new players this year to the social media trend including Instagram and a few others we will cover for you on our blog in the coming weeks. If you haven’t noticed, we ourselves have been branching out into a few of these new sites.

 

 

These trends in marketing are fantastic for local and smaller businesses as they continue to level the playing field in marketing. In an effort to make your lives a little easier and your business growing, we will continue to write about and incorporate many of these trends and how you can use them, in conjunction with Save Local Now to better your own marketing strategy. Stay tuned!

The world of marketing is constantly changing.  This is because technology is evolving every day, every hour…every second.  An article from eMarketer.com gives a great explanation from the perspective of a small business.  The article, “Small Businesses Favor Tactics that Balance Customer Attraction, Retention”, describes the value businesses see in meeting their customers where they already are in the mobile/social/constantly updating world. One thing the article make clear is the marketing power of online and mobile technologies.  The problem for small business owners is that although these can be great promotional plans in theory, many of the businesses aren’t using them.  Why, you ask?   Because who has the time?!

The solution to this problem...SAVE LOCAL NOW.  Our marketing platform is an easy to use resource that bundles everything the article mentions into one great package.  $LN gives you:

  • The ability to create unlimited Deals and Events
  • The ability to push your promotions and information to Social Media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Google+
  • The ability to push out Deals, Events and Business Profiles through high quality Email Marketing
  • Simple data in Real Time including Social Media statistics
  • Your business will be on mobile with our Save Local Now App and our mobile optimized website.
  • And much, much more!

Yes, this is a lot but what makes it even better is how quick and easy it is to use Save Local Now.  All of the methods of online and mobile marketing mentioned by eMarketer.com hold great value and having Save Local Now removes the time issues.  It combines everything into one, so it’s like pushing an EASY button! Who doesn’t like an EASY button?!