email marketing engagement

Email marketing is a great way to reach your target audience. In fact, it’s an outstanding way to communicate with the exact person you’re trying to reach in a very cost-effective way. Be it sending coupons to drive online and in-store sales, or informing your customers of relevant news and new products, or simply reinforcing your brand image, email marketing is a valuable tool that extends to your customers’ computers and mobile devices.

But there’s a catch: it must be engaging.

So how do you create engaging email marketing pieces that not only encourage people to open the email, but also take action? Here are a few tips to follow that can help you with your email efforts.

  • Start with a creative concept. Is it emotionally compelling? Will it resonate with your target audience?
  • Then, have a subject line that’s to the point, yet compelling. If it sounds like spam, it will not be opened.
  • Personalize your message. Try inserting variable data such as the target’s name or mention things related to the town in which they live.
  • Make sure the content is relevant to your audience so that they want or need to read it.
  • Make it mobile friendly. Over half of cell phone users access their email from their smartphones.
  • Create a compelling call to action. The goal of your email message should be to get the audience to click to get to a specific landing page you designate. Give them a good reason to make the click, like offering a coupon or inviting them to “learn more.”
  • Send your emails at the right time on the right day. Use A/B testing and study your history of sent times vs. responses to help determine the optimal time to send your emails.

Remember, your customer gave you their email address because they want to stay engaged with your brand. As long as you keep feeding them relevant, timely content they can use, you’re email marketing efforts should be a success.

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word out about new websiteYou researched and planned. Poured hours into creating the right content, developing the right voice and selecting the right imagery. The URL is purchased. The hosting is set. And now, finally, after so much time, energy and effort, your shiny new website is launching.

But how are you going to promote it?

It’s interesting how you need to promote the very thing you created to promote your business. But it’s a necessity. After all, what good is a website that nobody visits? So when it comes to promoting your new website, here are a few ideas to consider.

Share your news with loyal fans

  • Email blasts
  • Social media posts
  • Engage brand ambassadors on social media
  • Inspire loyal customers and fans to spread the word

Create campaigns

  • Run a fun campaign like this one featuring a giveaway to generate excitement
  • Try a digital retargeting campaign where you target past website visitors through digital banner ads
  • Take advantage of existing partnerships and promote each others content
  • Pay per click advertising

Go where your target is

  • Boost your search engine optimization so you’re found in organic search
  • Try public relations efforts like being a source in a journalist’s articles
  • Create a blog or guest blog and offer free, original content from your site

There are literally dozens of ways to promote your website for little to no money. All it takes is some imagination and dedication and your target audience will be visiting your site in no time.

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the power of infographicsIt’s been said the average person is exposed to 5,000 marketing messages each day. That’s a lot of stuff. So how do you expect people to remember your brand’s message – especially if it’s complicated information? One proven way is by using an infographic.

Simply stated, an infographic is a visual representation of information or data. It could be a chart, a graph, or even a diagram. They’re easy to understand and hold much more appeal than paragraph after paragraph of copy. Let’s look at what makes infographics so powerful.

They’re Visual

  • Enables you to easily display complicated information.
  • Allows a large volume of information to be quickly conveyed.
  • Delivers information in a visual, memorable way.

They’re Shareable

  • Internally, infographics can be can be incorporated across all communications materials including blogs, emails, social media and print.
  • Externally, infographics are eye catching and can be shared across social media. Considering images are the top form of media shared across social media, infographics can generate a lot of buzz. And, if you include a link, you’ll be able to generate more website clicks and higher SEO value as your content is shared.

They Prove Thought Leadership

  • When people see your well thought out, well-designed infographic that presents complicated information in a digestible manner, your brand influence will increase as will your thought leadership image within your industry.

You know your brand. And you know what you want to say. Why not say it in an infographic?

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Look around. How many people do you see reading a newspaper? Now how many do you see reading something on their smartphone, tablet or computer? The fact is people are moving more and more toward digital. So it may be time to adjust your marketing strategy, as well. When you decide to make the shift, here are a few things to keep in mind:

TPI_BlogWebsitePost_TransformingYourStrategy_640x300Newspapers and Magazines

  • While there are still print editions out there, people flock to their websites – and those sites sell advertising space.
  • Web banners come in a wide array of sizes and can be static, animated or interactive, allowing you to engage your audience in a way print ads can never do.
  • Banner ads enable you to get data, such as number of impressions or clicks.
  • Through web analytics, you can observe and track how much web traffic you’re receiving through these channels.

Direct Mail

  • Email and eNewsletters give you the ability to target specific audiences and track open rates and clicks.
  • You can experiment with the days and times your marketing materials are sent and gauge what works best for your brand.

Broadcast Media

  • Television commercials are expensive and nearly impossible to track.
  • Social media allows for video, is cost effective and can be instantly tracked.
  • Often times, you will not be charged until your video has been viewed for at least 3 seconds on Facebook and even up to 30 seconds on YouTube.

As you can see, it’s really not too difficult to shift to a digital marketing strategy from a traditional one. And in many cases, you’ll end up saving time and money while directly reaching your target audience.

 

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advertisingWhat’s the best way to advertise your brand? Maybe you should go the tried and true traditional route with print ads, television spots and billboards. Then again, this digital revolution of websites, banner ads and mobile apps seems like a viable choice. But let’s not forget about all the social media options out there. Confused yet? Relax. Here are a couple things to keep in mind when determining the best advertising channels for your brand.

Targeting

When it comes to targeting a specific audience, you definitely want to look at your digital options. Digital advertising allows you to deliver your message to the exact person you’re trying to attract at the exact moment they’re ready to receive the message. If you know precisely who you’re trying to reach, digital is a fantastic place to start.

Awareness

If brand awareness is your goal, then you need your brand to be seen. A lot. Social media is a great way to get your name out there to a very large pool of people. The numbers are astounding: 157M Facebook users, 75M Instagram users, 65M Twitter users, and 47M Pinterest users. Yes, that’s a lot of people. And here’s the cool thing: they share things they like with their networks. The next thing they share could be your brand. Add in some print ads and television spots and you’re talking to your target audience in the places they’re spending their time.

Local

In some cases, geo-targeting is the way to go. Newspapers and magazines are excellent mediums to reach people in a certain geographic location. So are digital and social advertising. All can be focused to certain regions, cities, and sometimes even zip codes.

While there is no magic bullet that works for all brands, these guidelines should help you reach your target audience more effectively. Over time, you’ll figure out what performs best and you can further focus your advertising efforts.

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Marketing to millennials

It’s no secret that millennials are a tough market to reach. Traditional advertising methods simply don’t work as well with this digitally savvy, multitasking generation. But if you understand how they consume information, you’ll find the key to their hearts. And wallets.

Digital Word of Mouth

Millennials grew up with the Internet and do a majority of their research online. They frequent review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Reviews. So claim and optimize your profile on these sites. Encourage your customers to write positive reviews. And be sure to respond to these reviews – both the good and the bad – to show quality customer service. As well, be sure to include a testimonial page on your website where you can post positive reviews and provide another place for millennials to conduct more research.

Social Media

It seem as if millennials are addicted to social media. It’s an important communication tool for them. Tweet out a newly discovered lunch spot. Post a comment about those cool new shoes. Share a photo of that adorable puppy in the park. So why not be there, too? By keeping an active social media presence, you stand a better chance in being mentioned in some of these conversations. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in conversations – from thanking someone for the shout out to responding to a negative comment. The point is, if you’re active, millennials will notice.

Online Shopping

When it comes to making online purchases, millennials are very comfortable browsing and buying things online. So be sure your website showcases your products with lots of photos taken from a variety of angles and thorough product descriptions. And pay attention to the user experience. If your site is hard to navigate, millennials will bounce to a competitor’s site in an instant.

Once you realize how millennials get information, it’s easy to find ways to reach, and engage them. Although the tactics you use are new, the oldest rule of sales still prevails: make a friend.

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marketing planningIt’s that time of year again – marketing planning. That joyous time where you get to forecast your yearlong marketing strategies and budgets in order to create a marketing plan for 2016 that will attract customers and move the needle. Sounds simple, right? Well it’s actually not too bad if you just follow these helpful tips.

  1. Assess Your Current Marketing Efforts: What’s working? What’s not? What kind of results has your marketing generated? How do your customers/clients perceive you?
  2. Set Goals: Set a specific, obtainable and measurable goal that aligns with your company’s objectives. However, leave yourself a little wiggle room to tweak the goals should conditions change during the year. It’s also a good idea to set short-term milestone goals that lead to the primary goal to ensure you stay on track.
  3. Determine Your Target Audience: Who is your customer/client? What media do they use? What’s their age? Gender? Race? Get specific.
  4. Do Your Research: This is key as it will take the guesswork out of the process. It will inform every element of your strategy and plan. Research online. Conduct focus groups. Take surveys. The more information you gather, the better off you’ll be.
  5. Identify Your Competition: Are they a small business or huge corporation? Do they sell the same products/services as you? How much do they advertise and where? How/where are you better than them? How/where are they better than you? Knowing and understanding the competitive landscape is critical to forming and targeting your message.
  6. Write Your Strategy: This will serve as the roadmap for how your product/service will be marketed to your audience. It serves as the “brain” of the marketing plan, defining how your goals and objectives will be achieved. Marketing strategies can serve many purposes: increase sales, drive brand awareness, launch new products, etc.
  7. Establish Your Budget: Look at the tactics you’d like to implement to start the estimating process. Be sure to factor in any special events like trade shows or new product launches that may require special budgets. Consider what you can do in-house verses what you need to outsource.
  8. Determine Your Marketing Tactics: Are you revamping your website? Shooting a commercial? Running newspaper ads? Social media? Brochures? Look at past marketing efforts and drop the under-performers. Are there any new mediums you’d like to try? The key is to be where your target audience is.
  9. Establish a Timetable and Accountabilities: Set up realistic timelines and expectations. Assign responsibilities for people and hold them accountable for those tasks.
  10. Evaluation: How do you know if your marketing plan is working? What determines success? It’s critical to set up measuring guidelines so you can adjust accordingly.

Planning season does not have to be daunting. By following these tips, you can create a marketing strategy and plan that’s measurable, effective and profitable. Join us on Facebook and Twitter and share your thoughts.

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Atlanta Advertising AgencyWhen it comes to your marketing dollars, you need to ensure every penny is being put to use in the most efficient, effective way. Yet many companies are making strategic, creative and media buying decisions on their own with out the help of unbiased, seasoned experts. And they’re missing out on many opportunities to spread their message because of it.

To ask your internal teams to become experts in social media, traditional advertising, email marketing and digital marketing is, quite frankly, an unrealistic expectation. By simply outsourcing those needs to experts outside your walls, you’re not only harnessing the collective knowledge of skilled professionals, you’re freeing up the time of your internal teams to focus on other pressing matters.

Outsourcing your marketing efforts will benefit your business in three major categories:

Budget

  • It is expensive to employ professionals with expertise in the various marketing categories
  • By outsourcing your marketing needs to an agency, you’re able to bundle your marketing dollars and efforts while gaining the expertise of specialists in each marketing channel

Tools

  • Outside experts have the tools and experience to properly identify
    • Who’s engaging with your brand
    • What content is getting traction
    • What the best medium may be (Social media? Email marketing? Television? Something else?)
    • How your target is consuming information (Desktop or mobile? Print or broadcast?)
  • You do not have to spend the money or time to purchase social listening tools and provide the training on them to identify what people are saying about your brand

Creative

  • Agencies have entire teams specially trained to concept, develop and execute compelling marketing materials
  • You have an entire team of researchers, creatives, media buyers, account executives and project managers with specific expertise at your fingertips

Very few brands have the capacity to have all these experts on staff and in house. But when you engage with an agency partner, you’ll have all that and more.

What do you think? Have you experienced the benefits of using an agency? Do you think your brand is too small to have one? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter and share your thoughts.

 

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b2b marketing

We all know talking to a business is far different than talking to a consumer. Yet so many companies create business-to-business marketing materials that bear little difference from their business-to-consumer pieces.

They’re wasting time and money.

Simply stated, B2B buying decisions are more logical whereas B2C buying decisions tend to be more emotional. Since these “passion points” are so different, your marketing efforts to each audience should be, as well.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when marketing to each audience:

B2B Marketing

  • The audience can be more technical so including more features and details about your product or service is key
  • Provide specific information, market insights and business trends to demonstrate your expertise in your field
  • Understand there is most likely a chain of command where purchasing decisions most likely come from manager or director levels

B2C Marketing

  • Taking on a conversational tone while educating and enticing the audience will make your content easily consumable while building trust and confidence in your brand
  • Play to the benefits of your product of service to show how it can enhance your target’s life
  • Your marketing efforts are speaking directly to the person making the buying decision so keep it casual and personal

By remembering these few tips, your marketing pieces will gain more traction and make a bigger impact with your target audience.

Is your brand creating appropriate content for your audience? Have you seen other brands doing a good job of this? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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social media marketing

To simply say your brand needs a presence on social media would be about the biggest understatement one could ever make. It is vital that you not only have a presence on social media, but that you know how to properly navigate the various social channels out there. And there’s only one proven way to do that: get a social media expert. Here are three reasons you need to do just that:

1. Time

  • Do you have time to develop a content calendar with content optimized for each social network? Do you even know what that means or how to do it? A social media expert does.
  • Do you understand the optimal times to publish content across social networks? Understanding exactly when these optimal times are ensures the highest customer reach and engagement.
  • Taking the time to complete and analyze reporting so you gain a strong understanding of:
    • Content performance across social networks
    • What’s driving clicks to your website
    • Your audience
    • Industry trends and conversations that will inform future content development
    • Industry influencers in which you can develop a content sharing relationship with

2. Expertise

  • A social media expert knows how to optimize your content for each social network. They know the secrets and tricks to posting to each network. They know the content and type of language that performs best. And they have the resources and time to stay on top of the trends and constant changes social networks make like:
    • Instagram post links are not clickable.
    • Twitter only allows 140 characters, yet Direct Messages can exceed the 140 character count
    • The SEO value of a Google+ post
    • The longevity of Pinterest content

3. Brand Awareness

  • Once your brand has mastered the Time and Expertise criteria, awareness and website traffic will greatly improve as a result. You’ll find your investment in getting the right experts to be well worth it.

What do you think? How is your social media team making an impact for your brand? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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