Paid Advertising Strategies For The Holiday Season

This holiday season don’t miss out on valuable consumers, and invest in paid advertising. Christmas is certainly the most wonderful time of the year. Along with jingling bells, this holiday can mean profitable sales for your business. It might sound a little surprising, but buyers start looking out for Christmas presents as early as November.

The craze for online shopping has increased now more than ever, which in turn, has favored the click of the mouse rather than walking around in the city shopping.Companies have decided to take advantage of this change and invest in paid advertising. After all, who would want to gallop around the stores when they can shop from a variety of choices online while sitting at home? The simplicity of buying products online has made everything easier for consumers. The functionalities like comparison and extensive research have made shopping simpler and more fun. With the boost in internet shopping, it’s extremely important that your business is visible online and stands out amongst the vast universe of competitors around you.

So what strategy must you deploy in order to fetch higher visibility and ROI? Paid advertising campaign is the answer. We’re sure every now and then you must have heard and even used this strategy, however, we’re here to give you a fresh perspective on the best tips which you must consider while running paid advertising campaigns this Christmas!

So are you ready for the ride?
Hop on! Here we go.

Seasonal Keywords:

When using a pay-per-click campaign your standard keywords may have worked perfectly fine last year, however, you must give it a twist this time. Consider using a few seasonal keywords for your Christmas PPC campaigns if you want to steal a whopping amount of sales and clicks from your competitors. Your competitors are investing in paid advertising and so should you.
Your keyword list must comprise of words such as ‘gifts for family’, ‘Christmas presents’, or ‘presents for family’. These seasonal keywords are quite popular around the festive time. This doesn’t mean you have to rule out the standard keyword practices you use. All you need to do is add a little search and be more creative in your advertising efforts. Remember – research is a MUST.

Use Social Media As Much As You Can: When we’re talking about paid advertising, Facebook is the next best medium you can use. Facebook offers highly specific targeting options such as interests, demographic data, shopping preference, etc. This means that you can closely target your audience based on their choices. You might question why Facebook Advertising and not AdWords? Well, there are a few key differences on that subject. To begin with, Facebook offers a cheaper CPC and more visually appealing advertisements compared to AdWords. You can get as festive with your promotions as you want with Facebook ads. Also, the Facebook ads can only contain 20% of the text, which means that you’ll have to create highly appealing visuals to boost your chances of securing a higher rate of conversion.

Seasonal Ads: Make sure everything that you advertise is relevant to the holiday season you’re targeting. For instance, you cannot target Christmas on Thanksgiving. Moving ahead, your ads must contain descriptive promotions and seasonal words. Compile unique and creative advertisement content for your festival campaigns. Place clearly detailed and attractive offers in your ads. Adding features like review extensions, site links, and call extensions are a great approach to make your ad stand out amongst the rest hence converting holiday shoppers in return.

These breakthrough tips for your Christmas paid advertising campaigns should help you convert a lot of holiday shoppers into your consumers. Don’t forget to add realistic end dates to your campaigns. Don’t be too hasty with the dates of your offers and use additional ideas like Boxing Day sales to add more to your rate of success.

Triple Your Business ROI with Effective Branding Strategy!

Triple Your Business ROI with Effective Branding Strategy!

To create effective brand strategies and triple your ROI there are many things to consider. Branding is a total expression of a company’s value that includes its products, services, advertisements, position, people, and culture. However, one question that frequently hits us through forums and emails is: Is branding reserved just for big labels like Levis and Nike? Is it an unfit strategy for small-scale businesses? The answer is a big “NO”. Branding is critical for the business of all shapes and sizes.

Branding:

It is all about what people think of you – that’s it. Nothing matters more than influencing people towards your brand. You can influence branding through well-designed logos, press releases, hilarious ad campaigns, and a lot more. Anyone who notices your brand will have their own perception and your brand will determine who will connect with you and who will not.

Are you still not finding enough reasons to develop a brand for your business? Well, below are 4 reasons that will justify the importance of branding.

Attracts targeted consumers:
People want to easily connect with their favorite brands. A strong brand represents a trustworthy company that is able to continuously deliver the best products and services. A brand acts as a channel that creates a strong connection between businesses and their customers to help strengthen their purchasing decisions with your company and indirectly fuel conversion rates to a great extent.

Creates customer loyalty:
Branding is the best way to promote customer loyalty. Whenever a consumer has a good experience with your product, he or she is going to remember your brand, not the product. Remember, people trust brands, not products and so the very next time they need any product or service, they would look for your business.

A perfect approach to deliver a message:
If designed right, branding can prove to be a great channel of communication with customers. Your brand can let people know your company’s value, message, and characteristics. Such things will help consumers know you better and easily identify your products vs. your competitors. So, it’s essential to know your customer requirements and design your brand accordingly.

Sets you apart from competitors:
Whenever your competitors want to offer similar products, your brand will act as a valuable asset which cannot be replicated.

Does your business need any help with branding strategies? We are just an email away. Our professionals can help you out. Contact us now.

Is it Time to Hire a Marketing Agency?

Is it Time to Hire a Marketing Agency?

Many entrepreneurs start out their business on their own or with a very minimal staff.  After all, it’s a new business, money is tight, and things are just getting started.  After a time, and a bit of success, they start to add a couple more employees.   A sales person, customer support staff, and office manager usually come first.  Then what happens when the business stops growing as quickly or even starts to level out?

You start to ask yourself if it’s time to start expanding your marketing efforts.  The problem comes in that, although you’re an expert in your field, you’re not quite sure what to do where marketing is concerned.  Should you hire someone to work in your office?  But if you do that, how will you know who you should hire, and will they have all of the knowledge you need them to have to properly market your business?

The best solution to this problem is to hire a marketing agency.  They employ several people with skills in several different areas, so that they can give you a wide range of knowledge and expertise.  An agency will be able to evaluate what you’re doing now, and offer suggestions for improvement.  They will also be able to offer new advice that you may not have thought of.  They are there to work with you to improve your business.

hire a marketing agency

So how do you really know if it’s time to hire an agency?

1.  Growth Has Slowed or Even Stopped

If you know that your product or service is good, that there is a market for it, that the price on it is right, and that your staff is doing the best job possible, then the problem could be a lack of or ineffective marketing.

2.  You Don’t Have Time

You’re a business owner, which means you’re probably doing the job of 3 or 4 people, which means you just don’t have time to add another set of tasks.  Especially since marketing is a process that takes time and evaluation.  It doesn’t bring in the money right away that’s needed to pay bills.  The thing is, it is necessary in the long run, and it needs to be a priority, even if it’s not your immediate priority.

3.  You Don’t Enjoy Marketing Tasks

If you don’t like doing it, your customers and followers will know.  They will see it in the boring blog posts, uninteresting email blasts, and lacking social media posts, and you definitely won’t get the desired results from those efforts.  Hire someone who is passionate about what they do, and with a marketing agency that is what you are getting….people who truly love marketing!

4.  You Don’t Understand It

Marketing a business is a complex and sometimes confusing task.  It requires knowing a lot about several different means of communication, knowing how to effectively use those channels, and knowing how to truly evaluate their effectiveness.   A marketing agency knows these things, and can help you make the right decisions and choices in your marketing efforts.

Choosing to hire a marketing agency can be a daunting task, but it is a decision that could help your business take that next big step.  Are you ready to take that step?

So you’re doing social media, now what?

So you’re doing social media, now what?

Social media is THE most popular activity online right now. So it makes sense that businesses, (both national and local) want to take advantage of this. But simply opening up a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account isn’t enough anymore. By avoiding some basic mistakes, many businesses can have the ability to increase return on investment, and create more opportunities from social media accounts.

Social media icons screen

Missteps to Avoid

#1. Not having a game plan

Social media users are bombarded with information and messages every minute of every day via social media. Businesses that don’t have a social media strategy often get lost in all the clutter and fail in reaching their target audience. Creating a game plan for social media includes having distinct goals, developing a clear voice online, and planning out content with a goal in mind. Without a clearly defined game plan you can have the best content on the web, but receive little engagement.

#2. Integrate everything

Social media should be used as a part to a whole. Not only should you link your social media accounts to each other, but they should be directly tied to your website, email, and paid search campaigns. Not taking advantage of connecting these accounts drastically reduces your potential audience reach.

#3. Use IMAGES!

Think about how you use social media. Doesn’t a post with a vibrant image capture your attention better and longer? While an image might not be appropriate for every post, include one whenever possible to help draw attention to your message.

hash tag#4. HASHTAGS

Hashtags are a great way to join conversations and trending topics. Using hashtags strategically can help you find your target audience and reach non-followers in large numbers. Just make sure that it makes sense for your business to use the hashtag and that it flows with the current conversation.

#5. Make sure to Interact

Social media is meant to be interactive. Not every comment needs a response but responding to your “fans” adds to “humanizing” your business and builds trust between the brand and your consumers.

#6. MONITOR

Don’t assume that just because you are posting content good things will come to you. You need to ensure that you are constantly monitoring and gauging what is and is not working on social media. This ensures you are on your toes and can make changes quickly when something isn’t working. Overall your business should work towards creating your own social media voice and community. Social media has the ability to be a cost effective way to reach out to your potential customers and help increase sales.

Making a Strategic Marketing Partnership

Making a Strategic Marketing Partnership

Are you looking for ways to increase your presence in the market without having to increase the size of your marketing budget?  One great way to do this is to create a strategic marketing partnership.

What exactly is a strategic marketing partnership?

strategic marketing partnershipSimply put, it is a partnership you create with another business with the goal of helping you both achieve your goals. In the case of a strategic marketing partnership, it is a simple and effective way for brands to expand their audience.

Why would you want a strategic marketing partnership for your business?

The real question is, why wouldn’t you want one? This type of relationship is one that can be mutually beneficial to both companies involved, because it allows you access to twice as many customers, contacts, and other businesses that could potentially be partnerships as well. By partnering with another company, you double your exposure, because while you are promoting them to your customers and contacts, they are doing the same for you. In addition to being beneficial for you, it is beneficial for your customers as well. They get access to a larger pool of referrals from someone they already trust.

How do you choose a strategic marketing partner?

1. Make a list of products or services that compliment what your business does or sells. What is it that your customers need in addition to your products? Make sure you choose things that are not in direct competition with your business.

2. Find 15-20 businesses that provide the products or services you identified in step one. You can find these businesses through your own personal knowledge or by talking to your customers.

3. Contact these businesses. You know that you hate getting cold calls from people that are trying to “sell” you something, so keep that in mind when contacting them. Try writing a letter instead that outlines what you are trying to do, what the value of it is to you as well as them, and how it will benefit both of your customers.

4. Review the responses you receive back, and determine which business best fits with your company and your marketing needs.

5. Sit down with them and figure out how you can work together and what you both need to do.

What can you do for each other to make this strategic marketing partnership work?

  • Share posts on social media.
  • Provide content for a newsletter.
  • Write a featured blog.
  • Make mentions of your partner on social media.
  • Create a freebie to give to your customers that features both business.
  • Provide coupons/discounts as a way to introduce your partnership to your customers.
  • Make a referral to your partner whenever possible and relevant.
  • Host an event that features your partner. Make sure it is interesting for your customers.

It may take a bit of work up front, but in the long run a strategic marketing partnership can be beneficial to everyone involved.

5 Common New Business Mistakes to Avoid

5 Common New Business Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t be another statistic, ensure the success of your new business. 

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Are you in the process of opening up your own business? Many people rush into becoming a business owner, without really realizing what it entails. To run a successful business you must avoid making these common mistakes:

1. Not having clear objectives.

From the beginning, it is important to set clear and realistic objectives. Start by making a list of goals and objectives based on a quarterly timeline. In addition, ensure that all your employees are aware of the objectives. Just think about it, a business without clear objectives is like driving a car without a destination in mind.

2. Identify your potential customers.

Who is going to use your product or service? How will they be using your product or service? It is important for you to know who your customer is, so you know how to reach them and maximize your sales.

3. Test your ads.

Run several ads at once with different copy. By doing this you can see what wording resonates best with your customers.

4. Make a budget!

Budgeting is a must with any business, new or established. You should NEVER run the risk of your business running out of money. This is especially true for your advertising and marketing needs. Sit down and plan out how much you have to spend monthly or quarterly on your marketing. Think about promotions you want to run each month, and set that amount aside. Start small, and see what works for you business.

5. Don’t give up.

Starting a business is not an easy task. On average you need to give your promotions at least 3 months before you decide to scrap a campaign. On that note, some promotions might take longer to drive results. As we said before, test your promotion on a smaller scale before you launch a larger promotion, and most importantly be patient. You need to give your business time to be found and talked about, and that takes time.

It’s important that you find employees that will preserve the integrity of your company at all times. Sure, it could be easy to hire the first person that walks in the door, but think about it, one rude customer service experience can cost you not just that particular customer but all their friends and family. So screen your future employees, and ensure that they truly are the type of person that represents your business at its best.

Overall, to be successful you need to ensure you have an array of advertising mediums. Think a health mix of social media, search and maybe even some radio or print (depending on the nature of your business).  In addition, don’t just do one or two promotions and then simply wait for results. Be proactive, find new ways to reach your potential customers, think outside of the box and reach them in a relevant and unique way.

By avoiding these mistakes you can help your business achieve year round success. So plan ahead and get to it!