Category Archives: Digital Marketing

How Social Media can help a small business grow a proactive

email database

Introduce:

In today’s opt-in world getting the right data especially email can seem overbearing, frustrating and at time costly.  So what is a small business to do? We know the answer isn’t simply to stop email lead generation. That’s why it is so important to utilise and link your other sales and marketing activity to grow that opt-in, robust and pro-active database.

 

So here is how you can use social media in a number of ways to ensure your are capturing those all-important email addresses.

 

  1. Link to a Call to Action:

Instead of simply adding a general web page, try a dedicated ‘Call to Action’ page.  This tactic will get far more interaction than a simple homepage landing.

 

You could even try a dedicated micro-page dedicated to say Twitter. Try a offer or at least a common thread from the social media post / blog that the link come from.

 

It will show relevance and your audience will feel more secure in sharing their details with this type of relevance.

 

Try using proper links instead of short link codes; they seem so impersonal and non-trustworthy in the first instance. I appreciate this isn’t always the case but if you have a work related blog then say using enthralledagency/wordpress makes people feel more associated with you and therefore easy with you.

 

  1. Freebies!

 

Cloud: flood and other such tools give you the chance to give away something for a tweet! Okay, this might not seem much but if you can offer advice or thought leadership, these are certainly great ways to gain trust and build that database of followers / addresses.

 

For example: enThralled offer a free audit on lead generation to companies. Yes it takes time on our part but it also builds relationships and trust in you and your business and in today’s economic landscape, it is two very powerful allies to have!

 

So by using these tools to share a link they get free content and you get that all important first stage relationship.

 

  1. Sound bites and other tweet able content

Generating quotes is a really useful way of getting retweeted. So what are the secrets and tools? Well, firstly use your newsletter page or news feed page for quotes and simply add a ‘click to tweet’ action button. One of the secrets here is to make the quote relevant and timely and not all about you, think sanity not vanity.

 

By building in these simple but useful tips you will be able to get opted-in addresses.

 

 

About:

enThralled Agency has been helping small business with their Lead – Generation for many years, offering robust and pro-active solutions tailored to your needs.

 

Sales & Marketing Buffet – the new ways to build your business with a flat fee for all the sales and marketing you can use.

Local marketing and initiatives through social media.

Localised marketing for small businesses

Bristol has created it own currency and already there is a waiting list for local shops and retailers to join the scheme. The idea which came from Germany, seems a perfect antidote to big business and linked with other digital ideas, it gives the the local small business the opportunity to communicate with their local audience, build loyalty and drive their sales pipeline effectively.

This got me thinking, are localised marketing initiatives the future? In an earlier article, enThralled discussed Localised Marketing Services (LMS) and how they could drive that all important footfall to your business locally. So ideas like exchange currency and localised marketing solution seem perfectly aligned for the small business.

Many social media marketing strategies are based upon the amount of fans or followers as well as the engagement levels that these followers to your business generate to your business. A superb way of creating this all important engagement and how this engagement at the local level win drive greater interaction with your business and ultimately increase sales. So how can small businesses use local sales and marketing ideas to grow their bottom line?

1) Utilising LMS via social media and mobile devices, customers can and should be using the check-in’s features to promote and distinguish your business. As we said in the previous blog, customers should be encouraged to use this type of service though loyalty programs. Tie LMS check-in’s with the idea of a localised currency and suddenly you have a great cominbination that dovetails eachother perfectly. If for example your local butcher purchases his meat from a local farm and promotes this via his website and social media. That will build localised awareness. Then, you come along and buy your meat and check-in via your mobile device.

2) This localised approach, integrating the physical and digital economy which enable small businesses to participate across multi-channel marketing. So what ideas can a local retailer implement to drive greater interaction?

3) Offering a gift card / voucher each month to a fan / follower based locally would certainly builds awareness, create interaction and importantly engagement with your local fan base and keeps them coming back every month. Though, make it worthwhile, £20 may not be enough if your products or services are of a greater value. Think what would make a difference to one of your followers and give them this!

4) Competitions are also a perfect way to drive interaction and engagement, make it relevant to your business or local area.

5) Get involved and drive engagement through Poll’s. Ask your audience their local news and their daily life or habits locally. Remember, don’t be direct and make sure the polls that do not directly relate to your business and make them interesting enough to make people get involved. Local issues and daily activities are perfect examples of poll’s and this type of digital interactive usually draws high proportions of respondents.

6) Start a photo, video or blog contest. Ask your audience to submit content from the local area and even that shows them using your products or services. Then choose the best content and then feature and promote it. This will create brand advocates locally and position you in the all important ‘share of mind’ ladder. This type of content sharing is perfect for engagement with the your local fans and followers, it builds loyalty and a sense of participation too with your business.

7) Sponsorships are also a great way to driving awareness of your business. Try and find local bloggers or blogs dedicated to your local area and look at sponsorship. This isn’t about product placement or endorsement of your business. This is once again about winning share of mind locally and create that brand awareness

Getting your social media right…

lot of people are wondering and asking if Social Media and their traditional marketing channels can or should even work hand in hand or should they to be kept apart?

Well, what do we know? Certainly social business is a different way of doing business that is for sure. It doesn’t play by the same rules as say advertising and it has the potential to affect the entire organization, from stakeholder to customer. But that isn’t a reason to run to the hills. In fact it might the reason to raise to the challenge and develop a Social Marketing campaign.

Potentially all those stakeholders now have easy access to platforms that can amplify their voices. It’s important to empower stakeholders so their voices will contribute to the success of your business and make them / utilise them as Brand Advocates . However, if you fail to understand and act accordingl you can make serious mistakes.

  • Facts & Figures:51% of Facebook users and 64% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from the brands they follow. (Source: Social Media Examiner) Consequences of this magnitude ought to be enough motivation to be serious about avoiding the common pitfalls

    So how can you make sure that you are utilising social media properly and don’t make those huge mistakes.

1. Lack of a Strategy or Plan

Most of the time social is introduced into marketing as a tactic. Usually an executive will either ask a question “Why aren’t we on Twiiter  Or “We need to be on ?,“ when most likely the underlying motive is really “we need to be on this platform because our competition is or everyone else is”. This reminds me of the mid 90’s and the phase where a lot of small / medium sized businesses ploughed head first into website and e-commence without one moment of thought or planning. Ask yourself; WHY – WHOM – WHEN – WHERE. 

It’s getting bigger and more diverse with each day.

Not having a plan / strategy is going to cost you in a variety of ways: Tactical approach suggests that social is simply another channel to be exploited; it’s often viewed as free marketing and handed over to the office junior. In fact only recently one of my most respected marketing colleges said the same… or updates and posts are added as a can not most do. Instead of well-planned and coordinated messages, customers are assaulted with a barrage of disjointed messages that don’t dovetail into the sales pipeline and the businesses over-arching strategy.

So apply some old fashion logic and “think before you speak,” jumping on the bandwagon “because everyone’s doing it,” can get you into trouble if you’re not intentional about having a plan first. & Importantly Two ears, one mouth. 

What I mean is read and take note of the conversations taking place about your business both good and bad and react properly, timely and thoughtfully. 

2. Broadcasting – Too much talking not enough listening

The traditional advertising model, sending messages to create brand awareness, hasn’t worked in the social marketing arena.  You need to engage and interest your audience in this arena; Recent statics reveal the 3 most important reasons small businesses leverage social media are:

  • Connecting with customers
  • Visibility
  • Self-promotion

It’s important that businesses focus on connecting with customers, make them feel special and wanted by you. Because if you can connect with prospects / customers by offering helpful solutions / advice  / insights you will be able to WIN SHARE OF MIND and that leads to SHARE OF WALLET. 

3. No one’s home

No posts, no responses, no activity whatsoever. An obvious risk is consumers will dismiss your brand as irrelevant and seek a competitor; equally concerning, this kind of presence leaves a company vulnerable to negative comments or customer’s expecting answers and being frustrated.

Take why the social marketing strategy has to be thought out and implemented properly. Don’t leave it to the junior in the office to post on her way home! Make integral to your sales and marketing plan and see where each post / blog fits along the sales pipeline.

Almost 60% of people worldwide say they expect brands to respond to social media comments regarding service at least most of the time, according to a new report. (Source: Mashable)

All it all it might seem too much, too difficult but with a little understanding and patience, Social Media marketing can make a massive difference to your bottom Line. 

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Ideas to drive awareness and growth to your business by using giveaways

So where to start? 

  1. Give them a reason for the read / click /follow. Your  updates should always includes a trackable links to a free giveaway on your site. Use keywords and ensure the gift is  relevant to your audience. It would be brilliant if you could solve an issue  that you know your audience maybe having.
1.1 Trackable link should go to a dedicated landing page describing the benefits of the free giveaway. People are giving you their email – that is valuable. You mustn’t ever dump them into your .com home page! Or I will shoot you. (joking)
2. Include an opt-in sign up form on your landing page and have a call to action – “Sign up now to get your free report” and please please include a “no, we won’t sell your email to evil doers” privacy assurance in close proximity to the signup box. Make it above the fold, not down on the bottom of the page requiring scrolling to see it.
3. Thank you audience. This thank you page should present once they hit the “Send me my report!” button on the first landing page, otherwise known by lazy marketers as the “submit” button. Restate the benefits of the offer and give the link for the report.
3.1 On the back end, have a thank you email automatically generate based on the email form the prospect filled out. Thank them and give them the link to the report that lives on your website (the same page that automatically popped up when they first entered their info.) Do not include the report as an attachment. Many email systems will block that. Besides, you want to drive them to your website.
4.Create a series of follow up emails related to the report. Day 1 after download, ask if they were able to download that report ok. Day 3, mention a trick within the report to draw them into reading it. Day 7 continue the discussion about the report, and then, weekly after that, keep contacting. Be helpful, share tips, do not sell, sell, sell. This is nurturing, not attacking, ok? Always be can-spam compliant, but most email autoresponder systems will do this automatically.
4.1 Develop other value packed offers to add to your weekly email, only one per email and not every email. Understand the sales cycle and decision process enough to know what they might need next in deciding to choose your company. Did you start with a strategy document? Try adding some practical how-to tips. Webinars and even physical meetup events can be offered to help them better prepare to purchase.
5. Live, breathe, and love your statistics and metrics because these will give you all the insight and information you need. Make sure to that you are constantly testing what works and what does not.  Learn which keywords and phrases work best to get an opt-in, click throughs, attendance at virtual events, and ultimately sales. This is a harder part maybe, but once you set it up, it’s not that bad. Turn your best intuitive marketing guesses into c-suite worthy results.
Summary:
Integrate physical and virtual techniques. Many B2B business cycles are 12-36 months, make sure you are utilising a CRM solution to track and monitor SPANCO throughout the sales pipeline…
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Localised Marketing Services and why they are making business sense

2012 – the year we all went local mad? 

Consumers and Companies Benefit From Location Based Services (LBS)

2012 is localised. I head that at a marketing innovations conference in March this year and my eye’s pick up. Having spent the majority of my working life helping small businesses communicate more effectively, I was intrigued. The key to this success is the integration of location based applications.

Today’s social media savvy consumer expects immediate response and thrives on instant gratification and conversation and this is exactly what location based services can done for businesses. 

% of business from across the pond that are realising the power that LMS’s can bring.

 

Businesses and marketer’s utilising location based apps (LBS), business can use their imagination and develop tactics to reward people for using those LBS’s and importantly for their patronage.  Example, why not reward people for “checking in” at a place of business or an event. A lot of businesses use loyalty and rightly so as part of their marketing strategy, so it makes perfect sense then to build ‘check-in’s’ into that loyalty program too. Proximity has always been  a key  factor for consumers; convenience, and loyalty. So uses localisation based marketing apps provide instant gratification to those walking through your door, sharing tips and experiences. It also means you can t offer discounts or free products / services to those customers who bother to ‘check in’. Thus creating brand advocates, who will perpetuate further conversation and importantly consumer content for future digital marketing activity. 

LBS audience is significant and growing

The recent Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found that about 74% of smartphone users use location-based services to find out information about what’s around them. In addition, one in five (18%) are checking in to local businesses — from restaurants to movie theatres — with geo-social services such as Foursquare.We have all witnessed the Smartphone adoption revolution. Alone in the past year growth has risen from 35% in 2011 to 46% in 2012. The amount of consumers who “check in” has grown by 50% since last year.  A prime example would be the recent Subway partnered with a location-based texting service in the UK to provide discount vouchers that can be scanned using smartphones. This is an innovative approach combining bar code recognition with location-based texting allowing consumers to take advantage of the offer right from their phones providing a convenient, relevant solution for a targeted segment of consumers.

Check – In’s are the most effective way to gain credibility and acceptance locally.

How LBS Can Help Your Business

  1. Word of mouth—We have previously mentioned ‘brand advocates’ and their value in developing that digital sales pipeline. We have all known for decades about the importance of recommendations and great customer service and there is still no more powerful way to market your business than through the words of a satisfied customer. An eMarketer Study in March 2011 found that the primary factor that influences US consumers to try a local business is recommendation from a friend (52%). So encourage and reward these brand advocates..!
  2. Reviews attached to each location/business– So, what happens if consumers aren’t ‘checking in’ or giving feedback? Could this be a polite way of saying that your services / products aren’t that good? There is only one way to find out ask for their feedback. Once you have this information, you’ll be in a position to react and plan accordingly.
  3. Provides insight into consumer’s interests— You have sent hours and hard graft getting customers  in your door, but you can’t stop there. You must plan through continuous improvement keep them coming back. The majority of LBS app’s can and will provide analytics, so the key is to plan and evaluate.  You must be sure to establish SMART goals and objectives and then monitor the results weekly and monthly.
  4. Enhance Event marketing and promotion—LBS is a way to tout your events and promotions to consumers right in your area.
  5. Improves search engine results – geo-tagged media returns higher search results.

Businesses Can Make the Most of LBS through?

  • Listening – LBS apps provide  a platform not only for consumers to check-in, but also to share. Therefore, it becomes so it is important to monitor comments and understand exactly what is being said. The most dynamic change that digital marketing has brought to the marketing arena is that customer now own the power in the relationship. They will talk, seek, exchange information about your business with or without your permission or even awareness. So you must understand what customers are saying and sharing about your business. It is also vital you interact timely to comments, suggestions and importantly complaints. Take advantage of the conversation to improve, recognise and reward your customers and convert them to your brand advocate.

 

  • Attracting more local social savvy customers – Though what is important is the the need to tailor offers to existing sales and marketing strategies or initiatives. Though you must ensure that these LBS offers are easy to share. The ‘word of mouth’ aspect where consumers openly share their experiences with their social networks is what you are aiming for from the LBS and Social initiatives and tactics.

 

  • Act on Insights Gained through LBS – As we have previously stated, analytics will enable you to evaluate which product / service offerings are working. You will also be able to understand behaviour of walk in traffic or to identify peak sales times, track visitors, customer demographics, and whenever possible, direct traffic to your web site. All of which will be vital in the planning and evaluation stages of your digital sales pipeline.

 

  • Location Based Services: The truth is out there?
  1. On-location check-in like Foursquare: Foursquare is a location mapping and social networking service that allows users to let their friends know what they are up to by checking in to different venues. This is great for businesses as it helps them track consumers whereabouts as well as the things they are saying about each venue. There are other similar services like SCVNGR, Yelp to name a few.
  2. Social Coupons like Groupon or Living Social: Groupon is a marketing service that offers its subscribers daily discount coupons by email, Facebook and Twitter feeds. Typical Groupon deals focus on local restaurants, stores, services, events and regional products. Today, there are thirty-five million registered Groupon users worldwide. Usually these services make the offer contingent on a minimum number of users accepting the offer before it can be redeemed.
  3. Review-based apps – Check for UK based review solutions and LBS’s 
  4. Local Social Event News like Bizzy offer a different approach for sharing and finding local businesses, particularly restaurants and bars. Instead of a “check-in” as on apps like Foursquare, Bizzy has “check-outs.” The app is designed to encourage more reviews than other sites such as Yelp. Bizzy is designed to encourage more participation through quick reviews with buttons (“Love it,” “OK” or “No Thx”) that people can click instead of writing a review. In tech lingo that’s called “frictionless.” People can also upload a photo of a dish as a sort of review. Check-outs with photos get more comments and feedback which has encouraged more people.

Let’s start by stating that ‘Intention’ is a critical facet of the search marketing. What I mean by ‘intention’ is what the user mean’s by their search phase or term. If we can get that right it will begin the process of crafting ads and landing page content. So, to make sure we are getting the best ROI and your marketing is working effectively in PPC, you’ll  need to truly understand what the user intended to receive upon searching in order to best deliver our services and information.

Search professionals and agencies often talk about “mapping consumer intent to the search query” in order to better optimize campaign performance. While that sounds great in an elevator pitch or on a companies website but  how does this help your business grow and how can you ensure you are matching the user’s intention is married to your products and services?

  • Silo Your Keywords

When we think about the traditional method of organizing keywords, we often look to the website’s content architecture for guidance. We’ll also look at campaign performance objectives and begin to refine our categorisations based on the ability to maximize ROI out of the campaign. While both approaches are valid, and recommended, you should also look to break out keywords into “intention” silo’s.

There are three main intention silo’s:

  1. Research 

  2. Consideration

  3. Purchase

 

 

 

 

 

After you’ve developed your keyword list, assign each term to one of the three silo’s and then concentrate on stage two. .

  •  Assign Landing Pages

This step can become quite challenging, because often there is limited content available, and much of that content is dedicated to the “purchase intention.” The major issue is that business owners and marketer’s want so badly to capture the order that we end up missing the opportunities to provide real value at the research phase.

Importantly, the consideration phase. The key must is to avoid asking the consumer too much too soon. Make sure you are providing the user the content they crave, and nurture that relationship to gain the sale in the future. Remember shop today buy another.

 

  •   Tailor Your Ad Copy 

This one seems pretty intuitive, but must be stated. Tailor your ad copy to the consumer’s intention, and make sure your call to action maps to the assigned intention bucket.If you’re writing copy for the “consideration” silo , make sure you highlight your value propositions, and use words like “learn” and “research” rather than going straight to a “buy now” call to action.

Remember, it’s not always about the immediate sale. This is all about the sales pipeline…developing that relationship along and making sure that you get a repeat customer. 

  • Determine KPIs

Determining the KPIs for each intention silo is both the most difficult and the most rewarding step. It’s the most difficult, because many times, secondary KPIs and not readily available, are not the primary optimisation point, and most likely don’t carry an established value to the client or internal stakeholder. It’s also the most rewarding, because they provide the insights into the effectiveness of your dedication to providing a quality search experience across the full consumer lifecycle and your sales pipeline. 

Getting more for your budget with PPC marketing

Social Media and Social Lead Nurturing statistic that make great reading. 

HubSpot recently released these statistic that show that social media is a truly vital aspect of the marketing mix but that marketer’s are still struggling to come to terms with the medium.

1) Failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15% increase in churn rate for existing customers. (Source: GartnerThis isn’t rocket science, it plain old customer service via the most interactive medium out there. It is so important, that when customers interact with you via social, you repsond quickly and effectively to their needs / wants. 

2) 37% of brands would like to use social media engagement to create customer-tailored marketing campaigns. (Source: Forrester

3) 75% of B2B companies do not measure or quantify social media engagement. (Source: Satmetrix) Difficulty here is how to measure and what is the benchmark for Social. Enthralled Consultancy would recommend seeing how social media engagement is effecting your sales pipeline from start to finish in a given time and then set SMART objectives in terms of increases throughout the sales pipeline. 

4) 51% of the top 20% of B2B marketers generating leads through social media use social sharing tools, compared to the industry average of 39%. (Source: Aberdeen

5) 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. (Source: Aberdeen

6) Marketers spend an average of 4-6 hours a week on social media. (Source: Social Media Examiner

7) Currently, marketers allocate 7.6% of their budgets to social media. CMOs expect that number to reach 18.8% in the next five years. (Source: CMO Survey

8) 60.2% of marketers are looking for analysis options, as well as other analytics options, in their social media management tools. (Source: SEOmoz

9) Regardless, marketers still continue to struggle with integrating social media into the company’s overall strategy. On a scale of 1-7, only 6.8% of respondents believe that social media is “very integrated” into their strategy (the highest rank for the question), while 16.7% believe that it’s not integrated at all (the lowest rank for the question). (Source: CMO Survey

What These Social Media Stats Say About the Future of Marketing

There are a few key takeaways from these social media stats. First, marketers are increasingly using social media. It’s no longer a matter of “you have to be on social.” It’s a matter of “we’re active on social.” and that you have a well thought out strategy that uses social to engage and enlighten your audiences. Without the planning and strategy, clearly, marketer’s are struggling to see both ROI and vision via Social.

Social Media Statistics: Driving greater integration

E-newsletter for small businesses that can help your growth

1.The From Label – a place for you to let your audience know who you are

The from label is your way of saying hello to your audience (“Hi Jane, this is X”). You want it to be the most recognizable part of your business. Strong from labels are typically your company name, your most famous product or your first and last name, depending on what your company does and how it is structured. After you pick a from label make sure to keep it consistent, changing your from label after you have built trust within your group would be the fastest way to be ignored or worse have people unsubscribe.

2. The Subject Line

The reason your audience opens your email Subject lines are the equivalent of a newsletter headline, they need to be eye catching and build interest. But when you are coming up with your subject line never forget the basics:

Stick to 40-50 characters
Don’t repeat your from label
Don’t use all caps and avoid overusing punctuation

3. The Content 

Why people keep coming back for more
The content you include in each of your newsletters is what can help you build a strong relationship with your audience. It is best to try and connect with each person, personalizing your messages with fields like first name, last name or company name are great ways to start. Another way to make that connection is by sharing your knowledge or fun fact each month, making each tidbit relevant is the best way to go. great ways to start. Another way to make that connection is by sharing your knowledge or fun fact each month, making each tidbit relevant is the best way to go.

Ways to Assist for Scanning

Limit to 3-5 topics/articles

Include links to additional information or redirect to your blog or website

Bold headlines and key words Whitespace is a good thing

Add in columns for newsletters with multiple messages

4. Newsletters are not a place to sell sell sell.

Newsletters are a way for you to keep the lines of communication open so that when a customer is ready to purchase they think of you first. Now that is does not mean you cannot include any promotions or offers in your newsletters, customers have said they are okay with sales messages if they believe the overall message of the newsletter has value. Value, however, isn’t length. Remember this is an email newsletter and you should keep your messages to a reasonable length and always assist with scanning.

5. Easy E-newsletter Content Topics.

A Message from the Expert- A short paragraph from you to your audience or an introduction that drives recipients to your blog for a feature length article.

Customer Testimonial- A simple quote from a happy customer about how you helped them, a measurable result achieved, or link to a video testimonial that you host on YouTube.

An Offer – Do you have a white paper, discount, or promotion currently running to announce?

Event Schedule- Link to the event page on your website or directly to an industry event you plan to attend.

Quick Fact- What’s the post popular selling product last month? What do your customers view as the greatest challenge for them next year

Enthralled Consultancy help small and medium sized businesses with their digital sales and marketing.

Integrated marketing strategy for leading restaurant group

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A leading North Yorkshire chain of restaurants engaged Enthralled to develop the following strategy to build awareness, create dialogue and drive business growth.

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