Integrate Social Media with Direct Mail

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Staying in touch with existing clients and reaching out to new clients is a vitally important task for any business owner. A business owner needs to bring in new clients and continue to provide value for the current customers. In the last few years alone, many new ways have been developed to accomplish this goal. Business owners today need to be aware of such methods as well how to use standard methods at the same time. A business owner who is able to successfully integrate social media with direct mail methods is one who will continue to flourish.

Get Personal

One of the best ways to integrate any social media and direct mail effort is via personalization. Customers tend to respond well to messages that are personalized to them. Building social media means building relationships with others. Any company should be aware of their client’s special circumstances including where they live and their specific preferences. Clients like mailings targeted to the interests they have shown to the world via social media.

Provide Benefits

An effective direct mail campaign is one that provides clients with special benefits just for them. Think about the kind of benefit you can offer your clients. Maybe access to a fashion show just for them or a certain amount off products they buy. Clients respond well to such benefits.

Publicize Your Direct Mail Efforts

Use your Facebook, LinkedIn account and other social media accounts to announce your direct mail campaign. Let your clients know what they can expect when they reach out to you and get mailings from your business. A direct mailing campaign should take advantage of all social media possibilities that exist right now. A well thought out media campaign should use all tools at the same time.

Making the Most of Popular Marketing and Communications Channels/Platforms

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Know What You Have Before Adding On

Multi-channel marketing campaigns and integration of communications campaigns like PR, direct e-Mail, blogs, and sales force materials not only need cross channel management, but the future holds an expansion of online social media marketing with communications channels, not less. Forward thinking business owners understand the value of getting very familiar with available cross-channel marketing execution platforms now, to be prepared and positioned on the forefront, as the digital and print technologies continue to advance. Moving at a break-neck pace, digital media is attempting to keep up with mobile marketing options, while print and communications platforms rethinking marketing options are racing to understand brand touch points, learning brand generation and how to keep the brand message targeted and consistent across all channels.

Communications platforms include social media like YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Google Local, and Email using a business mailing list from their customer database or a purchased list of emails containing potential customers based on their documented purchasing patterns. In-product communication involves directly marketing with a commercially designed message to a target audience through their internet-connected device (PCs, laptops, mobile devices and tablets), or through their software application using ads or value offers.

Marketing and Communications Transitioning

The messages and related media produced is to be used within a market is the promotional part of the marketing mix, using a strategy of combining product information, pricing, placement, and promotional incentives. These must all be developed into a consistent look and feel through strategic use of the elements of branding such as logo, colors, slogans, and message statements. Brick and mortar customer service transitioned into digital customer relations, marketing communications transitioned human resources into humans solutions, and what was once “the elevator pitch” is now on trend tweets, blogs, and emails.

Some of the most interesting key players integrating marketing events, emerging social marketing technologies, and traditional broadcasting media advertising include ADRevolution, HubSpot, Marketo, smartFOCUS, Vtrenz, Eloqua, and Neolane. You get key innovation focus points like delivery to customers of only the ads they want, demand generation, open platforms integrating technology, strategy, and personalized marketing interaction, optimized ROI. Online marketing management of email, direct mail, banner ads, rich media ads, Web content, keyword search advertising, landing pages, micro sites, website visitor tracking, lead generation, and telesales.

Best Utilization Method

Obviously, a business must have an integrated contact management or CRM to tie marketing results with sales results to identify what is working and what is not. Making the most of popular marketing and communications channels and platforms means having the ability to analyze performance data and weeding out the stagnant approaches from the thriving, generating ones.

Three Tips for Keeping an Active Blog

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In today’s digital age, a company’s blog could easily become one of its most successful marketing tools.  The next time you are out somewhere in public take a look around you.  How many people are passing time waiting in line, taking a walk, or simply sitting down with their noses and fingers buried in their cell phones or mobile devices?  These people could be consumers researching a product or service they are interested in buying.  Wouldn’t it be great if they were researching your product or service in their spare time?

What steps can you take to be sure your company’s blog stays active and helps you market your products or services?

  1. Schedule it:  Marketing your company’s products or services has the ability to make or break your business.  Blogging is a great way to get word of mouth about your products or services out there.  Make your blog a priority every single day.  Every aspect of your business can be an inspiration, from new products or services to money saving tips.  Keep your customers informed and intrigued.

  2. Maintain a Fresh Collection of Topic Ideas:  Here is where being in touch with your customer’s needs can put you light years ahead of your competition.  Your customer service representatives are your best to start.  Find out what questions and concerns are most popular with your customers.  Consider picking a few items and expand them on a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.  Monitoring similiar businesses is important too.  Considering reading other industry blogs or setting up Google Alerts to help you keep up with new industry trends.

  3. Consider Hiring a Writer:  Writing is not something that comes easy to everyone.  Yes, it is very important to be informative, but you also need to keep your audience’s attention.  If you find that you cannot keep people informed, yet entertained, perhaps it is time to consider hiring a professional writer.  An informative and professional looking website or blog can ensure repeat visitors, and perhaps even repeat customers.

Are Your Social Pages Doing Well? The Importance of Goals and Indicators

Social Media has reshaped marketing, and the rules of social media are constantly changing. Business should be prepared to track the health of their social media investments, and must constantly evaluate and reevaluate the right indicators to measure.

Complexity

Social media goal setting may not initially seem as complex as other areas of business, but there is often less clear guidance and direction, paired with constant change. Harvard Business School is currently studying “deep indicators” of business model success, since indicators aren’t always obvious, easy to identify, or easy to track. This is one aspect of social media complexity as well, with constant change as an added complexity.

Meaningful Goal-Specific Indicators

You can easily misjudge social media site health if your goals are unclear. A simplified breakdown of common goal categories are those associated with:

  1. Increasing web traffic or increasing sales, and
  2. Brand awareness and expanding online presence.

Not all data are meaningful indicators. Likes, followers, and views may indicate success toward #1, but although they may be a component of a more complex set of indicators for #2, they are less likely to be independently meaningful. The second group represents an increasingly important but more complicated realm, possibly requiring ‘deeper’ indicators. These include indices of user interactions and engagement, using data pertaining to re-posts or re-tweets.

Using your properly identified goals and indicators, and awareness of change, ensure that you are using the right tools to meet your goals. Your assessment is most useful if you are applying your strategy in the right setting. Considerations should include:

  • Best venue or platform for your goals
  • Familiarity with site-specific analysis tools
  • Current KPI trends and interpretation

Best Types Of Posts For Businesses To Share On Social Media

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This is business marketing, not personal chat. That is what you don’t post for marketing and promotion. The function of social media for business purposes lies in nurturing the ability to enter into new relationships relevant to your business. The objective is not specifically to directly push a product or service. It is to expand reach.

As in all relationships that you want to nurture, you provide what they want. Promotion of your brand with social media is about providing content that has value to your audience. They will make the connection and your brand will be enhanced without any direct sales attempt on your part.

But while you do not want to support personal chat, you do want to be social, in as much as you contribute to relevant conversations. The most important factor in the success of this marketing strategy will be in how frequently you interact and post content.

Post benefit-based information that draws the reader to your business website. Information about new features or changes to your product/service is excellent. So are pricing discounts and special offers with promotional codes to be entered on your site.

Provide informative content or link to external content to offer needed information in your industry. That may seem to be a monumental task, but finding such information is no longer all that difficult. As they say, there’s an app for that.

Look to any of the following for help in finding relevant content on the Web. SproutSocial.com, Mention App, and Feedly.com all locate content for specifically targeted subject areas. You can also contract with content professionals to provide content that you specify. Whatever you post, know that the important part of this process is in the establishment of trust and ongoing relationship with your clients. The conversation is of paramount importance, not individual sales. Those sales will follow. You need to focus on developing a community.

How To Increase Customer Engagement Online

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These days, running a successful business online is all about setting yourself apart from the competition by engaging your customer base. However, if all you’re doing to reach out to your customers is maintaining a website, you might not be doing enough. Here are some simple yet effective tips for increasing customer engagement online.

Set Up Social Media Pages

According to Convince & Convert, 58% of Americans these days report that they have at least one online profile with a social media website. Therefore, if you don’t have a business page set up for your company on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter, you could be missing out. By setting up a page and updating it regularly with photos, polls, and contests, you’ll better engage your customers and prospective customers while spreading the word about your business in the process.

Offer Special and Exclusive Content

Today’s consumers love receiving special recognition, so if you’re not already offering exclusive content to your customers, you might want to start. For example, consider sending out a special promotional code to customers who have purchased from you in the past few months. Doing so encourages loyalty to your company while rewarding your customers in the process.

Encourage Feedback and Participation

Believe it or not, your customers want to feel like they have a say in your company’s decisions. Therefore, you should start including them in some of the choices you make. For example, if you’re a candle company thinking about offering a new scent, why not ask for your customer’s suggestions or hold a contest where the winner gets to pick the new scent name?

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to better engage your customers online. Be sure to give some or all of these a try; you just might be surprised by the results.

Most Important Pages On Your Website

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In today’s modern climate, it’s difficult to do business without some type of web presence. Having a website is hugely important, as it allows readers and potential clients to find out more information about the product or service that you’re offering even if someone isn’t physically in your business to greet a walk-in customer or answer the phone for a sales call. Understanding the most important pages on your website, however, will go a long way towards helping you improve your design and get the types of responses that you were expecting all along.

Home Pages

These are some of the most important pages on your website because they are often the first thing that potential customers and clients see when they attempt to make contact. There’s an old saying that goes “you can only make one first impression, so make it a good one.” This is especially true in the world of business-related websites.

Your home page should always include information about the product or service that you’re offering, as well as about your objective. It should be clear and concise and should have an introductory paragraph that allows the reader to first experience what you have to offer in a way that is pleasing to them.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are the parts of your website that you use to convert leads into sales. A lead is someone who arrived at your site from an external destination. While they’re there, you want them to buy whatever product or service that you’re offering. That’s where a landing page comes in.

A landing page should always have a clear call to action and should include some type of offer. A successful landing page will be solely focused on that one thing above all else: the offer in question. It should include headlines, plenty of white space and a large number of action words to entice the reader to make the sale in question.

How Does Blogging Benefit Your Business?

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When the Internet first gained ground, websites were the main way a business could interact with customers online. Today we have several forms of social media that encourage open, community generated exchanges. One of these forms is called a blog. Blogging allows you to set up a website that is updated on a regular basis, which encourages a more active readership. The more web viewers that check out, return and spend time reading your blog, the better your blog’s site will rank in search results. Here are steps you can take to ensure your blog is benefiting your business.

Using a Blog for a Business

As you set up a blog, which you can do for free using many cookie-cutter blog services, you need to have a set goal. In order for a blog to work for a business, you must be able to measure the results. For instance, perhaps your goal for blogging is to share news related to your latest products. To measure the success of your blogging efforts, you would want to know how many readers are returning to your blog more than once. You also want to know how many of those readers are looking at your products and possibly purchasing these. By setting measurable goals with numerical values, such as the number of visits or the length of time spent on your blog, you can determine if your time spent on your blog is worth it for your business’s needs.

Social Engagement

Whereas SEO, or search engine optimization, once was the key to gaining better page rankings, social engagement is becoming more important. Social engagement goes along with social media sites, such as blogs and Facebook, where social interaction between viewers promotes ideas, products and services. In order for your business to best benefit from a blog, you want to provide plenty of avenues for social engagement. Add a forum and encourage its activity, and respond to all of those comments posted to your blog no matter if they are positive or negative. You should also encourage interaction between your blog and others in your network, as a way to gain exposure for your business to a greater audience.

QR Codes and Social Media

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Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are massive marketing tools for businesses. However, having a sign, postcard or newspaper advertisement telling readers to “like” your social media profile is not efficient. Enter into the equation QR codes. Also known as a Quick Response code, this is a useful tool for inbound marketing in the hands of potential customers and clients.

How QR Codes Work

A QR code is a square shaped symbol filled with matrix code that functions in the same way as a bar code on a product at the supermarket. Individuals can scan these codes using a digital reader with a camera feature, such as a smartphone or tablet. The information saved within the QR code will lead the user to a social media site, where they are then able to like or comment on your profile. For instance, someone can read about your business in a magazine. If you’ve included a QR code for your social media profile, they’ll be able to scan the code so to connect with your social media page.

Creating QR Codes

Start by utilizing a website that will create a QR code for you. All you need in order to create a QR code is the address to the website in which you want to connect to using the code.

Utilizing a QR Code

Once you have a QR code you can print off a copy of the code and paste it onto various forms of print media. For example, you would want to include the QR code for your social media sites along with your press releases, advertisements, YouTube videos, and business cards. Brick and mortar establishments for businesses often include a QR code linking to their social media page on signs placed strategically throughout the building. By allowing customers to connect to your social media site in a clever and efficient manner, you ensure that more individuals are reaching your marketing platform on the web.

Best Practices for Successful Facebook Marketing

Facebook has become one of the most dynamic and profitable advertising venues in the history of advertising. In just the third quarter of 2013, Facebook earned over $2 billion in revenue thanks to its successful advertising model. There is a reason why Facebook has been able to generate so much revenue: advertisers on Facebook have access to a large and captive audience that can be narrowly targeted based on income, interests, location, etc. for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.

However, not everyone that advertises on Facebook is getting their money’s worth. There are certain tactics and strategies that can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your advertising dollar. The following are some best practices everyone should adhere to:

Write simple and straightforward copy: The content of your ad should be simple and easy to understand. People on Facebook aren’t looking to read a long treatise, especially when it is an ad, so make sure your message is clear, specific, and simple.

Include a call to action: This advertising technique has been used for decades, and it remains true today. Every ad should directly ask the viewer to act. Whether this is visiting a website, taking advantage of a limited time offer, or anything else, make sure everyone that sees your ad and is interested in it knows what the next step is.

Narrowly target your advertisement: Facebook offers an advertising experience that traditional outlets like TV and radio simply cannot. With Facebook ads, you can drill down to a very specific audience. This means that an 19 year old single boy will not receive an ad for a retirement home.

Track the data: Facebook offers a suite of tools to track how each specific ad is doing. Use these tools to divert advertising funds away from campaigns that are not working and towards campaigns that are.