Once Upon A Time

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How well are you telling your customers your story on social media? What type of information are you posting? Is it mostly current sales or latest promotions? While it’s important to post the latest deals, you can also go beyond that. Social media is an ongoing conversation and a way to develop a relationship with your customer.

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Mobile Search Index

mobile_blogMobile users search the web in different ways, specifically they are looking for an answer to their question and are not going to search through multiple pages to find it. And because more searches are coming from mobile devices, it looks like Google is shifting to address this by creating a new index for mobile devices, which will become the “primary” index for search.

This means that desktop and mobile users will start to see different search results.

If your customer or prospect base is using mobile devices, you need to pay attention to this now. Your website needs to be mobile friendly (responsive) to make sure you show up in search engine results. If you don’t, you are going to miss out.

Give us a call; we can help.  View my profile or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Tips for Creating a Mobile Strategy that Works

As a Winnipeg business owner, you might be thinking, “Mobile strategy? I was just pondering the idea of making my website mobile-friendly, and now I have to dedicate an entire marketing strategy?”

Mobile-based-marketingAh yes, here in Manitoba, we will always have the hold-outs, the business owners who think, “This internet thing surely won’t last long, and I get most of my business through word-of-mouth, so I’m probably fine with no website for a while.”

I’m sure the vast majority of us will agree, it’s pretty much mandatory for a business to have an online presence. And with the significant growth of mobile device users around the world, it’s only natural that our long-held marketing beliefs would eventually have to grow to include mobile-centric tactics.

I spent an evening out in downtown Winnipeg the other night at various locations, and Google has certainly got this location-based marketing thing down pat! Every time I set foot in a restaurant, theatre, retail store, you name it, my phone starts asking me to submit photos and reviews of my experience.

Historically, I’ve not been a huge fan of remarketing and the like, tactics that send you marketing messages based on your IP address and previous searches. However, now that retailers have been starting to send personalized offers to my phone based on where I am, even down to the detail of what section of the store I’m in, as a true “deal finding Winnipegger”, I’m becoming fonder of the approach!

As a business owner, you have to decide what level of intrusion you want your marketing tactics to reach. Realistically speaking, if people did not want to receive location-based deals, they could always shut off the GPS on their mobile device.

There are a few options to choose from in the realm of location-based marketing:

  • Geo-fencing signals a mobile app when customers are in the vicinity of your store, which enables you to present them with new discounts or any other timely offers.
  • Geo-targeting allows a retailer to send tailored messages to target customers based on a specific geographic area. This is what I got in spades when I visited Phoenix a few months ago, multiple ads to buy a home in Arizona! (If they really knew me, they’d know to send me restaurant deals, but I digress.)
  • Beacon technology is used to target customers with great accuracy to provide a personalized shopping experience, like the type I mentioned before, when you’re in the kitchen section of a store, and your phone gives you a message that pots and pans are on sale today.

I have to admit, I do still find it all a little creepy, the fact that we are absolutely being tracked virtually everywhere we go! But for the sake of a deal, I guess I’m willing to be a little creeped out from time to time.

Give us a call to explore your options and see how you can capitalize on this growing marketing approach.

View my profile, connect with me on LinkedIn or add me on Google+.

Never Stop Promoting or Advertising Your Business

diet-coke-its-mine-hed-2016Creating a plan and budget for your advertising may sound daunting but it doesn’t have to be. While we may think of traditional methods such as radio, TV, newspaper, direct mail etc. there are way more options to explore. Some advertising options such as Social Media, Pay Per Click or Google AdWords shouldn’t be ignored. This is often overlooked, which is quite shocking to some, but it is something we see all the time. These methods can be quite cost effective and they are measurable. Think of it as several advertising campaigns for your business. Your social media cover photo acts as your billboard. PPC ads are like TV commercials that come up on the newsfeed and websites. Like TV, people could choose to watch it these ads or ignore. Email newsletters are delivered to your inbox rather than your physical mailbox.

Being on social media is also a form of advertising. The good thing about that is with social media and emails marketing as well, customers have chosen to follow you. So don’t be shy and start tooting your own horn! They want to hear what you have to say because they like you, they really do. Additionally, your followers spread the word, doing some advertising for you. As your followers do this, it actually helps create the need and demand for your products or services. It can also start some buzz that gets everyone talking.

You should be allocating a budget towards advertising to help meet your goals. Narrowing down your advertising options can be achieved by understanding your target audience. This will also aid in where and how you should advertise. Whatever advertising method you choose, you need to regularly monitor, test and to determine what works best for your business.

Your website is your online focal point

marketing_mumbo_jumboMore now than ever, your online presence is absolutely key to you brand promotion and your lead generation. Presenting the right information, the right image in the right place will be key to your success.

If you are a TV watcher (I have to admit I do my fair share), you will have seen the traditional media pushing the concept of a pure outbound marketing and that this methodology is the one that works. Sure, TV and radio and to a certain extent, print advertising still has its place. Just not the ‘be all’ that the current advertising might have you believe.

And the main reason it might not work as well as touted (it still might) is that the audience is not the right one for your product or service. Depending on the demographic, more and more people are using their PVRs to avoid commercials and to a growing extent are not even tuning in. The key is know your audience, know your prospects and most importantly, know your customers and where you might find them.

The following links talk to your online presence and provide some insight as to how important it is to Be Online, Be Found, Be current and up to date, and most importantly Be Cohesive.

If you want to be found online, now’s he time
Should you be concerned with your website?
3 things you must do for your website to succeed

Come visit our website,  or give us a call; we can help.

Are your website and marketing efforts generating leads?

leads
At one point, writing and posting a 400-500 word blog post that was interesting to the intended audience, and had some keywords within it, would have been good enough to get some traffic to your website and generate some leads. If this is still the plan you’re on, I’m sure you don’t see anywhere near the same amount of leads that you had in the past.

The viewer and search engines expect more from you.

So where do you go from here?

Some tips for better results:
Visual content – Great photography or graphics that help tell the story can be very helpful. Remember: A picture is worth a thousand words.
Past Posts – Look at analytics from past posts to see what worked, and build from there.
Third Party data – Getting and including information from an industry association can help persuade the viewer.
Search Engine Optimization – Make sure all content, including images, are set up properly. The better the blog article ranks, the more results you can expect.
Get the word out – Using social media to broadcast your message is helpful as long as you have a following. If you need more eyes on the posts, start with making sure you have a good headline, use an interesting related visual, then look at promoting the post. The idea here is that you’re hoping to get more interested viewers to see the post and influencers to share it.

PS – you may also like these:

What to blog about

Effective Marketing Tip

The benefits of Google AdWords

Even in the PVR Age, Television Advertising Can Still Inspire

I’ll admit it, while watching my beloved HTGAWM last night; I actually rewound a commercial because it looked so interesting. It was an IKEA commercial, so not just your run of the mill television advert. For years now, IKEA, in my view, has been a frontrunner in entertaining and compelling marketing, whether done via traditional or digital platforms.

I wasn’t able to find the specific television commercial I saw last night online, it’s probably too new, but the IKEA YouTube channel features many of the greats, with their “Let’s Relax” being the most recent featured campaign.

Television advertising has taken a real hit in recent years with the advent of the PVR and “on demand” type of television viewing. Not to mention that television advertising has never really been an economical endeavour. Now that businesses can set their own daily budgets with online advertising, I’m sure the networks have had to make some significant changes to the way they position and price their ad spots. Superbowl aside, of course.

I think today, if a client wanted to wade into the world of TV, I would recommend the 10- or 15-second closed captioning spots to start, and see what kind of response they get from that. In reality, those are the spots that are mostly seen in their entirety, because they run right before the show starts again. You know, that point when you realize you’ve fast-forwarded into the show by a few seconds, so you have to rewind? That’s the spot you see, “Closed Captioning for this program is brought to you by…..”

What are your thoughts about marketing on television? Have you ever included it as part of your marketing strategy? If you have something eye-catching or locally-inspired, the PVR-ers of the world might notice it, even in high speed, and rewind to check it out…it happens to the best of us!

Connect with us for inspiration on every aspect of your business marketing strategy.

View my profile, connect with me on LinkedIn or add me on Google+.

Are You A Young Entrepreneur?

storeIf you are thinking of starting a business downtown, here is your chance to test it out. Launch It! Downtown Incubator & Pop Up Shop initiative by the Downtown Winnipeg Biz is encouraging young entrepreneurs the opportunity to run their business downtown and rent free storefront space for 3 months.  You will also have to the opportunity to gain business support and network with other entrepreneurs. To apply, you must be between the ages of 18-39 and your application must include business type, preliminary business plan, and description of products/services to be sold. The deadline for applications is October 31, 2016.
To find out more information, click here.

Social Media Marketing – Branding or Lead Generation?

Social-Media-Icons-globeIt’s both and more. Social Media Marketing (SMM) is defined as online marketing activities that utilize social media platforms and involves sharing of content, videos, and images for marketing purposes. It’s not temporary, it’s not a fad, and it is quickly becoming a replacement for former marketing media formats. There are a large number of social media platforms out there and each of them has specific qualities and benefits. Which ones you use will depend on your business and what you hope to accomplish.

Most marketers will tell you that the primary focus of SMM is to increase traffic to your website and while that certainly is one goal you should have; is that all there is? It will help your search engine rankings but is there more to it? SMM has the ability for strong visual messaging (imagery, video, and info graphics) that will help you with your brand identity, familiarity and loyalty. It can even help to generate what is thought to be soft leads where the audience will give up some of their information in exchange for an offer of something of value.

Any time you post to your social media platform creates an opportunity for the viewer to convert and more conversion opportunities will lead to more business. If nothing else, it will improve your conversion rates on existing traffic by creating trust and brand identity. One thing you must remember is to remain consistent and cohesive in your messaging – every time you blog or post, you put your brand on display and the only way to build trust and loyalty is with the same message every time.

As with any other marketing that you do, you first must have a plan. What are you trying to accomplish via social media? Who is your target audience (most platforms have the ability to specifically target by any of the above mentioned demographics and more)? How are you going to accomplish your goals and do you have the internal capability and knowledge to make it work?

Time is of the essence here. Your competition is already doing some kind of social media marketing and the sooner you get started, the sooner you will get the ROI. It’s hard to measure the effect of your branding efforts – the conversion may not be today but building your voice and image will yield results. And yes, there are ways to measure ROI for your online activities. We have a pretty good idea about how to get started so give us a call today.