Blog ideas

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Blog ideasIf you’ve followed this blog, you know we’re huge fans of blogging (even though we don’t do it often enough!)

We believe that after creating a professional, user-friendly Web site, blogging should be the next layer in the foundation of any small business marketing plan–and specifically, of any social media plan. Valuable blog posts can pay dividends many times over.

For some reason, blogging intimidates people. It shouldn’t. You’ve got ideas, opinions, suggestions, and experience that can benefit others. Blogging is simply a great way to share that knowledge and introduce yourself to people.

Here’s a quick pointer on blogging from infusionsoft, a marketing automation company.

“The key is to create high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience. Keep it consistent and keep it real. Other than that, just have fun with it!  Some suggestions for blog posts include:

  • Industry-specific tips and insights
  • Special offers or give-aways
  • Analysis of recent news items
  • Product tutorials
  • Humorous anecdotes
  • Interviews with employees, customers or partners”

If you’re set up to blog, think of anything in the short list above, and jot a quick post. If you’re not set up, check out WordPress (the format we use) or the also popular blogspot.

Take advantage of one of the best–and free–ways to connect with customers.

Write ad copy that works: Don’t say “sale”

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Who would have thought that the word “sale” wasn’t always a sure-fire customer-grabber? Certainly not me.

Yet a new report from Buddy Media shows that people relate to the word with below-average engagement in social media.

According to the report, written up in MarketingVOX, “[t]he keyword ‘dollars off’ in a retail offer-related Facebook post provides the highest user engagement– 55% higher than average — out of 10 popular choices, according to a September 2011 report from Buddy Media. And ubiquitous ‘coupon’ ? It had an engagement 39% above average.

“On the other end of the spectrum, seemingly popular keywords, such as ‘sale’,  ‘save,’ ‘deal,”% off’ and ‘bargain’ have lower-than-average engagement rates –  30% lower in the case of ‘sale.’”

To read highlights of the interesting study on what works in social media, click here.

Top social media sites? B2B or B2C?

Posted in Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Marketing strategies, Social media 1 Comment

Here’s a continuation of what we showed you about social media yesterday. This report, however, is from Hubspot, a company that specializes in inbound marketing–or drawing customers to businesses rather than pushing sales messages outward.

As you can see once again, the success that marketers had with various social media channels depended on whether they were selling to consumers or to other businesses.

Instead of the, “very or somewhat effective” responses given in the Marketing Sherpa chart, the Hubspot  study measured which channels had resulted in the acquisition of a customer. Once again, blogging scored very high in both the B2B and B2C categories. Facebook was strongest in B2C marketing. And LinkedIn was the best social media channel for those businesses selling to other businesses.

So once again, here’s the takeaway: All your friends may be saying, “You have to be on Facebook.” The truth is: You don’t necessarily have to be on Facebook. You need to be where your customers are.  Check around. Look for names of your customers on all of the channels. Then look to see where your competitors are trying to interact with and attract customers.

That simple and cost-free exercise will tell you how best to spend your time, and possibly, your money, on social media.

Top social media sites? It depends on your goals

Posted in Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, Marketing strategies, Social media 1 Comment

A new study, from Marketing Sherpa, has found that your best choice for  social media networks depends on whom you’re trying to reach.

For example, if you’re selling to consumers (and provided that your customers are actually using Facebook, and that you can lure visitors with compelling content and/or games, contests, discounts, or coupons), Facebook is probably your best bet.  On the other hand, if you’re selling to businesses, you may want to put your social media resources to use elsewhere–say, on LinkedIn. Take a look at the survey results:Allen T. Sutton, who wrote the blog post describing survey results, noted what he’d expected and a couple or results that surprised him:

“Blogging sits comfortably on top. This does not surprise me since creating content is the most effective SEO tactic , and SEO is a vital part of a good inbound strategy.

“However, two things do surprise me. First, I expected LinkedIn to rank high with B2Bs, but I did not expect it to so clearly beat Facebook. Fewer than 50% of B2B marketers report that their efforts on Facebook were effective. LinkedIn appears to provide the most effective social network for inbound B2B marketers.

“The second thing that surprises me is that YouTube and other video sharing sites are well within the top tier. I have seen great YouTube strategies from a select few marketers, but I did not realize that strong performance was this widespread. I expect even more marketers to start using video sites in the coming years.”

What marketing strategies should work best for you? And especially if you have a limited marketing budget?  We can help you figure it out and start attracting new customers. Contact us.

Mobile users: Personalized messages best

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While every marketer tries to figure out the way to turn smartphone presence into big bucks, an interesting survey just indicated  the best way to get smartphone users to click through to your Website or your product. The answer: personalization.

Upstream, a  global mobile marketing technology company, and research company Luth Research, checked in with smartphone users to see what they responded to in messages sent to their phones. Interestingly, respondents indicated that mobile advertisements “that are tailored to their “tastes and interests” far out-performed other offers based on time, lifestyle or location.

The research polled more than 2,000 American adults and found that feature phone users ranked the appeal of personalized offers at 59%, compared with offers that focused on timing (18%), lifestyle (16%) or location (8%). Smartphone users responded similarly:  60% preferred personalized offers over promotions based on timing (17%), lifestyle (10%) or location (14%).

“‘Comparing the importance of personalization versus location in receiving mobile ads is especially interesting, given the hype around location-based players such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Facebook Places or even Google+ with its Latitude check-ins,’ said Assaf Baciu, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Upstream. ‘While location remains an important factor in delivering mobile ads, tailoring interactions via mobile to consumers’ tastes and interests’ clearly presents much greater potential for driving higher response and conversion rates.’ “