| Creative Ways To Promote Your Business

Posted in Marketing at 5:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

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If there is one thing that every mompreneur knows, it is that the world of business is intensely competitive. When you are just starting out, you have to set yourself apart somehow because you do not yet have a reputation to rely on. This may mean selling your services and products at a somewhat reduced rate for a while until you have developed a customer base who knows and trusts you. You can then amend your prices to increase profits. However, once you’ve become somewhat developed, the game changes and you are now forced to compete with established companies, and depending on your specific market, you may find yourself up against massive corporations who, with their greater resources, can outperform you.

The sometimes irritating thing about corporations is that they manage to sell so much that they can charge a slightly more reduced mark-up because they know that they can make it back in greater numbers of sales. As a small business owner, you cannot as easily rely upon reaching so many customers and will therefore have to charge each one a little more to make back your investment. This is especially true when the corporations seem to have a monopoly. One example is Google which, as of last year, had 63.5% of the search engine market. The next closest is not a small ambitious company but technology giant Microsoft which has a 22.5% share, followed closely by Yahoo with 11.7%. The next closest, AOL, has just 1.4%. Trying to break into that market at this stage of game seems impossible. Not only does Google have a dominating share of the market, the name of the company has actually been co-opted as a verb to describe what they do (few people say that they will ‘Bing’ or ‘Yahoo’ something, but the idea of ‘googling’ something is near ubiquitous).

While you may not be trying to compete with the biggest companies in the world (one wonders when Apple are going to introduce a search engine; the iSearch perhaps?), you will still have to do what you can to get ahead of your competitors. There are lots of ways that you can try to do this but if everyone else is trying those things too (such as TV ads and promotions sent through the mail), you may struggle to pull ahead. What you need are new and creative ways to market your business. If you are successful, your competitors will soon start copying your tactics and you’ll be back where you started: having to innovate. In any case, here are a few ideas that you may not have considered trying to set yourself apart from the pack:

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Host a corporate event. This is good for two reasons. Firstly, you get to promote your business in all sorts of fun ways (and we’ll get back to those in a moment) but it also gives you a chance to make business contacts both in your local area and from around the country, depending on the scope of your event. Organizing a symposium or a trade show may seem daunting but there is not as much to it as you may imagine. Hiring a venue is easy enough, whether it is a local hotel conference room or a built to purpose conference center. You then need to organize events. These could range from inviting speakers, leaders in the industry, to lecture about their successes or organizing a dais and having a more diverse group such as industry insiders as well as academics and local policy makers. The idea is to create both an informative but also an entertaining event. Once you have your events, the rest is just sending out invitations and taking care of the small logistical matters of finding hotels for your guests. Integrating your brand into the event is then rather easy. For instance, when each guest arrives, give them their ID and conference pass in a lanyard with your company logo and details (check out Lanyard Factory Home page for ideas). You can also give a talk yourself: since you had the initiative to organize everyone together, what you have to say takes on more import. Other ideas include running a charitable event alongside the conference and then donating that money to a local charity. Your company will be reported in the press and will gain greater recognition.

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A brilliant resource (one that business people in the past would not believe if they saw) is the internet. It is easy to advertise on massive sites like Facebook but the internet is much more than its most popular site after Google (which is hardly a surprise). However, since the internet is free and relies to a great degree on user generated content, people with similar interests tend to find themselves congregating together. With a little research, it would be quite easy to find a site dedicated to any niche that you can imagine. This is good for your business because if your services or products appeals to a certain, specific demographic, you are able to market to them directly. It is more efficient than trying to advertise to everyone in the hope that it will find its way to the people you’re interested in as customers. Another cool thing about the internet is that it is connected all over the place. This is the idea that has allowed for the existence of viral content. A video only needs to be posted to one site like YouTube, and by the end of the day, it can be on hundreds of thousands of websites and shared on Twitter too. Taking advantage of this perfect marketing tool is as easy as creating something that people want to share. Whether it is a blog post with a catchy title, or a snarky ad that pokes fun at a public figure or politician, you may find that you get more advertising than you’d ever be able to afford and all for the cost of uploading it just once.

In the modern world, where business is so competitive, the secret to succeeding is not always spending lots of money (although it doesn’t hurt) but being creative and innovating.

| Simple Ways to Engage and Inform Your Customers

Posted in Marketing at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

Engaging with your customers can be a difficult task. Depending on what type of product or service you offer, your customers might not care too much about what you get up to outside of whatever you offer them. They might not care that you have a new product coming up, they might care that you hired new employees, and they probably don’t care that you got a new toaster in the staff kitchen. This is understandable. After all, your customers only really care about the product you offer them and nothing more, so what are the best ways to engage and inform them?

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Social Media

Social media is probably the fastest way you can engage with customers. With short, simple and snappy messages, you could get a point across very quickly. You can mention other people, use hashtags for exposure and even attach images or videos to your Twitter messages. Social media is used by millions of people around the world, making it one of the most efficient ways to promote your brand but due to the audience, it’s also one of the fastest ways to get a message across to your customers. Simply add some social media buttons to your website, add your company Twitter account to customer information, and watch your follower base grow.

 

Online Magazines

Printing a physical magazine for your business is probably a huge gamble, but making a digital one isn’t all too farfetched. A digital magazine could contain a collection of your latest company blog posts, it could be a small publication that informs readers about your business, or it could even be something completely unrelated to your business. For instance, Michelin is a manufacturing company that makes tires, but they’re well-known for their restaurant and hotel guides. You can create some beautiful digital publications using a magazine cover template and a bit of creativity. Fill it with original content, share it on social media and watch your customer engagement shoot through the roof.

 

Comment Sections

Whether you operate a blog or an online retail store, the comment sections of your website are a great way to interact with customers. Although they might not be used very often, there will always be people who leave behind questions or comments regarding a product and you give a good impression by responding to those messages. You should also make it a habit to respond to negative criticism instead of deleting it. Not only will it make you look professional, but it will show people that you aren’t afraid of responding to criticism.

 

Email Marketing

Emailing customers directly can be seen as an aggressive marketing strategy, but it’s a very common way for growing businesses to inform and engage with their customers. You could email them your latest product offers, tell them about sales you are having or even give them a preview of a new and upcoming iteration of your product. A slightly less intrusive way of letting people know about your products is to simply set up an emailing list that your customers can choose to subscribe to or opt out of.

| Communication and Its Importance In Business

Posted in Marketing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

Businesses rely on so much to succeed. A good plan, for instance, can ensure that a steady hand leads a business through some stormy seas. Money as well – If a business isn’t making money, it is going to struggle instead of succeeding. A constant stream of income is needed to ensure that a business breaks even of the course of a financial year to ensure that it survives. However, there is something else that is critical to the success of any kind of business, and it might be a bit surprising. It is communication.

If you put your mind to it, you will easily realize that no business can achieve much without solid communication. We use communication in our everyday lives, in both personal and professional areas.  In business, solid communication is important for the day-to-day operation of a company and is essential in being able to actually sell a product or service to someone. Without communication, a business will wither on the outside and die on the inside. If you’re a small business – you’re going to get lost in a sea of bigger businesses if you can’t communicate. If you’re a freelancer, you’re going to get swept away if you can’t market yourself with good communication.

There are plenty of different forms of communication in the business world. Namely, one-way and two-way. These are pretty self-explanatory. One-way communication is when a business sends out communications without expectation or need for a response. This usually happens when a business shares information with customers. One-way communication is usually found in marketing – adverts in newspapers and on the radio. Two-way communication is when a customer responds back. Meetings are good, but also customer service opportunities on the phone as well. Social media marketing is a form of two-way as it allows a business to call out to customers and it allows the customers to respond back.

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Communication towards customers is something that has a direct impact on the profitability and sales of a business. If a business can learn how to communicate in the right way to customers in the target market of a business, it can work to convince these customers of the benefits of the products and services offered by the business. This can obviously create a bigger chance for a business to maximize sales than if it were to avoid communicating altogether.

There are plenty of other ways that communication manifests itself. You can speak, you can write and you can express yourself. In the conduction of great business, these three are combined to great effect not only to market ideas to customers, but to motivate and inform employees contracted to a business. Different people are responsive to different types of communication, which is why a business should try to master its verbal communication, its written communication and the way it expresses itself (branding) to draw more out of its market and attempt to appeal to as wide a range of people as possible. If businesses do not try to improve their communication methods, there can be problems, mainly in how communications are perceived by an audience or regulating body. If you are not clear with your outbound communications, it can have a detrimental effect on your marketability and even your sales. That being said, good communication is good for business, if you can ensure you can get on a level with your customers and target market, you can communicate clearly and ensure customers receive the right messages from your business. There might be no better way to boost sales!

That’s how you can communicate, but what are the further benefits of good communication? Well, for one – it helps build and maintain relationships. In all areas of business, building relationships are key to the running of a business, in some areas of business – it is even more crucial. Communication is how relationships are built, so without effective communication, you will find it very difficult to be able to build any sort of positive or productive relationship in business. Communication also helps creativity. Every business should try to be as innovative as possible, especially in the modern day. If your employees are able to communicate and an environment of collaboration is allowed and supported. Good communication supports innovation in the workplace. If your staff can’t talk or get their ideas across, their ideas will be lost, and one of those could be the saving grace of your business. Forget about ideas if you can’t build a team though. Honest and open communication in the place of work and will help forge an effective team. A good team spirit in the workplace will make your place of work more enjoyable and productive. Good internal communications can ensure that your staff knows exactly what they are doing and how to do it, this can also be used to reward staff and remind them of their productivity as well as their work-based achievements.

It’s also about leadership and management though. Communication is key in this role. It allows you to set goals, talk to your employees and help them develop in not only their role, but their career. Managers need to be good communicators so they can inform their team and staff about what to do, and the expectations of the role. Communication also obviously helps manager’s feedback to staff and build crucial relationships. If you don’t have good communication skills as a leader, you will fail to understand the staff working for you.

Communication? It’s so important in business, isn’t it! Apart from the in-depth information, we’ve delivered thus far – how can a business achieve anything at all with communication? Think about your staff. How can they know their job, roles, tasks and functions without effective communication? How will your business promote its products? Communication might be where your business dies – or the area that sees your business thrive. We’ve covered the benefits, so let’s now take a look at how a business can use communication and how it can be more effective at communicating!

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Aside from marketing, no form of communication is more common in a business setting than the meeting. It’s a place where you can set goals and bring motivation to a team. It is an environment where your team can also be heard and air their views and frustrations. A meeting is key to the inner workings of a team. Equipment is also essential in communication. Small business phone systems allow you to speak to your audience and customers as well as communicate internally, while computers can help your staff stay organized as well as launch marketing campaigns while staying in touch with clients. Good communication and good tech to support comms is critical. It’s not just equipment though; the layout of your office could have a huge impact on staff communication. If you and your employees are separated and isolated communication is going to be muted and collaboration stunted – move desks together for more effective collaboration. Are your computers separated and not linked over a network? This means that your staff won’t have access to all the materials needed to complete work – make sure your computers are networked. Of course, there are plenty of communication software options available to help your staff talk. Slack functions as a virtual office and is a godsend in remote working setups. Basecamp is a lot more fully functioned. Basecamp can do it all from communication, to to-do lists, daily reports and staff check ins. If you can correctly identify the right software for your company and use it in the right way, you’ll solve a lot of communication issues and you’ll be able to communicate more effectively.

Customer service is also a crucial part of communication. If you shut yourself away from your customers, they will be irate when issues arise that you refuse to solve. A customer coming to you with an issue isn’t a negative; it’s a chance for you to solve a problem and prevent it from happening again. This is a huge positive. Why? Because most customers stay silent about issues – this sort of feedback is golden and means that you can patch up huge problems! This feedback can be oft, but it is worth it if it means you’ve found an area to improve in your business. If you do not respect the views and wishes of your customers, you’re going to create problems in your target market that could have serious for your business. In customer service, every customer should be treated with respect by your business.

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There’s a reason communication is so important – in fact, there are a whole bunch of reasons why good communication is needed in business. If your business can’t talk to customers, it can’t sell products or resolve issues and queries. If your business can’t talk to clients or investors, it can’t pitch ideas or attract funds. If you can’t speak to your staff, you’ll be steering a rudderless ship and productivity in the workplace will suffer. If you’re communication skills are lacking in the workplace, work away right now at rectifying that with the help of good technology and good policy. Communication is crucial to success in business, so don’t avoid success by developing terrible communication habits!

| What Does A Compelling Marketing Email Look Like?

Posted in Marketing at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

With the rise of social media, some analysts sounded the death knell for email marketing. However, email marketing hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact, it’s arguably bigger and better than ever, despite all the newfangled digital marketing techniques that have been and gone during its tenure.

It turns out that people respond well to email marketing. Thanks to new facilities that separate emails into different categories, like “promotional” and “social,” those who are interested are free to peruse them at their leisure.

The aim of companies, therefore, is to create emails that are so compelling that customers can’t help but read on to find out more. But how exactly is this achieved? And how can you adjust the writing in your emails to make sure that they lead to conversions?

 

#1: Use Actionable Language

Using actionable language in the headline helps to create a sense of urgency in the reader. For instance, Opentable has sent out marketing emails in the past saying “Take dad out for lunch.” Words like “take” and “ask” help to provoke the reader into action, compelling them to take the next step and use the service.

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You can also use actionable language in a way that doesn’t rely on the use of particular verbs. For instance, many companies go with headlines like “Don’t miss out on our half-price sale.” Although there is no direct call-to-action, a call to action is implied.

 

#2: Personalize When Possible

In general, people prefer personalized messages to generic emails. Studies have shown that targeted and segmented emails drive more than 58 percent of total email revenue. As such, it’s a good idea to use tools, like email newsletter software at Postman Newsletter, to segment your market. For instance, if you’re an estate agent, you know which of the people in your marketing list are looking to rent or buy. As a result, it only makes sense to sent emails about renting to the renters and emails about buying to the buyers.

You can also do more technical things, such as make use of dynamic fields – fields that automatically adjust based on information in your customer database. This helps you to send emails out to all your customers named Jill, starting with “Dear Jill.”

 

#3: Establish Relevancy

The heading of the email should be relevant and personalized to the person it is being sent to. And so should the copy in the email itself.

In practice, this means including more than a dynamic name tag. For instance, suppose you’re a prescription glasses company, like Warby Parker, and you want to remind customers that their prescription is coming up for renewal. It’s a good idea to put a personalised date in the header for their renewal based on their last prescription.

 

#4: Write In the Second Person

Finally, it’s always a good idea to write emails in the second person using words like “you,” “your” and “yours.” The reason for doing this is to make sure that the content of the email is focused on the reader, rather than on the business providing the service. After all, people just want problems to be solved.

| How To Put On The Best Show Possible

Posted in Marketing at 5:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

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When it comes to getting your business known and promoting your products and services among a certain industry, you can do a lot worse than attending a trade show. The main reason for this is accessibility. After all, a lot of the people that attend trade shows can be nigh on impossible to reach otherwise. Think about it, a trade show is basically a place where every professional in your industry gathers for two or three days. It makes for ideal pickings.

However, attendance at these things can cost a pretty penny, to say the least, so make sure have a battle plan that will allow you to squeeze absolutely every drop of use out of it. You need a plan that will help you get the most out of your being there, and here is how:

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Picking the One

As with everything, there are so many options these days, so you need to make sure you pick the right trade show. This means research. It means looking at each website, scrutinizing the attendee list, seeing who is speaking or what networking events are being promoted there. The more knowledge you have the easier it will be to make a decision.

 

Nailing Your Booth

The thing with a trade show is there is a lot of white noise. The whole space is packed full of competitors vying for business, and trying to lure in the business deal of their lives. You need to beat these people; you need to shout louder than them, which means you need to add all you can to your arsenal. If you don’t know what we mean then you need to look at this range from Dynamic Gift. Feather banners, floor mats, printed tablecloths, expo displays and display stands. All of these are things that will turn heads and start conversations.

 

Stay At the Sponsor Hotel

Most trade shows will have a hotel that is associated with the event, and this hotel is where you need to get a room. Sure, Airbnb may be cheaper, so may another hotel, but paying that extra premium is going to be worth it because this is where most of the retailers, buyers, customer and clients will be staying. They won’t just be sleeping there either. After each long day at the trade show, these people will be heading to the bar for a few cocktails, and what better chance is there than that to network.

 

Plenty of Business Cards

Have business cards, plenty of them, and have them on you at all times because they still matter. Yes, the event itself will be your biggest chance to litter the hall with your cards, but when it comes to networking at these things you could meet potential contacts everywhere. The lobby, the elevator, the bar, the smoking area; everywhere, so make sure have a card to hand out. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t.

 

Your Plan of Attack

Preparation is going to be your best friend here. You only have two or three days to get everything you need doing, done; so make it count. Have a goal and have objectives. Get there early and get both a map and a directory; this way you can map out which booths you want to hit and in what order. Once you’ve hit them, tick them off and then when you have hit them all, and only when you have hit them all, allow yourself to walk around at your own leisure. It could be you even have a list of secondary objectives to meet. Plan, plan, plan.

| SMEs – Create A Marketing Strategy The Competition Will Envy

Posted in Marketing at 5:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

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Nowadays, it doesn’t matter that you’re a one-stop shop because you have to compete with the big boys. The internet has changed the industry and levelled the playing field, and you need to take advantage. The only way to do that is to produce a world-class marketing plan. Once you spread the good word about your business, the customers will come back on a regular basis. The question is how do you reach this target? The tips underneath should be able to help.

 

Identify the Market

In a perfect world, you would sell your products and everyone and anybody. But, this isn’t a perfect world, so you have to make a choice. A lack of money and resources means it’s almost impossible to target everyone at once, which is why you need to define your audience. Once you know who to target, you can tweak the way advertise and communicate. For example, is the audience younger or older? If they’re younger, you want to use modern techniques like social media to create a better digital presence. The demographics will determine who you talk to, and how you talk to them.

 

Find a Niche

Every industry has a niche – you just have to find it first. The great thing about a niche is that it is untouched by other companies. In other words, it’s a monopoly that allows you to be a major player regardless of your size. The trick is to ask the right questions in search of Holy Land. For instance, is there a market sector that isn’t being served? Better yet, is there one that is but not very well? If the answer to these questions is yes, there is an opportunity to seize. Also, think about what makes the company different from the competition. A niche doesn’t conform.

 

Follow the Competition

The secret to beating the competition is to watch them carefully. Spying might not seem very moral, but it’s necessary. For starters, there isn’t a company on the planet that can let its rival speed off into the distance. A business that gets a big lead is hard to pull back regardless of the quality of the product. Plus, there is the fact that rivals use techniques which are directly transferable. Think of the competition like a vat of information that you can use for your benefit. All you need to do is keep an eye on their progress and cherry pick the best bits.

 

Review SEO

Search engine optimization is essential, right? Yes, it’s imperative to use the right SEO strategy, right being the operative word. Far too many companies choose a plan that doesn’t suit their needs because they think every tactic will work. It won’t as SEO techniques require tailoring to the firm before they come to fruition. That means analysing the impacts beforehand with these SEO software reviews. Investing in something without taking for a test drive is irresponsible, and it often leads to major mistakes.

Follow these tips and you’ll be the envy of the industry.

| Social Media And The Business

Posted in Marketing at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

The way one would run a business has changed dramatically in the last few twenty or so years. The internet has changed everything. People can sit at home and run a multi-million dollar business. Just look at Amazon, or Uber, and how they have forged their business just on the internet. It is a great platform for success and many business owners have forged their path online. However, although the internet had a big impact it can be argued that social media had an even bigger one. This impacted marketing and the way people reach out to contact others. There are millions of people who use social media. And there are many platforms to choose from, for example Facebook, twitter, Linkedin, etc. If you and your business can tap into but a part of this huge following you can garner many sales and increase your visibility. It is arguably the best place to advertise at the moment bar none. The following article highlights why it is important for your business and how you can benefit from it. You may have thought about some of these, but if not give it a go.

In the first case you need to create a business page. It is similar to a profile but quite obviously not that of a person. You should ensure the photo is good too. This is what people will see first. It can be of your storefront if it is nice enough or maybe it can just be of your business logo. Try to make it eye catching and alluring. It must not be boring. When you have just set up in may be hard to garner attention. As such you could buy Facebook likes. It can give your page the boost you may be looking for. After this more likes will follow naturally and as a result more people will visit your business page.

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To make your business page attractive and worth repeat visit you need to post great content. This is usually in the form of an article or two a week. The issue is in getting it right. It needs to be perfect with no mistakes in it so that you keep your reputation intact. If you aren’t too good at writing then hire a freelance writer, you can get it quite cheap if you approach it in the right way. Don’t think about considering clickbait, it just annoys people and you will find yourself losing likes faster than you can count. In the content you need to promote yourself, sprinkle it with links back to your home page for example.

You could consider a video too. Making a marketing video is hard work. However, there are people out there who can help. They are attractive because it is far easier to watch a video than read a long article. There’s a reason all the great big companies still use them. They can be posted across the board too on all of the sites you use.

| Brand Spanking New: How To Grow Your Customer Base

Posted in Marketing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

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All too often we hear entrepreneurs and business leaders explain how a company’s existing customer base is the best way to grow their operations. Of course, this is a fantastic way to build on you revenue. You are using your current leads to build a profit, able to capitalize on direct marketing tactics and offer them loyalty rewards for, well, remaining loyal. Like we said, it is a fantastic way grow your business, but we’re not sure it is the best way.

To put it as simply as possible, even the most successful brands need to bring on new customers. It is the only way of growing their business and staying profitable. The trouble is finding and landing these new fish.

There are more places, more avenues, more routes, and options than ever before, which means it can be very easy to waste, or lose, money by simply choosing the wrong strategy when it comes to customer acquisition.

That’s why it is so important to know what the best low-cost strategies are out there in attracting new buyers to your business. As such, we have spoken to a few marketing professionals and sales experts and compiled a list of their top tips, little tricks and must-know bits of advice.

 

Make Sure Your Website Is Ace

Your website is the foundation from which to build your brand off, and that means it has to do everything you need it to do and be everything you need it to be. It needs to be well-branded, user-friendly, mobile ready, easy to navigate and the ultimate ambassador. The thing about your website is that it is going to be the first thing potential customers see and the very thing they connect with.

It also has to compete with all the other businesses that are operating in your sector, and that means you have less than 8 seconds to grab their attention and then keep it. How do you do this? By making it stand out, and that means having great products, incredible content, sexy designs and powerful imagery. This is going to be the most powerful weapon in your arsenal, and thanks to online template builders like squarespace.com it doesn’t even have to be expensive to look great.

 

Bring On The Experts

You may think this is an odd strategy to mention in a list of cost-effective strategies, but bringing on an expert, or outsourcing to an agency, is all about value. Experts know how to best use the different marketing strategies to maximize their effect. They know the jargon, they know what every acronym means, they know how to deliver. What’s more, they will be able to confirm what channels are producing the best ROI (return on investment).

What’s also great about this option is the fact it comes with so many options. In terms of growing your customer base, it could be that you go with a company like FlagshipDigital.com.au who specialize in lead generation. It could be you go with a company that specializes in pay-per-click advertising, or knows how to best use targeted newsletters, or whatever. The options are endless. As such, know where your weaknesses are going from there, or go with an agency that will best be able to centralize your efforts. Low cost is great, but value for money is better.

 

Use Social Media As Your Own Catwalk

We all use social media in our personal lives, but the power they possess for business is astounding, especially if you are a company that has very visual product. The best of the bunch are Pinterest and Instagram, of which the latter is making big strides in terms of their business offerings. This includes having an insights option so you can see just how many engagements a paid advert or posting is getting.

What makes these social media platforms so great, though, is the endless opportunity for exposure. Pinterest has what they call pins. You can make your own pin boards, and then pin images. To optimize your own success, always use high-quality images with bold text headlines, and always pin at peak times. As for Instagram, not only is there a news feed that users can scroll down, there is also a search function which allows users to see what other people are liking. This makes it increasingly easy for you to get your products seen, especially if an online influencer likes your stuff.

 

The Power Of Referrals and Invite

If you have a business that hasn’t launched yet and you’re not sure how to create a buzz, one of the most effective things to do is how an invite-only scheme. People are attracted by the idea of exclusivity whether they like to admit it or not. Think of it like a nightclub. If you’ve been put on the guest list, or if you’ve been invited to a night, then you are far more likely to go. You are also far more likely to talk about it to your friends. The same goes for a business. Having an invite-only process will create a buzz that will grab the attention of potential customers. Spotify is one of the big examples of this.

If you already have a business that is up and running, and you just want to expand your customer base, then why not have a referral program set up. Referrals are a great way to incent your customers to refer their friends, and friends who get a referral request are far more likely to check out your brand. To do this successfully, use personalized coupons and promo codes.

 

Bring On Some Affiliate Marketers

There are tons of people that would love the idea of making a little bit of cash without having to do much to earn said cash, and that’s where affiliate marketing comes in. By referring people to your business. This can be done through affiliate links. Let’s say you make wooden children’s toys, and you partner up with a blogger that has a family blog, or reviews kid’s toys. This is a fantastic way to get new customers who have simply stumbled across your website by clicking on a link on their favorite blog. This is also a great way to improve your SEO rating and thus get your shiny website in front of people. Two birds with one stone.

| Is Your Business Part of the Smartphone Revolution?

Posted in Marketing at 5:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

Take out your smartphone and visit any website. It doesn’t matter which, because it’s not really about the website: the point is, you can begin a blog with ‘take out your smartphone’ because they’re everywhere; practically everyone who you would like to market your small business to has a smartphone. So are you making the most of this cultural phenomenon? If you’re not, it might be time to buck up your ideas and focus your energies on those devices we’re all carrying around in our pocket.

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Making it Part of Your Strategy

A decade ago, making mobile marketing part of your strategy made some sense. Today, it should be right front and center. The numbers of people with a smartphone are pretty mind blowing right now, but it’s nothing to what’s coming – by 2020, there’ll be 6.1 billion smartphone users. And marketers are putting a lot of effort into making sure they’re ready for the influx. This is just one reason why Hubspot unveils innovations to make SMB marketing more mobile; because they know that traditional internet – on a computer – is on the decline. Soon, if you’re not focusing on mobile marketing you’ll be left behind.

Mobile Friendly

That’s why it’ll pay to make sure everything you is optimized for mobile use. If your website is permanently in desktop mode regardless of the device it is being accessed from, it’s time to cater to the needs of your potential customers and make it responsive. Even now, people are being turned off websites that don’t fit their smartphone screens, and this reaction is only to become more profound.

Exclusive Rewards

The competition for the attentions of internet mobile phone users is pretty fierce, and as such you should be doing your utmost to make it their worthwhile to spend their time looking at their screen with you. You can offer exclusive discounts or rewards, including early access and the like, to those people who engage with you through the phone. In time, you’ll have a solid base of mobile friendly customers.

In Their Pocket, In Their Minds

SMS marketing is the best (and perhaps most underrated) way to use smartphones to your company’s advantage. Why? Because they’re an amazingly way to communicate with your customers. There are ways to do it properly, though – you don’t want to bombard your customer with daily texts, just 3 or 4 a month with genuinely good deals will do, and also make sure they’re only being sent to people who meet your target demographic.

Engagement

If you’re serious about making mobile marketing a cornerstone of your business, then you should be looking at creating an app and QR codes, both of which promote engagement between your customers and your business. Mobile apps in particularly are a worthwhile investment as it allows you to really understand your customer and allows them to personalize their experience with you. If your company is not ready or suitable for that, then having scan-able QR codes also do a good job of promoting user interaction.

| Have an Eventful Time Promoting Your Brand

Posted in Marketing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

Hosting an event for your brand is often a good choice to promote it. However, it can also be a huge waste of money if you don’t manage to pull it off properly. You have to put a lot of thought into a business event to ensure that it’s beneficial for your brand. Whether you’re inviting others in your industry or putting on an event for the general public, there are many things to think about to make sure you’re doing the right thing. Here are just a few of the considerations you’ll need to take into account before you launch the promotion for your event.

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Choose the Right Type of Event

The first thing to think about is what sort of event is appropriate for your business. You need to consider who it’s for and what will appeal to them. It could be anything from a conference for people in your industry to a silent auction to raise money for an affiliated charity. You’ll have to think about the structure of your event, from how everything will proceed to whether you will be selling tickets. Thinking about who you are inviting or who you’re trying to attract is key. What will they enjoy, and what will make them go home talking about your brand?

 

Find the Right Venue

Once you’ve decided what sort of event you’re going to do, you need a venue. Once this is arranged, everything else will follow. Of course, you need to consider the type of event to get the right venue. You might look at private function rooms, outdoor spaces, conference centers, and other possibilities that could work for you. Some events are appropriate for hosting in nightclubs, others need to be in meeting rooms. You should make sure to speak to a few different people and get quotes. Consider other services that the venue might be able to offer, like catering or AV equipment.

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Keep Your Event Safe

The safety of your event is one of the most important things to think about. You’re going to be responsible for people who aren’t your employees (unless it’s an employee-only event), so you need to consider liability issues. You also have to consider the venue and that you’ll be responsible for any damage. If it’s a private event, especially in the evening, you might want to research security companies that can provide door service. You’ll also need to create a plan for maintaining safety during the event. If the venue has a health and safety officer, you can work with them to achieve it.

 

Provide Entertainment

Keeping everyone happy needs to be your priority. So providing entertainment, whether it’s in the form of talks, food and drink, or activities, should be at the top of your list of things to do. It’s important to consider your audience again, as well as the purpose of your event. What can you provide to make sure everyone has a good time?

If you want to host an event for your brand, don’t rush into it. It’s important to plan it carefully.


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