*Updated on April 15, 2021
It’s estimated more than 83,300 businesses close every year because of ineffective marketing. Obviously, you want your business to succeed. It’s our hope the marketing advice provided through this blog post will help you avoid becoming part of that statistic.
The Purpose for This Post
We’ve made a point to frequently publish quality marketing advice on our blog. And while we consider ourselves to be digital marketing thought leaders, we recognize we aren’t alone. There are many fantastic agencies and professionals who truly understand marketing and best practices. We decided to reach out to some of these professionals and give them an invitation to share their own marketing advice with our audience. When you apply the recommendations provided in this blog post, we suspect your marketing should become more effective than ever before. If you can learn from what’s shared in this post, and you can leave our website with inspiration, clarity or a plan for what to do, then our objective for this blog post will have been accomplished.
Do you know someone who would be a good fit for contributing a tip? If so, let us know! You can connect with us via the contact form below. And without further ado, let’s begin!It's estimated more than 83,300 businesses close every year because of ineffective marketing. Don't be part of that statistic! ~ Joshua Lyons #DigitalMarketing Click To Tweet
Marketing Advice Related to Strategy, Planning & Analysis
Janet Granger | Marketing Consultant with Two Beagles LLC | Fort Lauderdale, Florida | (203) 521-1752
Marketing Teams and Agencies – Do You Feel Misunderstood?
When I work with marketing teams and agencies, I find that they sometimes feel their clients – or even senior management – just doesn’t “get it.”
These older generations don’t seem to understand what they do or what they’re trying to accomplish. In fact, it sometimes feels like there’s a battle going on – senior management and clients say they want help with digital marketing but then they don’t appreciate the final results. This lack of appreciation can even be reflected in lower ad budgets.
Interactions and communications among Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers, and Millennials in the workplace – and sometimes with vendors – has gotten worse in the past decade. At times, it feels as though it’s shifted to an “us” vs. “them” mentality.
If this issue isn’t addressed, your organization or team will never achieve its goals; even worse, people on the team feel frustrated and held back. No wonder it’s hard to reach individual or team goals! It’s also hard to keep talented people working at jobs where they feel unappreciated.
The secret to solving this issue is in understanding why and how everyone – of all generations and backgrounds – is the same.
We all have human brains and the way our brains function affects us at work. Our emotions are driving our decision-making processes, and it’s these emotions, such as fear, that are undermining our success at work.
Resolving the inter-generational conflicts in the workplace starts with understanding that everyone is working with the same emotions. It’s only through this process that we can begin to solve the “digital divide” between the generations.We all have human brains and the way our brains function affects us at work. ~ Janet Granger #MarketingTips #MarketingConsultant Click To Tweet
Jude Creamer | Manger with HelmsBriscoe | Spring Hill, Florida | (404) 610-2907
“Out of Sight, Out of Mind”
That’s an old adage that lives and thrives today. Attention spans have shortened. Digital marketing has ideas popping up in front of one’s face faster than minute-by-minute.
Why isn’t your product or service among those ideas? With our ability to create reusable templates, automated sends and communicate in immediate time, there’s not only no reason to be silent, but it’s deadly not to toot your horn!
What medium works for you? How do you get your message to the largest number of users (product fans) with the most effective impact?
If depends on your audience demographics and your message. Research your user demographics: if your audience is mostly Millennials (18-34) – be proactive on Instagram and YouTube. If they’re Baby Boomers (55-64), maybe Facebook is where you should be. On average, U.S. adults aged 35 to 54 years (Gen X) accessed mobile apps 7.7 times per day.
Is your important client in the corporate realm?
If so, reach out to them with heart-felt and relevant email messages on a consistent basis.
One thing everyone has in common is the device that’s attached to the end of their fingers: their smart phone. Consider starting a loyalty club that helps them be the first to know about new products, current promotions, and time-bound discounts. Texting your message gets you front and center immediately. Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails. And, on average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email.
Medium, message and frequency are all important once your audience is identified. Be visible, be relevant and have fun watching your revenue soar!Medium, message and frequency are all important once your audience is identified. Be visible, be relevant and have fun watching your revenue soar! ~ Jude Creamer #MarketingStrategy Click To Tweet
Mike Moran | Digital Marketing Consultant at Digital Dimensions | Georgetown, Texas | (512) 948-3795
I’m sure you have heard it from many, many digital marketers, but what are they actually talking about? In most cases, they are referring to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Social Media Optimization (SMO). While those are valid answers, they are only part of the answer.
The real answer is optimization includes the website, SEO, SMO, the eCommerce site, ads, and if done correctly extends to include the corporate stationery. Why? Simple, your messaging needs to be consistent across all the realms.
When talking about your website, messaging should draw the visitor in. And if it chases your visitor away, because it either confuses the visitor or it causes the visitor to feel they are in the wrong place, either way, you break at least one of the three rules of page design.
The Three Golden Rules of Page Design
Rule 1: Make the visitor feel they are in the right place. Does the page reflect the upstream messaging.
Rule 2: Don’t make the visitor think. Is what brought them to the site immediately visible on the page? That means the page must have the item or information must be easily accessible, which means preferably on the visible part of the page or no more than a scroll away.
Rule 3: Don’t make the visitor work. The visitor should never have to perform a search or otherwise change the page to find what they came for.
The easiest way to achieve this is with consistent messaging.
Tracy Beavers | Owner and Founder of Tracy Beavers Coaching | Little Rock, Arkansas | (501) 786-8612
Never Forget a Follow Up… Never Forget a Client
Imagine missing out on what could’ve been your biggest sale because you forgot to follow up with the client. Imagine missing out on meeting the person that could be your next best referral source because you forgot to follow up with a new contact you met. Imagine your existing clients leaving quietly out the back door because you have forgotten about them and they never hear from you.
My success growing my client base has been in large part because I consistently use a CRM system for all of my client contact information, and all conversation notes. I feel confident knowing the best method and time to follow back up.
What is a CRM System?
It’s a customer retention management system and it can be very basic (from a shoebox with index cards of each contact’s name), to something like an Excel spreadsheet you create, to something super fancy with lots of bells and whistles that’s a monthly paid subscription to a software company (think Salesforce, 17 Hats, Dough).
**Do you want more energy, less worry and overwhelm? I think the answer is most likely YES. For me, knowing that in one spot, I have everything I need to not only remember a client but know exactly what my next step is with that client…..is a HUGE weight off my mind. We only have so much brain capacity, energy and time. Why spend your time having to rely on your memory for every name and every detail?
**Do you want to drive more revenue? I think the answer is most likely YES. We are all selling some service or product, and sales is based on establishing relationships. We need a way to move people from cold to sold all while being genuine and relational. If all we do is repeatedly say to people “buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff”, you might make some sales, but your business isn’t going to grow to its fullest revenue potential without authentic relationships. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. If we don’t have the information we need to get to know others, then they won’t know if they like us, and they certainly won’t know if they want to trust us with their credit card or referrals.
**Do you want to be more effective with networking? I think the answer is most likely YES. We can attend all of the networking events in the world and gather all of the business cards in the room, but that’s not enough to grow a client base. It’s what we do with those contacts, it’s how we take the contact information and turn it into an actual relationship. A CRM system helps me because I can immediately enter the people that I was able to connect with, their contact information, our conversation notes. I can then decide the date of my follow up. The fun part of networking for me, is that I never know how this person I met will fit into my life or my business. They could end up being my next collaboration partner, my next investor, or my best client who buys all my stuff and makes all their friends buy all my stuff. If I don’t take the time to establish rapport and get to know them, then I am missing out on the very person that could blow my business wide open.
**Do you want a way to be sure you can contact your clients if social media disappears? I think most likely the answer is YES. Capturing all of the information you need to reach your clients without having to use social media (FB, Instagram, Linked In, etc) is important. We cannot rely on these apps to store the most critical part of our business. Pour all of that info into your CRM system and you are golden.
As business owners, we need systems like this that are foolproof and will free up our time and energy. Find a CRM system that works for you and you will never forget a follow up and never forget a client!We need a way to move people from cold to sold all while being genuine and relational. Find a CRM that works for you! ~ Tracy Beavers #CRMs #CRM #JLM Click To Tweet
Marketing Advice Related to Websites
Steve Liebroder | Founder of SEO727.com | Palm Harbor, Florida | (727) 203-1543
OMG, it is 2020. There is a Website URL for almost everything out there. Now, more than ever before – your business must have a strong online presence and the hub of that presence is your website. I don’t do business as a customer with a place that doesn’t have a good website and I’m not alone. 97% of consumers use the internet to find the products and services they need.
The most important thing for a small business to have is a functioning website, that’s number one; fast, mobile responsive, and gets me the information I need in just a couple of clicks.
Why do you need a website?
- To Get Found. Your website helps your potential customers find your business by theproducts or services you offer.
- Control of which testimonials and reviews your potential customers see.
- It works around the clock and has world-wide visibility.
- Low-cost, efficient advertising. You don’t have to do a thing the website is working for your business 24/7.
Why Mobile Optimized Sites? Consumers have gone mobile in a big way. In fact, more consumers now search on a mobile device than a desktop. Therefore it’s critical that your site is optimized to look and work great on both smartphones and desktop to ensure your business is found in search results.
Four Exercises for Websites
- Make sure it runs fast
- Keep content up to date
- Use your website to engage with your customers.
Types of Websites
- One Page / Landing Page – A place to start engagement with your customers
- Custom Website – Informational, educational, insightful
- ECommerce Website – Sell products or services online
Marketing Advice Related to Messaging & Storytelling
Henry Grunberg | Director of Best Shot Productions | Hollywood, Florida | (954) 998-3645
We believe that marketing is pointless unless you have a compelling, impactful, and genuine story to tell.
People love stories – it’s why Disney, Coca Cola, McDonald’s, and the World Cup are so successful – each in their own right is always telling a compelling story that doesn’t sell anything outright, yet we still find ourselves taking out our wallets to give them money for what they each respectively offer.
To understand the client’s needs you should devote valuable time speaking and understanding their unique story. Then, translate that story into a message in the form of compelling and mesmerizing visual content.
Whether it’s a challenge they overcame, a decision that put them down a specific path, or an angle that separates them from the rest – you should constantly dig in to produce quality, story-based work so the audience will connect with the brand in a deeper level.
With over 25 years of experience in the industry, working with clients across the spectrum of industries, we’ve learned that the highest quality work comes when the story, message, and purpose are tied together seamlessly.
In this era of short attention spans and overly-saturated marketing spaces, a genuine impact within the first seconds of your message is what will set you apart from the rest.Marketing is pointless unless you have a compelling, impactful, and genuine story to tell. ~ Henry Grunberg #Storytelling Click To Tweet
Chad Randall | Owner, Managing Director with Who-U-R | Austin, Texas | (512) 842-9958
Who is Your Target Audience? – Does Your Marketing Material Say Differently?
One of the most significant mistakes I see companies make in their marketing collateral, whether print or digital, is that they often seem confused as to who their audience is. Your message should be clear and compelling. That is hard to do when you do not know to whom you are marketing. Are they an end user, a business, a reseller, or perhaps a specifier? The type of collateral and the message it contains should always be a clear reflection of that answer.
Some may state that it does not really matter all that much – the product or service remains the same, right? Not so. The actual story (your product or service) may stay the same, but how you tell that story should depend entirely on whom you are targeting.
I spent years working with and making presentations to both architects and engineers. While my central message remained the same, I had to tailor that message to my listener because both groups were interested in different things. The architects were interested in the aesthetics and more of the “big picture” features. The engineers were much more fascinated with the details and the mechanics of the product.
Besides the message itself, it is also critical that the layout and design be appropriate for the audience you are targeting. Some companies may wish to speak to one group, but the design and layout of their marketing material may be silently screaming to another audience entirely.
While some types of collateral may crossover multiple groups, such as a brochure or video, you should try and create various versions of the same collateral piece to target a particular recipient. If your budget does not allow for this, then you should always tailor the message to your largest, most valuable audience.The actual story (your product or service) may stay the same, but how you tell that story should depend entirely on whom you are targeting. ~ Chad Randall #Messaging Click To Tweet
Marketing Advice Related to Promotional Products
Michelle Bocchino | Promoter with Omega Promotional Products | Clearwater, Florida | (727) 434-1109
What is Swag? And How Can Smart Business Owners Use it Effectively?
Back in the pirate days, swag was a term for treasure. Today, the word is actually an acronym for “Stuff We All Get.” This originated from the dot com years when the popularity of these giveaway items as promotional mechanisms really soared. Another name for this swag is promotional products and there are ways for business owners to choose them and use them effectively.
When you think of promotional products, what comes to mind? Pens, shirts, hats, keychains? These are all classic, yet fantastic products to customize with a business name and logo. However, with so much swag being tossed around today, the real winners of the promo products game are the businesses who choose more creative and unique products. These products are not only functional and useful, so they won’t be shoved in a drawer and forgotten about, but they wind up being conversation starters that help the business stand out even more.
Promotional Swag Today
Promotional swag nowadays is all about moving forward into the future with the best environmentally friendly goodies, cutting-edge tech, and outdoor-friendly fun. And don’t forget about the pets! Pet promo products are super popular and there is so much cool gear available to brand with your logo.
Next time you’re considering branding your perfect company swag, think outside the box and pick a more unique product in one of the latest trendy categories. You’ll use your marketing budget more effectively and treasure the return on your investment.Back in the pirate days, swag was a term for treasure. Today, the word is actually an acronym for 'Stuff We All Get.' ~ Michelle Bocchino @omega_promos_FL #GetSwag Click To Tweet
Marketing Advice Related to Email Marketing
Dave Ellis | President of Affinity Marketing & Communications, Inc. | Palm Harbor, Florida | (727) 733-9332
It is a proven fact that keeping your company’s name in front of customers, prospects and referral sources on a regular basis will generate more sales. Permission-based Email Marketing is an effective, cost-efficient way to do this. And, when done right, the ROI for marketers is high – averaging $38 for every dollar invested.
Consider how much you can accomplish with an email newsletter…
- Increase inquiries, sales and repeat buying activity
- Increase traffic to your business and website
- Educate your audience, positioning your company as the experts
- Increase visibility, credibility and awareness
- Grow your customer database while building loyalty
- Stimulate referral business
- Announce interesting news and events
Tips For Success
Foster customer loyalty
Keep your audience interested by providing content that is immediately useful to people, such as insider tips, exclusive offers and relevant timely news they will find interesting.
Let your audience know you are serious about protecting their privacy. Promise not to abuse their trust.
Ask permission upfront by inviting people to subscribe. This respectful approach means that subscribers will look forward to receiving your communications and will not classify them as Spam. Always make it easy to opt-out and respect that decision.
Timing is key
Send the email only as often as you have engaging content to share. Email newsletters work best when sent on a consistent, predictable schedule, allowing people to anticipate and look forward to it. The subject line should be written to be highly relevant and pique their interest — resulting in higher open rates.
Keep the articles short
Tease a little and link to the rest of the story on a website landing page or blog. Be conversational, even having a little fun with the content. Like with social media, the personality of the company should come through.
Engage your audience with surveys — learn what is important and interesting to them. Prize-winning contests are very effective, too, and can lead to viral sharing.It is a proven fact that keeping your company's name in front of customers, prospects and referral sources on a regular basis will generate more sales. ~ Dave Ellis #EmailMarketing Click To Tweet
Marketing Advice Related to Phones
Carlos Garcia | Founder of Please Hold Advertising | Miami, Florida | (305) 388-3088
Today more than ever, business comes down to a phone call from your customer or prospect. Especially in a post Covid19 business world. Have you thought about what that interaction with your company sounds like? If the caller gets put on hold, what are they hearing? An out of tune radio station, beeps, music alone, or worse the abyss of silence? What does that experience say about your company in the mind of the caller? Not a lot.
Take advantage of hold time and talk with your callers about your company and the many benefits of its products and services. A customized on-hold message with background music instead of silence or music alone, can give you a new way to communicate with existing customers and capture new ones.
Here are just a few ideas your business could include in a custom on-hold message for your business phone system:
- New products and service
- Announce updated sanitation and cleaning procedures in your establishment
- Encourage callers to complete any forms from your website prior to their visit
- Invite customers to engage with your social media platforms
- Ask for online reviews and recommendations
- Direct callers to on-line tech support forums
Take advantage of otherwise completely wasted time and market your wares to a captive audience. Your callers placed on-hold.
How custom on-hold messages help your business
A custom on-hold message with music will help you keep your callers entertained and informed. And most importantly, keep them from wandering back onto Google or Facebook while they call you from their smartphone.
You could record and produce the on-hold message yourself. All it takes is excellent copywriting skills, a professional voice talent, digital recording equipment and software, and the knowledge on how to hook it up to your phone system. Piece of cake, right?
Or, you can work with a message on-hold provider that can get you the results you want. They can offer a complete solution including copywriting, voice-over talent selection, digital recording, audio branding, and integration with your phone system.
And when compared to other forms of marketing and advertising, on-hold messaging is one of the least expensive ways to directly influence someone that is already a proven buyer of your services. And a powerful and subtle way to encourage new prospective customers to choose you over the competition.
Marketing Advice Related to Social Media
Tony Brown | Marketing Manager with Strategic Media | Clearwater, Florida | (727) 531-7622
Social Media Marketing: 5 Steps To Grow Your Social Media Audience
The Basics Of Social Media Marketing
The Pew Research Center says that nearly 70% of Americans have at least one social media platform. In this day and age, almost everybody’s on social media, which creates an excellent opportunity in terms of marketing. Social media gives business owners the chance to connect and communicate with their customers on a more personal level. It’s not just about selling things but creating a personality for your brand that will extend to your viewers on a given platform.
Different Social Platforms
The posts you make need to be specifically tailored to each platform. When you’re creating content, it needs to be specifically directed to your audience and the platform. If your target audience is on Facebook, but all your posts are on Instagram, this is an issue. None of your content will reach your buyers, and your traffic remains unaffected.
For example, YouTube has four main categories people popularly search for, music, comedy, “how-to” videos, and pop-culture. There are many reasons to use YouTube for business. If none of these categories are relevant to your brand, then it’s unnecessary to post videos on YouTube for social media marketing.
1. Include Videos and Pictures
You want to ensure that your posts are visually appealing. If reading your social media posts feels more like a chore than potential customers will just scroll right past. It’s actually said that content with relevant pictures gets 94% more views. Something as easy as a picture could gain you so much traffic. Videos are also a great way to get people engaged with your content.
2. Communication Is Key In Social Media Marketing
Regardless of the platform, your users expect rather quick responses. If they leave a question in a comment under your post or direct message you, you shouldn’t leave them waiting. Create an excellent user experience by remaining consistent with your communication on social media. This allows potential customers to feel heard, and it forms trust between the user and your brand. You can compare it to the importance of creating consistent blog content.
3. Share engaging content
Creating engaging content seems pretty apparent, but it’s often overlooked. Your posts should not all be about you and your product. The point of social media marketing is connecting people with your brand. It’s making thing’s about more than just your product.
Using relevant hashtags are a great way for people to find your business. Hashtags are a way to group an audience towards specific content. If you want your social media posts to rank better in search results, hashtags can be beneficial and are a key element to social media marketing.
5. Observe Competitors
It’s essential that you’re watching and analyzing your competitors. You have a lot to learn from them. What kind of content are they making and which platforms are they posting to. If their rankings are high, then maybe there are a few tips and tricks you could use yourself.
Social Media Marketing Conclusion
Social media marketing is complex, and there’s not just one way to do it. Each post needs to be specific to the platform and your target audience. Remember that social media marketing is about connecting customers with your brand, not shoving products and ads in their face.Remember that social media marketing is about connecting customers with your brand, not shoving products and ads in their face. ~ Tony Brown @seo__webdesign #SMMTips #SocialMarketing Click To Tweet
Marketing Advice Related to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Brig Serman | President and CEO of Advanced Integrated Marketing Inc. | Arlington, Texas | (817) 592-5723
When should I start my SEO Campaign if my business is seasonal?
Search Engine Optimization is how we help you tell your story so that you earn front-page placement on all of the major search engines. Done right, it is the most cost-effective way to drive high quality visitors to your website.
If your business is seasonal with predictable peaks and valleys through the year, there are some great methods that you can use to capture that demand. For companies like these, it’s critical that they plan their SEO campaigns carefully and get started early so that their campaign has time to build traction.
We do a lot of work with Roofing Companies across the country. For many of them, their peak season is in the spring when most of the country will see heavy storms, hail, and high winds, all of which can do a number on your roof! A typical roofer can see as much as a 10X increase in traffic to their website between the months of March and May, each year.
We first recommend that they focus on the Technical SEO aspects of their website. This will ensure that their site is meeting Google’s complex criteria, which is a key factor in how Google will place them in search results.
We next focus on Content. Building high quality, keyword rich pages that focus on the services you want to be found for and where you want to be found will get you on the front page of search results! It’s all about effectively telling your story and telling it better than your competition!
For a seasonal business that has decided to embark on an SEO campaign, timing is key. It will take a few weeks to address the Technical SEO work and to build solid landing pages. Adding 40-50 pages to their website will ensure that Google takes notice and places them high in search results.
It then takes about 2-3 months to start seeing consistent front-page placement. You will then start to see a significant increase in traffic because you are now getting your message in front of the people that are actively looking for your help.
Whatever peak season your business is trying to capture, it’s best to start 3-4 months in advance when embarking on a new SEO campaign. The good news is once that campaign has started, the results are sustainable and will carry them through the entire year and into their next peak season!It's best to start 3-4 months in advance when embarking on a new SEO campaign. ~ Brig Serman #SEOTips #SearchEngineOptimization Click To Tweet
Marketing Advice Related to Outsourcing
José García | el presidente of Cabéza Digital| Lakeway, Texas | (325) 200-0054
Are you making a monthly donation to Google?
Many of our clients understand that SEO is important, but don’t know if their investments are actually impacting their business in meaningful ways.
In order to gain the most value from search engine optimization, outsource your SEO campaigns to analytics consultants. Delegate to the experts who understand how to interpret algorithms and translate metrics easily. The key to outsourcing effectively is to know your priorities ahead of time.
3 Tips on How to Choose the Best SEO Consultant for You
1. Clarify Your Goals
If you don’t know your destination, your SEO consultant can’t guide you in the right direction. Before you start vetting agencies, take time to think about your measurable quarterly, annual and long-term goals. What is your marketing budget and ideal ROI? Are you looking to boost sales by ranking for certain keywords? Are you struggling to reduce your website’s bounce rate? Your consultant should have experience solving problems related to your specific audience and investment level.
2. Be Willing to Experiment
What’s easy isn’t always effective. It’s important to have a high-level awareness AND a dedication to on-going learning. A qualified SEO expert won’t guarantee quick fixes or instant results. Because Google’s algorithms change constantly, you and your analyst should be comfortable with frequent adaptation. Building a solid digital presence can take time.
3. Ask for Recommendations
Simply searching Google for “Best SEO Firm in My Area” may not provide ideal results. Some agencies pay to be included on such lists. Or even worse, some use black hat techniques to increase search rankings. If you choose an SEO consultant that guarantees quick fixes, you could wind up damaging your digital presence. Instead, directly ask your colleagues for recommendations. Ask trusted sources for case studies, testimonials and examples of real-world applications.
SEO is a science that can help you make informed decisions about your business. An effective consultant will create open, honest dialogue that increases YOUR expertise in data analysis. Aim to build a lasting relationship with the most qualified consultant for your marketing goals.A qualified SEO expert won’t guarantee quick fixes or instant results. ~ José García #SEOTips #SearchEngineOptimization Click To Tweet