Category Archives: Social Markeitng

Widen Your Online Presence with a Social Media Boost, Part 3

Make your business soar and succeed online with the help of five social networks.

Foursquare, a location-based application that lets people check in places where they’re currently at, was launched in 2009. Three years later, this online community has more than 20 million users worldwide who approximately perform over 2.5 billion check-ins every day. This is an exciting concept that many businesses quickly seized by using Foursquare for marketing purposes. The San Diego Union-Tribune is using this application to offer free newspapers. Its Foursquare advertisement says, “Get a free newspaper when you check in.”

This technique serves to attract people to become regular readers and subscribers of the San Diego Union-Tribune. People are naturally attracted to ‘free’ items, especially if they’re striving to minimize their expenses. Place a sign on your door saying ‘Free ________ for any _________ within _________” and you’ll have dozens of curious shoppers asking about your promo. This can be used to make people more aware of your brand. Once they have their hands on your product, they’ll examine it thoroughly and assess whether it will fit their needs.

Foursquare is an instrument to complement specific marketing strategiessuch as discounts, product trials, free tastings, publicity events, and more. Foursquare fans get excited to unlock rewards and earn points from certain actions such as checking in to a new place (3 points) and adding a new venue (5 points). There’s also a feature that makes a user check in as many times as possible in 60 days to be the ‘Mayor’ of a certain place. This, however, can be difficult to track if the place in question attracts a crowd of savvy Foursquare users.

Using this application as a stand-alone tool will make you rely on the number of check-ins. Businesses can now depend on the pull of friendship to get customers curious about their products. Foursquare users will see if they have friends who went to a particular business before. Once they know people who used the products and services they want to check out, they’ll certainly ask those friends about it.The good thing about this is you’ll get more customers if the verdict about your store is good enough to make them interested.

Once you’ve successfully created a Foursquare brand page, you can now call on users in the same location as your business. Logged-in users can see you on the map and click to look at your brand page where you can advertise several promotions. For example, you can get people coming in through the door with this message: “Get a pair of brand-name shoes at 25% off from 5 pm to 6 pm!” This will allow you to get their attention and make them curious to visit your store and see the shoes on offer. You can also provide freebies or shout out about an event coming soon. Invite prospective customers to a public party. Inform them about new products coming soon.

Go on and check out the options offered on this URL: https://foursquare.com/business/.

Happy checking in, Foursquare fanatics!

Creating Content to Connect

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Rules to Follow in Writing Articles for Your Blog or Website

Writing informative and engaging articles for your blog or website is the right way to attract visitors and increase your site traffic. This is all well and good, especially for your marketing campaigns. But are you adhering to the rules to ensure you’re maintaining journalistic integrity?

You may be thinking how online business promotion and advertising is related to abiding by journalism ethics and standards. One thing you should keep in mind is whatever you write is still subject to criticism, whether your articles are published in traditional or modern media. Tony Burman, former editor-in-chief of the CBC News, declared that “Every [news] organization has only its credibility and reputation to rely on.” This still applies to all types of web content, except the literary and scientific articles.

Everything we publish on the net is subject to scrutiny. Many people have the tendency to believe whatever they read without questioning the source. This poses harmful consequences for them, especially if the writer has slanderous or malicious intent. When we apply this to marketing, writers are prohibited from exaggerating the effectiveness of a product or service in providing a desired outcome. Overblown claims are not tolerated, as these can mislead customers and make them believe that using a certain product will cause the anticipated effect.

This is particularly true for beauty products like whitening or tanning creams and lotions. Advertisements for these goods cannot say that “Product X can make you change your complexion in less than 7 days. Try our product because with Product X, you’ll look beautiful every time you use it.” This makes it important for all businesses to be careful in saying how their products will affect customers and meet their needs.

Almost all articles follow some form of guiding principles. A written marketing piece should be creative and clever enough to draw attention and attract interest without giving the wrong impression to consumers. According to Joe Chernov, Content Marketing Vice President for Eloqua, there are rules to follow to make sure you’re providing truthful and accurate content:

1. Fact should win over opinion.

Stated opinions without facts to serve as backup are not truthful. This is because opinions are sometimes biased or prejudiced against a certain idea. There should be statistics, data research or quotes from experts to support your statements.

2. Have a reference for every point you want to make.

You should have a source for all the main points and claims you make in your article. Quoting sources provides your article with more credibility and makes it less likely to be challenged. Listing your sources also helps you remember where you found the information and assemble an unassailable defense for your stated opinions.

3. Clarify everything with your sources.

Looking for quotable sources can be difficult, especially if your reference does not want to be cited for some statements. When writing your articles, make sure you find some other references you can use as a foundation for your assertions.

4. Look for a different viewpoint.

It is easy to get lost in an issue if you isolate yourself on only one side of the matter. Seek the opposite side of the argument to get a feel of things and know what the big picture looks like. Being familiar with how the other side will compose their argument will make it easier to frame your arguments for the side you’ll support.

5. Append a byline for your sources.

Always look for the originator of your source documents to ensure you’re crediting the right person for the information you want to cite in your article. A byline can include some facts about the writers’ current occupation and activities to establish how they became experts in their respective fields.

6. Minimize jargon.

Readers can find it hard to stick to an article that has many technical terms they cannot easily understand. Lessen the instances when you have to write down something that would sound too technical to your readers. Make your piece easily comprehensible so they will continue reading and not be alienated.

 

References:

Mashable.com

Wikipedia.org Link 1

Wikipedia.org Link 2

Say it With Pictures

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How pictures excel in communicating what we want to say

All of us at some experience being at loss for words when expressing what we think or how we feel. When you lack the words to say something, post some pictures to put your message across. This method is very much effective as a picture can say a thousand or more words. This is because images are powerful vehicles of information that the brain can immediately process. In fact, the mind processes images faster than the written word. This is because with words, we first have to recognize the letters and read each word to discern the meaning of a statement. Pictures are the opposite. Everything you need to know is in the picture.

That’s why social media campaigns earn more success if you use pictures. As it is far more attractive to look at beautiful pictures than read even a short article, people engage more with businesses that post pictures on their brand pages. Let’s take the top 10 Facebook company pages, for example. According to M Booth, a global communications company, there’s more customer engagement on pages bedecked with pictures and videos (which are essentially moving images).

This demonstrates the influence of pictures on strengthening social engagement with your customers. Videos, especially those that are creatively made, attract more eyes, likes, comments and shares. Pictures are not to be outdone, beating text posts twice as much in the popularity contest. Here are some posts on Intrepid Travel to serve as examples:

This company page promotes travel as a way of life and allows people to see different sights that may inspire them. The pictures above are certainly stimulating and fascinating enough to make followers want to go these places and experience for themselves the wonder of beholding such creatures and places up close. This is the effect that images bring to viewers and visitors of Intrepid Travel’s social media page. Aren’t you enticed to go to these places as well?

There’s also Instagram on the rise, which brings back how Facebook achieved 100 million users, four years after its inception. But Instagram shows such a meteoric rise that threatens to break Facebook’s record. The rise of this picture-based mobile application is quickly gaining popularity with its 80 million subscribers…and counting.

Tumblr, a microblogging site which enables users to post text, images, videos, links and other forms of content, has been around since 2007. According to the Data Never Sleeps infograph, Tumblr blog owners publish an estimated number of 27,778 new posts per minute. This mind-boggling number translates to how much content this site is churning out every day. The data below show how images are so pervasive in the lives of Tumblr users. There are memes and GIFs or graphics interchange format that go viral because of its interactive quality that snags the attention of fans on this social network.

Here’s a sample post from Corgi Addict, one of the most popular Tumblr bloggers:

One reason this particular post garnered so many notes (combined number of likes, replies, and shares) is its format. Each picture in the collage is an animated GIF, which enable the images to move in rapid succession like a soundless one-minute movie on loop.

There’s also YouTube, where users are said to upload 48 hours’ worth of video every minute. Everyone (think 100 million users) can post a video on YouTube and show anything under the sun, below the ground or something beyond outer space. But only a small percent of videos become viral and generate more than 100 million views. There are music videos, as well as video clips about animals, baby antics, parodies, and more.

But when it comes to images, images, and more images, Pinterest is the reigning queen. Although its main market is women at around 80%, this percentage is slowly decreasing to accommodate the number of male users tweaking with the Pinterest interface and creating boards that illustrate their various interests.

Pinterest is a social network that shows off a dizzying variety of pictures numerous users share every day. Users can create boards where they can pin pictures that center around a theme. For example, you want a board that shows recipes of delicious vegetable dishes. All you have to do is name the board and pin images related to your chosen topic.

The picture power is illustrated on Pinterest, which became the leading social network in a short period of time. As a result, this site beat veteran social media networks like Twitter and StumbleUpon, and became number one for traffic referrals.

Pictures act like a flower with such an attractive scent that attracts thousands of bees. Many businesses use images to bring more traffic to their site and attract more potential customers. Therefore, use more well-taken pictures to make viewers pay attention, interact with your content, and generate more sales leads. Follow the example of businesses, which have successfully used pictures for their marketing campaigns. Check out Etsy and Whole Foods on Pinterest, and other ventures!

 

References:

Mashable.com

Social Media Examiner

Wikipedia.org

Ritholtz.com

YouTube.com

Photo Credits:

Intrepid Travel Facebook Page

Picture from Tumblr

Landing Customers Successfully

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Ways to Improve Your Landing Page

Congratulations! You’ve made visitors successfully land on your page. What do you do next? How do you persuade them to stay and sign up for that newsletter subscription you want to market?

A landing page should have the basics: persuasive headlines and content, an urgent call-to-action statement and short form. Once you’ve planned the layout, there are still considerations you need to think about. Does your landing page invite visitors to linger? Were you able to use the right words to convince them to fill out the form? Here are some elements you additionally need to make customers pay more attention to your page and be actually interested in what you’re saying:

1. Font and Color

Using color psychology in web design is important because colors are proven to influence a person’s mood and state of mind. Many brands like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Kraft use specific hues and shades, as different colors convey different messages. One demonstration of how color perception influences customers is Nestle.com’s website.The blue-gray-white color scheme makes visitors feel calm, as blue suggests tranquility and security. The tagline, “Good Food, Good Life” assures everything’s all right with well-prepared food. This message reiterates the calm feeling that the colors convey. This subliminal idea is indeed successful, as many loyal customers report feeling happy whenever they buy their favorite Nestle products.

A font must also be properly chosen to entice visitors to read the text. Letters should be immediately recognizable so readers will not have difficulty reading it. If the text is too hard to read, visitors will leave soon after. How do you choose the best font for your website?

One thing you should consider is the theme of your web page. What exactly are you trying to communicate to your readers? Are they plain directions or something more creative? If you’re trying to market formal content, encode your text in simple fonts. Make technical content look easier with simple fonts, not those complicated Latin fonts you see on some newspaper headings. This would make the content appear more complicated and confuse your readers. That is why textbooks and journals use Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri fonts.

Conversational content, on the other hand, can use ‘artsy’ fonts. Casual topics like menus and comic and funny or feminine-related posts can use ‘cutesy’ fonts to make readers feel more relaxed and receptive to the message. Take a look at this picture:

Cute, isn’t it? And more attractive to read, too.

This proves that both types are useful in making your message clear to your readers. What you need to do, though, is to determine the proper font to use.

2. Pictures (or Video) and Text

The right combination of words and text can make the message more potent. For example, you’re using your website to advocate stopping mining activities in your town. One way you can persuade more people to sign up for the petition is to post an evocative message, and add photos of the damages that mining caused in your community. You can also upload a video that highlights the effects of mining on the health and well-being of the children. Advertise across different platforms like banner ads and social networks. You’ll surely fetch more petitions for your cause.

An example for this would be the World Food Programme website:

See how the World Food Programme attempts to persuade you to do more for their cause? They use pictures to make visitors visualize what the text is trying to communicate. Using this technique will earn you more leads for your landing page campaigns.

3. Copywriting

When readers are gripped with the message, they want to respond to your call to action before even finishing the text. That’s how powerful effective copywriting is. Engage your readers from the first word to the last. Enhance quick understanding of your message with bullet points, sub-headlines, and proper formatting. This will enhance the flow of your message and make it so seamless that readers are convinced of your pitch before they reach the end of your content. Such writing style can be achieved with practice and effort. You can start with detailing the benefits readers can get when they sign up for your landing page. Write magnetic headlines and support your statements with correctly spelled words written in a way that flows well, especially when spoken. Here are some keys to writing a good copy:

  • Open your copy with a catchy statement that captures the attention of your readers.
  • Each paragraph should have a compelling main idea that makes readers immediately react, contradict contrasting ideas, or agree with popular sentiment.
  • Illustrate your points with supporting statements that answer why readers should pay attention to your message.
  • Demonstrate credibility. Quote experts, show statistics or provide testimonials to serve as proof to what you’re saying.
  • Offer benefits readers would enjoy should they enter their contact details on the form. State reasons they should choose to sign up with you.

These elements help you create the right landing page for your campaign. Run experiments on three test landing pages with your analytics software to see which one works best for your marketing goals.

 

References:

1stWebDesigner.com Link 1

1stWebDesigner.com Link 2

SocialTriggers.com

CopyBlogger.com

Photo Credits:

Nestle.com Home Page

Hope Grows Image

WFP.org

Fans Wanted

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Businesses get more revenue when they have fans… or what is commonly known as loyal customers.

Loyal customers are the most important assets of a company. They are the most passionate advocates and promoters of your brand. Ask them why they are your fans and they’ll likely answer: (1) they like your products; (2) they feel at home with you; (3) your store is the nearest and most convenient place where they can get what they need; or (4) they can rely on you to provide them what they require. All four reasons are good selling points, which your company can take pride in and continue to improve upon. They all speak about your commitment to quality results and good customer service that you need to keep standing for.

You already have the recipe for success when you get at least three to five satisfied customers who refer your business to other people. The hardest part is how to maintain that reputation and continue providing the experiences those delighted customers found in your store. It can be quite easy to get sidetracked due to concerns of day-to-day operations, crises looming on the financial front, and those pinches competitors caused on your sales.

Focus is instead turned to generating more sales and maintaining profit. This is quite necessary and understandable on the whole, but is it all right to concentrate only on those and neglect customer service? Many business experts would disagree. They would say you’ll also need to pay attention to customer relations, as your customers are your best bet against that frightening scenario—bankruptcy.

Just like in the comic strip above, customer and service do go together. You cannot maintain a customer without providing fine service, and if there are no customers, there’s no profit. This makes it important to be dedicated to your customers at all times, good or bad. Once you’ve proven your dependability, customers will keep coming back. The good thing about this state of affairs is they’ll bring other people with them who might become your next customers.

What is good customer service? How you gain or lose customers?

Personable service is defined by the following activities or qualities:

  • Getting to know your customers’ preferences and pet peeves
  • Anticipating their needs before they tell you
  • Asking customers about further inquiries or complaints
  • Doing your best to exceed their expectations
  • Focusing on providing quality products and services
  • Being on time to give what your customers need
  • Providing warranties and solving grievances

Disregarding any of the traits listed above earns you minus points on fine customer service. The list may be tough, especially on the first days. But when you make it your goal, these actions will become routine. Once you become well-known for good customer service, people will flock to you and become your customers. Your client base will surely widen and your business a success in the long run.

 

Reference:

MentorsOnline.Wordpress.com

Instagram Your Way to Social Media

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How to Integrate Instagram on Your Social Media Campaigns

Internet users are quite fond of pictures. Show them images of a sleeping cat on a funny pose, as well as a glass building glinting with the soft light of the sunrise. Your pictures are sure to garner many likes within the hour. Businesses can take advantage of this obsession with pictures using Instagram. This mobile application has filters you can use to enhance the look and quality of your photos. Experiment with a few of your personal pictures to gain mastery in using the app. Once you got the hang of it, you can begin taking shots of your products and share them on the Instagram network.

Using Instagram is a potential gold mine for many businesses looking to make marketing success with photos. Since July 2012, there have been 80 million users on Instagram alone. Tapping into the demographics will allow you to reach an Instagram population that is 53% female and 47% male, ages 18-34 years old. If your target audience is within this age range, then Instagram is a good online avenue to start your marketing campaign.

But if you use Instagram, how exactly do you reach your intended users? What do you do to get their attention and engage them with your content?

According to Jason Howie, social marketing can be executed on Instagram if you adhere to the following tips:

1. Partner Instagram campaign with other social networks.

Social media is a bigger world out there. Although Instagram has more than 80 million users, it has a relatively young audience. Consider reaching out to a variety of other age groups on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other social networking sites. This will make your products available to a wider audience and help you engage with other users who want to check out your merchandise online.

Integrating Instagram with your existing social media campaigns will also liven up your marketing strategy. Using pictures are known to fetch more engagement from followers, due to the visual appeal that photos generate.

2. Engage your followers.

Communicating with your followers is the number one rule when it comes to social marketing. Explore your followers’ accounts and make sure to like and comment on posts you’re interested in. Do this, especially for followers who often check out your content. This will make them appreciate you more and urge them to follow back more enthusiastically. Answering customer inquiries is also advisable, as many customers prefer to reach out online because it is more convenient than calling the hotline. Make sure to check your account from time to time to see queries you need to immediately respond to.

Launching contests and promotions using Instagram is also useful in exposing your pictures to more users. Arrange online events and offer enticing rewards like discounts and freebies to make users more interested in following your account.

3. Make behind-the-scenes shots accessible.

Showing your followers how you create or manage the products you sell boost user interest. Engage your customers with fun posts about your staff as they get ready for a full day’s work in your store. Pictures like these make followers feel closer to your business as a whole, and enable customers to know you better. Starbucks, the most popular coffee shops worldwide, engages its fans and customers with photos of events and other behind-the-scene activities.

4. Encourage staff involvement.

Involving your employees on your Instagram campaign can make them feel motivated as they have a part in your marketing campaign. Be sure to discuss guidelines on what’s appropriate to post so there will be no misunderstandings. Allowing them to post their pictures about the business will make followers take notice and see how you run your venture. This will spur more engagement, as followers feel closer to a business which shows transparency on how it runs its day-to-day operations, events and other processes.

5. Create your own hashtags.

When tagging your own photos, utilize hashtags specific to your own brand. Using popular hashtags will not be suitable, as this will show general results, rather than your brand. For example, you’re in the coffee shop business. Don’t apply the hashtag ‘#coffee,’ as this will point followers to results like these:

See, there’s more than 1 million photos for the #coffee hashtag. Your followers will have difficulty scrolling through the results. Apply your shop’s name to your campaigns to get more precise results. You can utilize the name of your store to tag your photos. This will have the added benefit of promoting your brand.

As Facebook and Instagram is merged, your pictures get additional exposure. Once a follower clicks ‘Like,’ your picture will appear on their friends’ news feed. When they click on your photo, they’ll see all the likes and comments, which encourage them to look at your photo more closely. This can make them share your photo and cause a viral effect. Other than the mentioned effects, creating your own hashtags will also help you measure the generated ROI. This will help you determine if your audience responds well to your Instagram campaign.

6. Use Instagram’s geo-tagging feature.

Use Instagram’s geo-tagging attribute to make followers more aware of your location. This feature can also help a lot in contests that will make participants look for something using Foursquare and other interactive maps. To connect Foursquare when sharing your Instagram photos, turn on the ‘Add to your Photo Map’ feature and name the location, then click ‘foursquare’ on the share options.

7. Pay attention to your analytics.

Studying your analytics data can yield information on what pictures work best for your campaigns. This will also help you learn who your most engaged followers are, and allow you to concentrate on those who can be your staunchest brand advocates. The statistics will also help you learn which social networks work better for your Instagram strategy. The best times to post your photos can also be mined from the data to ensure that you display your pictures during heavy online traffic.

8. Experiment with your pictures.

Instagram provides many free filters to improve your pictures’ visual appeal. There are also more available options for the paid membership. If you have enough budget, try checking out the choices to help you learn which filters work in making your photos look their best. This will help you promote your business and engage more followers.

 

References:

Social Media Today

Quora.com

Mashable.com

Branddnainc.com

SimplyMeasured.com

Jezebel.com

Photo Credits:

HubSpot Blog

Web.Stagram.com

Instagram Help

Which is More Powerful? Word of Mouth or Social Media?

How Personal and Public Opinions Shape Businesses

When a person’s satisfied or unhappy about a business, they tell their family, friends, and acquaintances about their experience. In fact, negative opinion is voiced more often than positive experiences. People are compelled to warn others about their unfortunate encounters with a certain establishment or service. This makes it imperative for businesses to strive for customer satisfaction, not just to serve their clients but also to protect their reputation.

Protecting the reputation of a commercial organization has become harder, however. People are more apt to voice their dislike when they connect to the Internet. They post their reviews on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as on review sites like Yelp. Word of mouth gained a new form in social media. It can gain a life of its own as people can share it on a number of platform–email, forums, social networks, and more. But, which is more powerful? Word of mouth or social media?

It can be claimed that word mouth dominates, as social media is only a subset of word of mouth. It’s just another medium where people can praise or vent about a person, business, activity or issue. Chris Laird, CEO of Tremor, said everyone can have 10 times as many offline conversations about brands than they do online. Personal views, especially from those with considerable social influence, can sway general public opinion. Two people talking about dinner can dig up memories of a bad experience in a particular restaurant. In turn, B tells C, D and E about A’s experience. A’s opinion indirectly affect other people’s perception about the restaurant.

Let’s ground this to a more concrete example. Chick-Fil-A got involved in a controversy last July when Dan Cathy, the COO, revealed his anti-same-sex marriage stance. This earned censure from various gay and lesbian organizations and LGBT supporters. Chick-Fil-A’s ratings plummeted and reached an all-time low. The Quick Service Restaurant (QRS) Sector conducted a study and found that Chick-Fil-A’s score dropped to 39, which is below the average QSR score. The fast food restaurant’s stand set off disapproval from many of its regular patrons, which affected its ratings in return.

Let’s turn the tables and suppose that social media is bigger than word-of-mouth marketing. Social media can be accessed by almost anyone around the world. Once a review about a certain business is posted on a website, people looking for assessments of that same establishment will find the review. People will likely believe what they find out and if the review’s bad, then they won’t call the business anymore. Word of mouth can only reach a certain number of people before it dies out. Social media, however, keeps records of all posts, which can be retrieved by search engines if the profile allows public viewing. Anyone, then, can read the review and be influenced whether to go there or not.

When people participate in social media, they become connected to a large network of users. It’s like there’s a tie that attaches each one of us to other people with whom we exchange ideas and share our likes and dislikes. We share whatever we post to a group of people. If they like what you’ve shared, there’s a chance they’ll spread it. This will result to a series of shared content that circulates from one network to another. Social media, indeed, mimic how word of mouth works, only in a greater extent. With word of mouth you can reach 100 people. Social media, however, can increase the reach to a thousand more.

 

References:

Social Media Today

Huffington Post

Photo Credit:

http://www.gaebler.com/News/Small-Business-Marketing/Small-businesses-need-to-use-social-media-as-‘word-of-mouth’-marketing-800550525.htm

The Many Faces of Market Research

How Market Research is Beneficial for a Company’s Growth

When we were students who didn’t understand a topic taught in class, we turn to research. We either interview classmates who got a handle on the subject or hit the books for more information. Market research is, in a way, similar to what we used to do when studying in the school library. Back then, we search for explanations from established experts; now, we look for answers on what our target audience wants and needs.

Market research is integral to a company’s growth. Without marketing, entrepreneurs will have difficulties creating a product that will cater to their customers’ needs. Lack of research will result to substandard merchandise, which results to investment losses and waste of resources. It can also drive a company to bankruptcy. Intensive research is needed to gain information to create sought-after products and win over competitors.

Other than product development and edging out the competition, what are other business processes that can benefit from marketing research?

1. Marketing Communications

Communications is important for a company. Thinking of proper words to say to make a product or service attractive is essential in producing marketing copies. The right words can make a marketing piece persuasive, and influence customers to buy the merchandise. This works for all types of businesses, whether in the hospitality and health care industry or construction and technology.

For example, an assisted living center uses inspiring and caring words to address family concerns for their elderly loved ones. A demolition firm, on the other hand, will use ‘tough-sounding’ words that assure clients they can break down old buildings to make way for the construction of new ones.

2. Media Placement

Well-done research helps entrepreneurs determine which medium is best for their marketing campaigns. Marketers weigh whether to choose traditional publications over web content to reach their customers. With market research, target demographics will be studied to see which media they frequently subscribe or listen to. This helps businesses find out what marketing content to concentrate on to expose their products and get the attention of their target audience.

Older people, 50 years old and above, prefer traditional media such as newspapers, television, and radio. The younger generation favors web content, while the middle-aged crowd, roughly the 35-50 years old group, likes a combination of both traditional and modern media.

3. Advertising

If marketing is conceptual, then advertising is visual. Market research helps create advertisements that put across the desired message. These advertisements can take the form of television commercials, newspaper ads, online landing pages or banner displays.

4. Social Media

Marketing and social media has an interdependent relationship with the potential to pay big returns. Many entrepreneurs earn success through successfully marketing their business online. Although a relatively new medium, social media has proven to be an effective way to reach customers. It thrives on ‘personalized’ marketing, or marketing that focuses on customer engagement before merchandise promotion.

5. Brand Awareness

Without extensive research, marketers will have difficulties creating campaigns that will make a person notice a brand, become familiar with it, and immediately remember it at first mention. Market research encourages brand awareness and recall through finding out what makes a brand especially memorable for target customers. It may be a catchy phrase or tune, intriguing images or a well-known, charismatic brand ambassador expressing a persuasive message to your customers.

6. Crisis Management

Market research can help smoothen the thorny side of crisis management. Studying the target audience and performing analytics on your campaign can help you anticipate the problems and provide solutions. This makes it easier for service representatives to provide immediate solutions in a quick and reassuring manner. Studying your customers can also help you find out the best methods to approach and assist them regarding your merchandise. This shows a customer service-oriented image to your clients, which also makes the thorny side of crisis management easier to handle.

7. Service Improvement

Pleasing customers is not the only goal of market research. This also helps companies see where they are lacking to make their business processes smoother and more manageable. With market research you can employ time studies, workflow examinations, and website analytics to learn what you’re doing wrong. This will enable you to perform changes to make customer satisfaction easier to achieve.

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Proper market research helps companies grow to be one of the leading businesses in their own localities. If properly used, market research will help you maintain good business standing, even in economic downturns. Once you’ve established your business, make marketing a priority. This will help keep your business adjust to the dynamics of the times and your customers’ changing needs.

 

Reference:

MarketingProfs.com

Calling All Campaigners

How to Encourage Engagement on Your Social Networking Pages

Likes and Follows are easier to get than actual customer engagement. That’s because more people follow their favorite store on the web for special offers. Actual communication and brand loyalty only occur if customers see dedication to provide the highest quality service companies can offer.

Discounts are quite useful in making your followers scramble to visit your page. This can have an adverse effect, however, because there are some people who just want to get the price markdowns. They want to get the deal before it expires or runs out. They’re more concerned that they’ll be saving more than getting the actual product. Turn this situation around with video testimonials from customers who want the discount because they really want the product you’re offering. This will convince other followers of your product’s worth because videos are more convincing than written testimonials with names.

Enticing customer engagement on your social media page content can be a bit difficult. Persuade them to view your posts and share what’s on your page. A well-written article without a catchy title won’t be read as much as an article with an attention-grabbing heading. Compose titles that evoke laughter, curiosity or shock. This almost always guarantees that your content will be read to find out what’s so special about the topic.

Conduct a regular “Customer Appreciation Day.” Celebrate the establishment of your store or company milestone with a social gathering with customers who want to join in the fun. Post the pictures of your social activities on your social media page. Show the staff mingling with customers. This makes other followers who were not able to join to be excited about the next party. This markets your business well and demonstrates that you’re a sociable entrepreneur who cares for customers.

You can also show customer appreciation with a week-long sale, for example. Why not offer a 15-25% discount for all items? Sandwich highly sought-after items between clearance items. This will not only promote your new products but also help you cart off the languishing items on your inventory.

Helping your customers resolve their concerns about your merchandise is another way you can show how much you appreciate them. Assist them in sorting out their problems from product mismatch to replacement. Can’t appease the customer? Give them a refund with your sincere apologies. This will go a long way in appeasing their irritation and make them remember you in a more pleasing light.

Allow your followers to post their questions on your page. Handle each one in a careful and diplomatic manner because each post can be viewed by other followers. Once you’re able to solve the problem, they will see how good and helpful you are.

Make it a commitment to engage your followers on your social media page. This will cultivate closer relationships with your customers and open the doors for new followers. Start being engaging today.

 

Reference:

SocialMediaToday.com

Stepping Up the Ecommerce Strategy

How do customers shop?

Shopping, especially near the holidays, is a tough time. Customers jostle each other in stores, looking for quality merchandise among the displays, and crowding in front of the shelves with discount tags. Browsing on the web using your computer, smartphone or tablet at your own time and pace is definitely more attractive, especially for busy people. This makes online shopping the top buying technique for many people nowadays.

Customers also like to scout for marked-down prices on their favorite gift items. This makes the web a very attractive hub to explore, as it is also a great avenue to find discounts. Many businesses take advantage of the holiday rush to attract customers and gain more revenue. This causes spikes in visitor traffic to sites like Groupon offering steals with tempting deals.

This makes it imperative for entrepreneurs to beef up their websites. The site must be made secure and user-friendly. Pages which feature products must be spruced up so the merchandise is shown well. Make these pages unique and take photos in a creative manner. Take pictures of models or customers using your products or display your goods in visually pleasing arrangements. This will further entice your visitors’ attention and entice them to buy.

Investing on the creation of a mobile website is to be prioritized. According to the study undertaken in early 2012, 49% expect to buy more using their tablet, while 19% plan to go shopping more through smartphone. Customers browsing through their smartphones and tablets may make up only 16% this year, but statistics will surely rise. The smartphone and tablet sales numbers are increasing, therefore more customers will log on to browse mobile ecommerce sites. It will be better for entrepreneurs to take notice and start plans on creating an online mobile campaign.

Social marketing campaigns on Facebook also have the potential to give back huge returns as consumers browse the site for “good finds or daily deals” they can use for their shopping. This justifies the need to focus intensive marketing campaigns before Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, and even New Year. More people are likely to look up company brands on Facebook near these holidays, as they survey possible gift ideas for their loved ones.

Make online shopping a thrifty and convenient way for your customers to enjoy. Once you’ve earned their trust, they’ll go back to your website and your social networking pages when they’re in a shopping mood.

 

Reference:

MarketingProfs.com