Copywriting and content

How to attract customers: The best way

Posted in Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing, Marketing strategies, Print materials, Search engine optimization, Social media, Web design Be the first to comment

I get lots of e-mails–as we all do. Most of mine contain information I’ve requested from expert resources in all areas of marketing. Hey, ‘ya gotta keep up!

Just saw a simple explanation of today’s marketing landscape. It was in a white paper on Twitter as a business tool that I downloaded from Hubspot, a company that sells marketing automation software. This paragraph summed up today’s marketing landscape clearly and succinctly:

“Th[e] changing nature of consumers‘ shopping habits means that instead of continuing to push marketing messages out, effective marketers must adapt to consumers‘ new behavior by creating marketing campaigns that pull people in to their business. This strategy is called inbound marketing. Inbound marketers offer useful information, tools, and resources to attract people to their business and its website, while also interacting and developing relationships with consumers on the web…”

Put more simply: Offer information that customers will find interesting and helpful. That way, they’ll see you as a great resource, someone they can trust.  And they’ll want to come to you–to learn more about you and your business.

The bottom line: Don’t waste your money on marketing that focuses on you.  Think about what your customers want and give it to them.

You really can be a customer magnet. Easily and affordably.

To download the Hubspot whitepaper (registration required) click here.

Small business marketing plans encouraging

Posted in Advertising, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing, Search engine optimization, Web design Be the first to comment

Finally, some good news about small business owners’ outlook for the future. Signs of increasing optimism have finally shown up as concrete numbers.

A study by MerchantCircle during the first quarter of 2011 shows positive expectations on all fronts.

The numbers certainly aren’t of the pop-the-cork variety. But as most of us know–for better or worse–when companies fear for the future, the first budget item to go is marketing.

At long last, small business owners are planning to spend more on marketing in the next few months. That  means they’re encouraged that their revenue will grow in 2011.

Of course, we’re happy to see the study. But that kind of optimism benefits everyone.

Business blogging don’ts

Posted in Advertising, Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing, Print materials, Selling tips, Special promotions, Web design Be the first to comment

Whether you’re creating or updating a Website, an e-mail marketing program, printed materials, or engaging in any type of social networking, providing content that your customers want and need is not only essential, but also highly cost effective.

Giving customers marketing materials that focus only on how wonderful your products and services are is a waste of your time and money.

Hubspot, a company that markets business software, offers some solid advice about business blogging. The company recently published a free e-book that highlights 13 mistakes that business bloggers make. Number 1 is not integrating your blog with your Website. Here’s number 2 :

“Mistake:
The content you publish on your blog is too heavily focused on you – your products, services, achievements, and why you’re awesome – and it’s seriously lacking thought leadership.

“Why It Hurts:
If people are visiting your blog expecting to find educational content and all they find is you talking about how great your products and services are, you’re not going to accomplish the same goals or attract as many readers as you would if you published thought leadership-based content.”

Amen.

To read or download the free 13 Business Blogging Mistakes & Their Easy Fixes, (registration required),  click here.

Personal email gets best results

Posted in Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing Be the first to comment

If you’re sending out e-mails, here’s a useful bit of information from Jay Conrad Levinson, founder of Guerilla Marketing: Personal email is the way to go. Here’s his advice:

“Should you expend the effort to personalize your emails?  Personalized emails generated 42.7% more click-throughs on average to the web copy than non-personalized email.  Personalized emails generated 403% more sales on average than non-personalized emails.  Personalized emails generated 42.8% fewer un-subscribes on average than non-personalized emails.”

Good customer service isn’t a differentiator, it’s an expectation

Posted in Advertising, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing, Print materials, Selling tips, Social media Be the first to comment

One of my favorite sources for marketing guidance is  OPEN Forum, which is operated by American Express.

In its marketing section, AmEx features articles from some of the top names in the field.  Among them: John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing.

Jantsch is always right to the point. He offers no-nonsense insights that can benefit any small business owner. The next few paragraphs are excerpted from his “7 Steps to Creating a Sure-Fire Marketing System,” which ran on Nov. 12th. Great advice, as always:

“Develop strategy before tactics.

“Most business owners take the idea of the week, tactical approach when a good marketing strategy is the most important aspect of any successful marketing implementation.

“Before you decide on direct mail or a Facebook page, you must adopt and commit to a marketing strategy. All tactical decisions should be filtered through your strategy to see if they make sense or support the overall marketing strategy…

“…a marketing strategy may seem foreign or out of reach, but it’s really little more than determining and narrowly defining your ideal client and creating and communicating some key point of differentiation.

“The challenge in this comes when business owners realize it means they can’t be all things to all people, and saying they offer good service isn’t a differentiator, it’s an expectation.”

To read the entire article, click here.