| The Socialite: Building Your Presence

Posted in Marketing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

Modern marketing has become very focused on social media. Of course, this makes a lot of sense. Certain social media sites have millions of active users. And, they let businesses post for free. So, they are great places to get some free advertising. In most cases, you just have to put the work in; and, you’ll get a lot out of it. This can be a challenge, though. So, to help you out, this post will be going through some of the best ways to start getting more traffic to your social media pages.

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The easiest way to draw more people in is to improve your posting. There are loads of ways that you can do this. First, you should be aiming for your posts to be very consistent. This means that all of your posts need to use the same branding and house style. Even the things that you say have to be in character. Along with this, you need to make sure that you’re providing people with content that is interesting. You have to give people a reason to be reading your content. So, if it’s not worth their while, they won’t bother with it. Making sure that your posts are interesting can be hard, though. But, you can always ask people that you know for help before you start posting. Always make sure that you’re confident in your posts before you send them out.

When you see things trending or becoming popular on social media, it’s usually because it’s has a big uptake of likes, follows, or subscriptions. Social media sites use very complex algorithms to calculate these things, and growth is one of the biggest parts of it. So, if you can get a large number of followers in a short period; you will find that people will start flocking to your pages. One of the easiest ways to do this is simply by buying the likes. When doing this, you just have to make sure that you’re buying real followers and likes, and not fake ones. There are loads of companies out there that offer this service. And, most social media sites don’t have a problem with it.

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A lot of success can be found in pooling together and working with other people on social media. If you can find a company that would be willing to work with you, it’s much easier to share your followers. This means that you will both benefit from each other. And, you will both get more exposure because of it. Building up a relationship like this can be hard. So, you need to be willing to spend time talking to people. But, once you have a partner, things will get much easier. Having a mutually beneficial exchange like this is a great way to make sure that success continues.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to start using your social media more effectively. You may have to spend a little bit of money on this. But, once you’ve done it, it will be very worth it. You will notice the benefits from this sort of work almost instantly. And, it may even be where your first customers come from.

| Five Types of Advertising You Need to Use

Posted in Marketing at 5:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

The world of advertising is vast and varied. You need to come up with a plan for dealing with this when you think about how you can advertise your business and its products. The five examples of advertising methods discussed below should all be used, or at least considered as you formulate your plan. Read on to find out more about them.

1. Product Placement

Product placement is a growing form of advertising that many businesses are discovering and making the most of. To put it simply, product placement allows you to advertise your product by inserting it into a form or media. It could be used in a movie, a TV show, a YouTube video or even a video game. Of course, the size of your business and how much you have to spend will decide which of these options is right for you. Getting products in big movies is always a challenge, so think carefully about your choice.

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2. Direct Marketing

Direct marketing does pretty much what it says on the tin. This form of advertising is all about taking your idea and your pitch directly to the customers that you want to target. In the media age we’re now all a part of, this can be done in a variety of different ways. You could start by using an email marketing strategy. Then you could build connections on blog, forums and on social media. You might also want to try face to face selling; that’s another example of direct marketing.

3. Banner Ads

Banner ads are very popular among small businesses that want to get their adverts seen online. They are banners that normally sit at the top of a web page, and it’s often the first thing a website visitor sees before they scroll down. You can find a company that offers digital campaign development support if you want to do online advertising in the right kind of way. This is a good idea if you don’t know much about it yet.

4. Billboard Advertising

Many people get too caught in the hype surrounding online advertising. It causes them to forget about just how important and how effective good billboard advertising can be when the right approach to it is taken. You should aim to create image and messages that can be seen far and wide. Strike the right cord and draw people’s attention to what you are trying to say. The best thing about this kind of advertising is that it’s often impossible for people to ignore.

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5. Sponsored Tweets and Facebook Ads

You can’t afford to ignore social media if you want to take your business to the next level and get good results from your advertising strategies. Sponsored tweets can be very useful when you want to get your message seen by the right people. The tweet will pop up in people’s timeline. And the same kind of thing can be done on Facebook with their advertising system. Make the most of the advertising possibilities both of these sites offer.

| A Practical Guide on Boosting Your Internet Traffic

Posted in Marketing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

Digital presences have become an important facet of every business regardless if you work via the internet or not. You could run a little corner store that doesn’t really need the internet, but with so many people using the internet around the world, your chances of success rely on your ability to use as many resources as possible to get noticed and the internet is no exception. There are online directories, store reviews and social media that you can use to get noticed.

It might sound difficult to get noticed on the internet given the number of websites on the internet, but here’s a secret: 98% of the internet sucks. Let’s face it, who checks more than a few pages on Google’s search? Despite the millions of hits and results that a Google search spits out, we don’t actually check a good 98% of those because they just plain suck.

 

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Understanding Search Engines

Have you ever wondered how a search engine works? If you type something in and hit search a couple of times, you’ll realize that it’s not completely random and that you’ll get the same results over and over again. However, if you check again the next day or in a couple of days, you’ll notice that they might change. This is called search ranking—a feature that is different for every search engine, but we’ll use Google as an example because it is the most popular search engine.

Firstly, the web is a large place and it’s important to think of it as a large web of connections. You need to know a website’s address in order to connect to it directly, but if you don’t know the address then the only way you can connect to it is through a link by someone else. This is what is meant by a web, you technically have access to all of the open internet, but you don’t necessarily know every single website which is why we have to rely on search engines to categorize and sort all of that information for us.

If your website isn’t listed on Google, then the only way you’re going to spread your website is through social media and sharing the link directly with other people. This is similar to how networking in real life works. You have to speak with people to get contacts, and those contacts can lead to other people. If you look into a directory, then you might get the numbers of a bunch of people you can speak to for help, or to sell your products to.

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How to Use Search Engines to Your Advantage

The first thing we’re going to talk about is search engine optimization or SEO for short. SEO is a series of strategies and methods that a web owner can utilize to make their website easier to discover for search engines such as Google. There are several different types of SEO and you can visit POET Media for more information about how to get the correct services. However, even if you do get the correct assistance, it’s still a good idea to get to grips with the finer points of SEO.

Google will rank your content based on a couple of things. Keyword relevancy is one of the more important things to think about. Essentially, it refers to the number of times a search time appears on your page. For instance, if someone searches a term such as “Akita dogs” then Google will look up all the websites in its database and look for the term “Akita dogs”. If you have a website about dogs but very little information about the Akita breed, then you will perhaps be on page 2 or 3 of the Google search. However, if you have a website that is specifically about Akita dogs, then you will be much higher on the search ranking.

 

Content Matters

Your content also plays a big role in what your search ranking is. If you have a lot of original pictures and posts about Akita dogs, then you will be very high in Google’s search ranking and you might even place top 5. However, if your content about Akita dogs has been stolen from other websites, Google can detect this and you will be flagged for plagiarism. Google hates anything that is stolen, so if your content isn’t a hundred percent original, Google will deduct points from your ranking and you will be put down a couple of spots.

Search engines such as Google will also check other things on your website and use those to display a search result. For instance, your meta title and meta description play a big part in the visibility of your website. When you use Google, you might notice that each search result is accompanied by a small body of text that gives a brief explanation. These are never written by Google themselves, but instead, these are written by the website owner or they are taken from a sample of the text on the website. Image file names are also important. Using the example from before, if you tag your images “dog” instead of “Akita dog” then you will rank lower. Always give your images proper descriptions and tags, but don’t overdo it!

Now that you have a general idea of how SEO works and how Google ranks your website, let’s go through some actual tips. These are all very general ideas on how to boost your internet traffic, but they are guaranteed to work.

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1. Use Relevant Images

This can’t be stressed enough. If you don’t have images (and original ones) then you’re missing out on a lot of exposure. Keep in mind that you can’t just simply use any image you found on Facebook or Google due to copyright practices. If you’re unsure if an image is completely free to use, then go to a stock photo website such as ShutterStock or Pexels to look for some free images. As explained above, images are also searched when you plug some terms into Google. The more images you have, the more chances you will be picked up by Google’s search algorithms. In addition to SEO optimization, having more images on your web page will make it easier to view. With more images, you’ll have less text or you can break up heavy blocks of text with a picture. People can also find your website through Google’s image search because if they search images, your images might come up and they might check out your website as a result of it.

 

2. Using Software

There is software such as Yoast SEO that will help you optimize your web pages. These programs can be used via a WordPress plugin or a downloadable software package. These programs will do spell checks, grammar checks and even check for keyword relevancy and rank your web page based on its SEO visibility. It will help you cut down long sentences, tell you if you are lacking images or keyword relevancy, and it will give you suggestions on where to make these changes. However, some people find that working with these tools makes it harder to add your own personal flair to an article. If you find that using an SEO plugin or software dampens your creativity, then it’s recommended to not use these programs and instead, manually work on your SEO.

 

3. Networking

No matter how great your website is and how well optimized it is, your ranking is going to greatly depend on how well-received it is by your readers and viewers. Try and get your web pages linked on another website. For instance, if you have something informative on your website, you can link to it on forum posts or Reddit messages. You could also promote your website on social media and link your posts on Twitter or Facebook. Those social media platforms will automatically generate previews so that you can easily share them with your followers and friends. You can also try to get your web pages featured on other websites that are somewhat related to your own. The more websites that link back to your content, the higher your Google rank will be and the more traffic you will get.

 

4. Designing for All Devices

Did you know that a lot of social media users only rely on smartphones and tablet devices, not a computer? Because of this, it’s a good idea to design your website with the intention of it being viewed on multiple devices. There are great examples of mobile website design all over the internet, and many website design services will take this into account as part of the cost. However, it’s always a good idea to check if your website works as intended on mobile devices and retains all of the functionality it has on your desktop computer. A lot of people will check your website on a smaller device, so try not to add too many large images, create an alternative version for mobile, and make sure it works efficiently.

| Making Connections: How To Be Great At Networking (Even If It’s Awkward)

Posted in Marketing at 5:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

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Networking is just an inherent part of running a business. This is a fact that a lot of people really aren’t going to like, but if you want to make sure that your business is successful, then you’re going to need to learn to network effectively. The problem is, for many of us, networking can be a seriously awkward and intimidating experience. Unless you’re a true extrovert and there’s nothing you love more than meeting people, you’re inevitably going to find networking to be at least a little bit uncomfortable. But fear not! It doesn’t have to be that way; there are actually plenty of things that you can do to make yourself better at networking. Here are just a few simple tips that will help you avoid the inevitable awkwardness.

 

Never Miss a Marketing Opportunity

The biggest issue that a lot of people have when it comes to networking is that that they simply don’t know what to say. Fortunately, you always have a set topic on hand: your business. This means that you should never miss an opportunity to market your business. If you’re at a specific networking event, then you might have a step and repeat banner that displays your business clearly to anyone that you’re talking to, but otherwise, you could also just hand out a business card when you introduce yourself. That gets the details of your business out there without you having to go through the trouble of explaining the whole thing to people over and over.

 

Avoid the Hard Sell

But this doesn’t mean that you should use the entire networking opportunity to try and offer up facts and figures about your business. When you’re talking to someone, the last thing you want to do is to give them the hard sell. After all, networking should still have the quality of a natural conversation. If you do talk about your business, talk about it on a personal level. Discuss the people behind the business and how that influences its core values. Remember, this is not an investors meeting, you’re not trying to convince anyone of anything, you’re simply trying to get your business out there into people’s minds.

 

Fake It ’til You Make It

Don’t worry if you’re the kind of person who tenses up at even the idea of having to talk to people that you don’t know. This is totally natural and far more common than you might expect. You would probably find that the people who seem the most confident while networking feel just as awkward and uncomfortable as you do. The key is to project confidence on the outside, even if you’re not really feeling it. This will set the person you’re talking to at ease and will give them a much more positive memory of your interaction, and by extension your business. The more you do this, the easier it will get until eventually, you’ll find that you’re not even having to fake it anymore, you really do feel as confident as you seem on the outside.

| The Business Front: How To Perfect

Posted in Marketing at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

If you own a store or restaurant then you own a business that is customer facing. You need to get the right ingredients to ensure you perfect the store front, because this way you will bring more customers inside. Getting the front right isn’t easy, there are quite a few aspects to think about which all cost money, but it is certainly worth it in the long run as it contributes to your branding, your sales, and your overall respectability. Here are a few store front tips that can really help impact your business in the best ways possible. You may already do some of them, but if so, try the others and see if it makes a difference.

 

Go Digital

You may have seen many of the digital signage now available in shop windows. All forms of business signage are important, but you can really get your storefront standing out like never before with a digital display. People will stop and stare, and it may even entice them into your store. You need to be selective regarding what you put on the sign. Make sure it showcases your best quality products or food in a reel of wonder that forces people into your store.

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Sampling

Sampling your products outside your store is another great way to bring people inside. If it is a food based business cook up some delicious treats and sample them outside. Do this around lunchtime for an added chance of catching some hungry passersby who may just decide to do lunch with you instead of someone else based on the sample they have tried. Make sure whoever is sampling is an engaging person who is unafraid to approach people and draw them in. If you operate a product that isn’t food get someone to stand outside with it and ask people to come and take a look. Humans are inquisitive beings and it won’t be long before you have people interested.

 

Keep It Clean

A dirty store front usually speaks for a dirty interior. So make sure the glass is free of grime and cleaned regularly. The floor in front of your store also needs to be swept and free of casual litter and debris. Take a look at some of your competitor fronts and notice how clean they are. You need to do the same and you’ll be surprised by the amount of extra people you bring in.

 

Do Something Different

Hire an entertainer to attract people. Clowns, jugglers, all wearing your branding or using your products in some shape or form. Doing this really brings people in. There are all kinds of awesome marketing campaigns out there where businesses have attracted all kinds of new customers to their store by entertaining people outside of it. The more people who are near your store means the more who will go into it. Bringing people close is half the battle won already so really try to think outside the box to beat your competitors.

| The Secret To Cost Effective Advertising

Posted in Marketing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

There’s no doubt about it. Businesses need effective marketing. But effective marketing isn’t just that which brings the most people in. You need to think about how it operates amongst the rest of the business. You need to think in particular about the costs and how much your business can shoulder. The more cost-effective you can get your marketing, the better.

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Think ROI

Return on investment should be the driving force behind most of the decisions in business and that’s no different when it comes to advertising. You need to think about a few things when defining ROI for the business. How much it costs. How much visibility it gives the brand. Then how much of that visibility is likely to lead to conversions. For instance, billboards are very visible but depending on how broad your target audience, it might not be the most efficient way of putting the business in front of people who are likely to become paying customers. Direct mail can be expensive to do right, but with the proper leads, it can target the right people right down to the individual.

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Focus More On Inbound

When you feel yourself approaching the limits you’ve put on your budget, then you should think less about reaching the right people. Instead, think about making it a lot easier for the right people to reach you. Inbound marketing includes techniques like content marketing and search engine optimization. It costs much less to make your brand more visible and easy to find than it does to reach out and find your target market.

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Make Sure Your Messaging Is Going To the Right Places

Then there are those methods that reach out, but assure that you’re reaching the right kinds of people. Nowadays, the amount of data that search engines and websites collect provide businesses with the ability to target exactly the kind of people who are performing searches and visiting websites that are relevant to the business you’re trying to advertise. But if you’re using these pay per click methods, you need to make sure you’re using them in the right way. The expertise that PPC management teams could offer could ensure you’re getting connected with the proper leads rather than dead ends.

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Go Data-Driven

Don’t just rely on data collected by Google and other businesses, either. Make use of some data that’s all your own. For instance, keep track of your online advertisements and social media messaging. By seeing what gets more clicks and more shares, you can better identify the offers and aspects of your brand that are more popular. The same goes for your site. Using conversion rate optimization, you can spot what parts of the site are creating the most customers. Then you emulate these elements on a broader scale. Use your own data to inform your own marketing.

Cost-effective isn’t just about skimping costs. It’s about getting the best results with as little spending as possible. Skimp too much and your messaging might not have the reach and effect it could otherwise. Spend too much and you might not see a return on that investment. You need to find the balance.

| No More Failed Sales: Mastering Business On The Web

Posted in Marketing at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

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Running a successful business isn’t really something you can learn in a book. Of course, there are books on the topic, but the only thing you can really learn about this subject is that it’s different for every company. Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t overall key steps toward success which apply to all business within all industries. This is all very well to say, but achieving those steps in reality is quite another matter.

Of course, in the online world, it’s a whole different ballpark. You might be running a very professional organization and offering an incredible range of products or services, but there’s more to succeeding in the online marketplace than being good at what your business does in an internal sense. You need to understand the external world, because success comes, believe it or not, from your customers. If you’re wondering what else you could be doing to improve business, here are some tips and tricks to mastering better sales on the web.

Find Your Company’s “Thing”

A niche is important to any business. If your company operates within an industry which offers a very general product or service, replicated by almost every other business within your specific area of work, then the importance of a niche becomes more important than ever. In the online world, you’re up against a mountain of competition. The global face of the internet is changing with each passing second, and if you’re not changing or adapting to it, then you’re falling behind.

If you’re appealing to a niche with your product or service, you’re reeling them in to you above all competitors. You’re offering something that the competitors cannot offer, which means your sales will not only increase, but they’ll remain consistent. Sometimes, all it requires is a little tweak of whatever your company is already offering.

Market Your Business Better

Your company needs to understand online marketing if it is to sell products well online. That seems like an obvious statement, but so many businesses in the world of digital sales fall behind due to their failure in effectively utilizing the digital marketing aspect of company operations. You could look into eCommerce SEO services if you’re unsure as to how you could improve your website, as this is a good place to start.

You need to not only understand your marketing better, but reaching them more efficiently. Your competitors are beating you because they’re plastering themselves in the faces of your target market, which means fewer clients knocking at your business’ virtual door and, as a result, fewer sales. Online marketing is about constantly pushing yourself in front of your competitors and letting your customers come to you. It’s not pushy marketing from the perspective of potential clients, and that’s the key thing.

Remember Good Service

After all the social media gimmicks and SEO tricks your business pulls to increase its sales online, remember the human element beneath it all. At the end of the day, consumers are people, and they want to buy products or services from people. Remember to offer incredible service, but also to promote yourself as a company full of people. It’s easy to forget that there’s a real human behind a company when all transactions are taking place online. Your content has to be personable to get past that obstacle.

| Preparing your Company for a Day at the Exhibition

Posted in Marketing at 5:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

An exhibition event can be a cost effective and fun way to meet potential customers and others within your own industry. It allows you to really bring all the energy and unique selling points of your company and wrap it up in one awesome exhibition stall. Whatever your end goal is, they’ll be a ton of ways you handle a day or weekend at an exhibition. Below we’ve outlined some of the things you’ll need to bear in mind when you’re preparing for yours.

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Properly Staffed

There’s only one thing worse than a stall that is understaffed; and that is, a stall that is overstaffed, to the point where walking near your stand is intimidating. However, you’ll need to have a team going down the center as part of the day. It could mean helping set up and take down, and also working in shifts. It’s too much to ask any one person to be up and energetic for more than a few hours, even if there are others at the stand. Try to keep it to two members of staff on hand to deal with passersby, and have them on a rotating shift with others.

What’s the Goal?

Before you go, you’ll have to think of an angle and also determine what you’re trying to achieve by attending the exhibition. For example, is it all about getting people to become customers, or is this just a brand awareness promotion? Other events might be more trade focused, so you’ll be setting up meetings with potential investors or buyers. Whatever it is, make sure you have a clear vision so that after the event is over you’re able to quantify your success.

Preparing Your Stand

Your stand is everything when it comes to the success of the day. You need to have a stellar stand, product samples, information, uniforms, and much more, so really, your day will be starting long before the event. Aside from ordering the materials for the day, you’ll need to have a vehicle with sliding subframes to transport the stuff in a trailer and any snacks or travel bookings also arranged. You’ll need to get the event with enough time for you to set up your stand and be ready to begin once it gets underway.

Customer Engagement

Remember, everyone who comes to stand might be a potential partner, whether that’s a buyer or a customer or whatever else, so make sure your staff knows exactly how they’re supposed to greet and interact with passersby. They have to be friendly and engaging in a genuine way. They should also avoid asking closed questions (those that can be simply answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’), instead trying to open dialogue about what their interest in your service might be.

…And After

The real work begins after the event has ended. On the day, discuss what worked and what didn’t. Later, in the office, follow up leads and try to convert some of the interest expressed during the event into real business for your company.

 

| How to Improve Your Customer Engagement

Posted in Marketing at 4:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

Any company worth a grain of salt knows that it’s not enough to just get customers; you have to engage with them beyond the initial interaction or transaction. Doing so will improve customer relations, and also the chances of repeat customers, which are the bedrock of any business. In this day and age, it’s never been easier to stay in contact with the customers who have shown you support. Take a look at some our advice outlined below and keep the dialogue going.

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Be There When They Need You

Your customers might be everything to your business, but try as you might, you’ll only ever be one in a long list of companies to them. Too many companies are going overboard with their customer engagement, wrongly believing that customers are as excited about their company as the business itself is. Instead of only contacting your customers when it suits you, when you need something from them, make yourself an understated presence in their life. You can be there for when they need you. For example, in their busy lives they might forget that they’re arranged to meet with you – that’s where you use Appointment Reminder and remind them of the upcoming appointment. It’s not intrusive, and it’s not marketing either, it’s simply providing an extra service and making their life a little bit easier. Think outside the box: what other ways could you be there and be a presence in their life without being annoying?

Content They Care About

It’s no secret that maintaining active social media accounts are a necessity for customer engagement, but a lot of companies tend to only ever post content that is related to their products or services. Even if you have a lot of followers, this type of content cannot lead to the levels of customer engagement that you need. So how? Posting relatable and local content is a useful starting point, as is keeping things topical. Also, if you’re in a popular industry then talking generally about the issues that are relevant can help you become a leading voice within that community.

 

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Giving Them a Voice

Customer engagement is not a one way street, and such it’s important to give your customers and clients a voice to talk with you. This could be having a 24/7 online chat available on your website, which also has the added benefit of improving sales at the same time. Properly staffed offices that can deal with queries, an active twitter page that is available during working hours to deal with issues, and the like are all ideas to give your customers a platform for feedback.

Rewards, Rewards, Rewards

Don’t underestimate the importance of your repeat customers. While a lot of giveaways and promotions are open to everyone, or in some cases only new customers, it’s important to keep some surprises back just for your loyal gang of clients. Done right, you’ll be creating a network that can take a business in many directions, and all it takes is the odd ‘thank you’ reward for the people who have taken your company to new heights.

| The Marketing Mix: The Different Types of Marketing to Take Advantage Of

Posted in Marketing at 1:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

Marketing is one of those things that you have to take multiple approaches to if you want to get it right. There are so many different types of marketing out there. You don’t need to use all of them, but there are a few key examples that your business should definitely be taking advantage of. If you don’t, your marketing will never find the success you want it to. Read on to find out about these examples.

 

Online Marketing

You can’t afford to ignore the internet when it comes to marketing your business and its products. It would be very foolish to do that considering just how dominant the internet is in the modern business landscape. You ignore it at your own risk. Online marketing can encapsulate lots of different things. Your marketing materials can be shared and shown widely. If you make a marketing video, you can post it on YouTube and then share the video on your social media platforms. This is the best way to make sure that it gets seen far and wide. Blogging and pay-per-click advertising can also be great marketing tools.

 

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth might seem like a vague and old-fashioned notion. But that doesn’t mean it can’t help you a great deal when it comes to marketing your business and your products. When people like what they see from your company or they have a good customer experience, they will tell people. That’s why ensuring that customers always see and experience the best side of your business is so important. Encourage people to tell their friends and make as much of your content shareable on social media. Word of mouth is now something that applies to online interactions too.


Print Marketing

Print marketing is something that shouldn’t be neglected. You don’t have to make a choice between print and online. Instead, you should do both. Banners, posters, billboards and magazine or newspaper advertisements can all help to market your business to a very wide audience. It should be your aim to reach as many people as possible, but you can only do that effectively when you have a focus on print marketing. There are lots of printing companies that offer professional services, so you don’t need to take care of all this by yourself either. Create designs that grab people’s attention and get them interested.

 

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing is all about generating a close-knit bond between your business and its customers. This is not necessarily an easy thing to do, but it’s something that is definitely worth focusing on as much as you can. When your customers feel close to the company, they will be much more likely to stay loyal to it rather than wandering off to one of your competitors. Your aim should be to enhance and improve the existing relationships you have with customers or clients. And then think about how this reputation for good customer service could attract even more people to the company.

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