How Local Businesses Can Tweak Their Email Marketing

Although more local businesses are coming around to the fact, there are still many that don’t realize how effective email marketing can be. In fact, 73 percent of Millennials prefer email over other forms of marketing communications, and since they’re currently the largest age cohort in America, it’s a pretty big deal. For businesses whose email marketing is less than stellar, these three tweaks can change the game.

parker-byrd-1393481. Segment Email Marketing Lists

While bees and wasps may seem similar, they’re not attracted to the same thing. This holds true for consumers as well. Businesses that send the same marketing message to everyone on their list will achieve some results, but they’d do much better by segmenting their lists and sending targeted messages. Lists can be segmented by age, gender, previous purchases and a variety of other factors.

2. Alter Timing of Email Messages

Marketing managers have access to tools that show them promotional email open rates, click-throughs and a variety of other analytics. This means they can see if emails are proving more effective during certain times of the day. While a business owner may think they know best when it comes to sending out their messages, paying attention to the analytics and responding appropriately is the right way to go.

3. Toss in a Call to Action

Most local business owners recognize the importance of a call to action on their blogs and certain pages on their website. Many fail to realize, however, that this is also true of email marketing messages. Even if the message is meant to share news, provide business updates or just wish a customer a happy birthday, there should be a strong call to action somewhere in the message. This ensures a chance for a sale is never wasted.

While email marketing was around long before most digital promotion techniques, it has not lost its appeal or effectiveness. If an email strategy seems to be failing, it may just require a few tweaks to get it back on track.

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3 Tips to Attract New Customers in Every Industry

Building customer loyalty is the one surefire method of success in the business world, but before this can even begin, local businesses must attract new customers. The methods of doing this can vary by industry, but as it turns out, there are a few tips to attracting new customers that work regardless of the industry.

blake-wisz-850301. Form Host-Beneficiary Relationships

A host-beneficiary relationship occurs when a smaller business builds a relationship with a more established company with similarly targeted demographics. The smaller business can then provide something of value for the larger company to give away as a “gift.”

Of course, this gift is something along the lines of “Get a free pizza with your first order” or “Purchase a used car and we’ll give you free floor mats.” It gets people in the doors, and once they’re in, half the battle is over.

2. Sponsor Something in the Community

All marketing is local for small and medium sized businesses, and one of the best ways to attract attention is to sponsor a community organization or charity. Getting the business name on a banner, television commercial, large organization’s Facebook page or an event’s program will get it noticed. And since consumers love socially responsible companies, they might just be walking through the door the next day.

3. Use “Outdated” Tactics that Aren’t Outdated

With social media and video marketing being so successful, many people think older forms of promotion are obsolete. This isn’t true in every case. Nearly three-quarters of Millennials, for instance, prefer receiving marketing messages via email. Direct mailers, television commercials and ads in local papers are also still effective in many instances.

There are a million and one methods for attracting new customers. The aforementioned are just some of the most overlooked. When it comes down to it, though, local businesses should be using every marketing strategy at their disposal as long as they’re effective.

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Find Success in Guerrilla Marketing by Avoiding These Myths

Guerrilla marketing is a form of experiential promotion that focuses on novel marketing ideas. When the film Carrie was coming out, for instance, the producers rigged a coffee shop to frighten unexpecting customers who saw a woman show off “telekinetic” powers. These types of marketing ploys can pay off huge, but that’s only if local businesses ignore the common guerrilla marketing myths out there.

tim-gouw-167127Myth 1: Guerrilla Marketing Only Works with Crowds

Nearly 80 percent of Millennials prefer experiential techniques like guerrilla marketing. This means it would be great if every attempt reached hundreds of consumers in one fell swoop, but this doesn’t always happen. In fact, some of the most effective guerrilla marketers sit around all day and “like” statuses and share updates from fans.

While this isn’t going to result in fifty new customers a day, it will show results over time. Rome wasn’t built overnight, so a lack of crowds should be no excuse to not engage in guerrilla marketing.

Myth 2: Guerrilla Marketing Must Be Memorable

There is an idea that guerrilla marketing has to be memorable to be effective. It’s hard to doubt that the aforementioned crowd at the Carrie coffee house doesn’t remember their experience, but this isn’t an absolute necessity.

Guerrilla marketing just has to catch a consumer’s attention right now. What matters is that it takes up current space in their mind. This increases the likelihood of a spur-of-the-moment purchase, and if it’s a particularly impressive technique, it could find its way to YouTube viral status.

Myth 3: It Will Happen Overnight

While effective guerrilla marketing might snag a few new customers relatively quickly, it’s important to remember that it’s just like other marketing techniques. It takes time. Some Facebook pages with hundreds of thousands of followers took years just to reach their first 10,000 via guerrilla techniques. While it’s preferable that a strategy not take this long, marketers shouldn’t forget that it’s a marathon – not a sprint.

Guerrilla marketing might not be the silver bullet of marketing for every business, but it has its benefits. Local business owners should speak with their marketing managers about its potential, and if they opt to go forward, they should always avoid the aforementioned myths.

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3 Local Business Tips for Successful Facebook Ads

Facebook has long been the king of the hill when it comes to social media. Businesses recognize this, and this has led many to increase their focus on the social platform. This can be seen by the fact that, between 2014 and 2015, businesses increased Facebook ad spending by 122 percent. This shows just how effective the strategy can be, but this is only the case if marketers are doing it right.

william-iven-19844ss1. Look at Audience Insights

Within Facebook’s page management tools are the audience insights. This shows key demographics about who is following a page. It includes things like age, gender, hometown and a variety of other valuable demographics. Marketers can use this information to better target the Facebook ads they take out.

2. Don’t Forget Remarketing

Everyone has been surfing the web only to see an ad pop up related to something they viewed online hours or even days earlier. This is called remarketing, and it’s a very effective technique. As it turns out, Facebook ads have this tool as well. In the audience segmentation of the ad, marketers can enter a URL, and if someone has visited it recently, they’ll be displayed a targeted ad.

3. Utilize Professional Ad Copy

Paying for a Facebook ad is no guarantee of success. These advertisements succeed and fail for the same reasons as other promotional tactics. Even if a company has a great product, no one is going to click a link that is promoted with terrible ad copy. It’s best to utilize a professional to create this copy unless a business owner also happens to be a marketing expert.

Facebook marketing isn’t going anywhere. As the social giant continues to recognize its revenue potential, though, they’ll likely require businesses to pay more to get seen. Fortunately, knowing how to make effective Facebook ads can prevent this from being a money drain.

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How Local Businesses Can Reduce Marketing Costs in 2017

Marketing costs are one of the most prohibitive yet essential aspects of running a company. In fact, some studies show that the average spent on social media marketing alone is between $4,000 and $7,000 a month. Many budding entrepreneurs are looking to reduce marketing costs in 2017, but it needs to be done without sacrificing reach. Fortunately, there are a few ways to accomplish this.

artem-sapegin-180146Focus on Inbound Marketing

Outbound marketing, which occurs when businesses advertise “at” their customers, can be especially costly. These methods include paid ads that merely try to convince consumers to come by.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, attempts to increase the likelihood of a consumer finding their way to the company. This includes informative articles and climbing search rankings organically. While outbound marketing has its place, inbound marketing often proves more efficient.

Focus on What’s Working Already

It’s important to come up with new and novel ways to market a company. If something is already working great, though, it shouldn’t be left behind. If a certain type of Facebook ad worked great once, for instance, run it again. If a piece of content does especially well, share it again, update it periodically and even repurpose it into new content.

Consider Outsourcing

One of the biggest causes of overspending is making mistakes. A business owner can go through trial and error to see what works, but they’ll often spend large amounts of money just testing the waters.

Professional marketing managers handle this type of thing for a living. This means outsourcing to experts increases the likelihood that the right marketing strategies will be used the first time around. This can save plenty of money over taking blind shots in the dark.

Saving money on marketing in 2017 isn’t a simple or one-size-fits-all solution. It will take plenty of hard work, but the money saved at the end of the year will have been well worth it.

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3 Digital Marketing Trends in 2017 for Local Businesses

Although local businesses have always focused on promotional tactics, digital marketing is now where much of their money goes. Of course, all the money in the world won’t amount to much if proper strategies aren’t undertaken, and this won’t happen without keeping up with trends. That’s why these digital marketing trends in 2017 will be so important.

dung-tr-n-vi-t-187084Accelerated Mobile Pages

Google has begun working with a format they refer to as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Mobile websites that use this technology will load quicker on mobile devices than ever before. Since Google is taking the lead, this means it will likely come into play with their algorithm. That means it’s time to jump on the bandwagon to stay relevant in search results.

Social Wi-Fi

Unless someone has been living under a rock for a decade, they know how big social media has become. By the end of 2016, Facebook alone had 1.86 billion active monthly users. It turns out that businesses can take advantage of this with their Wi-Fi.

Offering free Wi-Fi is a great business move, but it’s possible to require customers to sign in with their social accounts. This provides a ton of marketing information, and if it scares off too many potential users, it’s okay to just start asking for emails before allowing login.

Influencer Marketing Becomes Essential

Consumers can look online and essentially get the same digital marketing message from hundreds of businesses in every industry. What really stands out to them, though, is when social influencers get involved.

These influencers can do anything from share a blog to recommend a product online. This doesn’t even have to be a national influencer; a local personality will work just fine. Consumers are looking for more in marketing messages now, and industry influencers are the way to provide it.

Until something new and excessively impressive comes around, digital marketing will rule the promotional world. Fortunately, staying on top of it is as easy as keeping up with the trends.

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3 Local Business Benefits of Pay-Per-Click Ads

Local businesses should at least consider using every marketing technique at their disposal once. In the world of digital marketing, this includes pay-per-click (PPC) ads that charge budding entrepreneurs every time someone clicks on their ads. While the efficacy of PPC ads can vary by business type, industry and location, there are at least a few pay-per-click benefits that owners should consider.

taduuda-72915No Waiting for Organic

Maybe one of the biggest benefits of pay-per-click ads is the fact that they’re immediate. This is likely also why, not too long ago, 72 percent of marketers said they’d be increasing their focus on PPC advertising.

Instead of waiting for keywords, backlinks, and engagement to drive a page up the ranking organically, businesses can immediately have their ad show up at the top. Keep in mind, though, that some people move right past paid ads. This means analytics should be used to test this benefit.

No Play, No Pay

When a company buys a billboard or certain ads on social media, they’re charged regardless of whether they see results. This means an ineffective ad could cost a business hundreds before they realize it’s not working.

With PPC ads, on the other hand, money-strapped entrepreneurs will only pay when an interested party actually clicks on the link. If they do this, half the battle is already won, and it’s the only time the business will be charged.

PPC Marketing Research

Another great benefit of pay-per-click ads is the fact that they allow for marketing research. If a company wants to test out a new focused keyword, they can see how well it performs with PPC before investing in content centered on the phrase.

They can also see if a new product or service will be in high demand. A marketing manager who can effectively judge PPC analytics can help a business know what’s going on before it ever happens.

The benefits of pay-per-click advertising are numerous, but data-driven results are more important. If the aforementioned benefits are realized through PPC advertising, that’s great. If not, it’s time to reconsider the strategy or remove it altogether.

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Can Emoji Marketing Really Be Effective?

If there’s one thing constant about marketing, it’s the fact that it’s always evolving. Something that may not even exist today might be the marketing tool of tomorrow. Strangely enough, it seems as if emojis – the small smiley faces overwhelmingly used in messaging – have made their way to the marketing landscape. It might be hard to understand why, but these little icons can actually make a marketing strategy more effective.

47691278 - wonder female emoticonImproved Email Marketing

Whether or not a local business uses a specific marketing strategy should depend upon data. Just how effective is the strategy? When it comes to email marketing and emojis, there’s definitely a positive correlation.

In fact, a recent study found that 56 percent of companies that include emojis and other symbols in their subject lines experience higher open rates. While this could vary based on targeted demographic, trying out the method is certainly worth the chance.

Improves Communication to Consumers

Anyone who has had a conversation over text in their life knows that meaning can be lost in the digital realm. Even putting emphasis on the wrong word when reading can completely change the connotation of a message. Using emojis removes this potentiality. Both positive and negative messages can get consumers’ attention, and using emojis ensures they’ll certainly understand the conveyed meaning.

Marketing on a Personal Level

Any marketer who’s been paying attention knows that the drive towards personal-level marketing has been speeding up. Individuals want to feel as if they’re speaking with real people rather than just marketing messages. Emojis help accomplish this.

The simple fact is that emojis create the feeling of humanity. In fact, scientists have found that people who embrace emojis are more successful and make more friends than others. Everyone loves a kind gesture, and these emoticons can do just that.

While many may still see emojis as cliché and childish, they are certainly catching on in the business world. From Pepsi to Taco Bell, big corporations are already using emoji marketing, and data-driven science says local businesses should as well.

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Avoid these Annoying Offline Marketing Tactics at All Costs

There’s no doubt that marketing is an essential aspect to any company’s success, and while we do live in a digital world, offline marketing is still important. From guerrilla tactics to attending trade shows, these non-digital methods can really pay off. Of course, there’s a right and wrong way to do everything, so business owners should never engage in these terrible offline marketing strategies.

simson-petrol-133138Cold Calling from Noisy Offices

Cold calls annoy most people, but it is an effective offline strategy for certain industries. In fact, for some companies, it’s the only offline marketing tactic they use. Because of this, cold calling shouldn’t be overlooked entirely, but if it’s done in a noisy environment, that’s when things go south.

Consumers who speak on cold calls are doing businesses a favor. If they hear loud voices from 20 other representatives doing the same thing in the background, they’re likely to get annoyed and hang up.

Using Offline Tactics to Force Feed Online Marketing

Handing out business cards, flyers, and even action-dependent coupons is a great offline marketing technique that can lead to online success. In many cases, though, business owners take advantage when they receive an email from an interested party.

Keep in mind that an inquiry email isn’t an invitation to add someone to a mailing list. This can make people sour on a company quickly, and it shows how an offline technique can quickly equate to online failure.

The Everyday Sale

Numerous businesses across America have banners out front saying “One Day Sale,” “Going Out of Business Sale” or “Today Only! 25% Off!” In many cases, these time-dependent promotions are exactly what they say they are.

In other situations, though, they’re just attractive banners store owners leave up to draw business. While this may be great at bringing in a few tourists or city newcomers, local customers will quickly realize what’s going on and potentially become annoyed.

It’s important that local businesses use a variety of marketing tactics. This doesn’t mean, however, that every strategy should be utilized. There are winners and losers, and the aforementioned far too often turn out to be losers.

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3 Local Marketing Benefits You May Have Missed

Local business owners are in a constant struggle to engage in effective marketing while still outshining their competition. As it turns out, there are a few ways to accomplish both tasks through one strategy, and local marketing is one of them. There are a variety of local marketing benefits out there, but budding entrepreneurs may not have known about the following.

luis-llerena-18011Ability to Combine Online with Offline Marketing

Some of the best marketing tactics business owners utilize are offline, but with the quick growth of the digital age, many have begun to slack off on this form of promotion. With simple offline local marketing tactics, though, they can bring in new customers and even integrate online strategies.

Just look at business cards, direct mail or even trade shows. Trade shows allow for a great chance to network, and handing out cards at these events can result in future business. Additionally, adding a company’s website to the card will bring in new traffic.

Direct mail can do the same, and since nearly 40 percent of consumers try a company for the first time thanks to a direct mailer, it’s definitely an overlooked tool.

Ability to Integrate Social Media

Social media is certainly a powerful marketing platform, but many business owners fail to utilize it in a local marketing capacity. In its most basic form, local marketing can be accomplished by linking review site pages to social media platforms. To get an extra boost, though, it’s a great idea to share positive online reviews directly to social pages.

Large Swaths of Competition Oblivious

Unless a competitor has hired a marketing manager, it’s likely they don’t fully understand how to market on a local scale. Local marketing includes everything from soliciting reviews to hyperlocal focus, and those outside of the marketing realm don’t often comprehend these. This means that any business who effectively uses local marketing will be far ahead of their competitors.

Local marketing is an essential aspect of any promotional plan, and there are tons of benefits to prove it. This is why every business owner should take the time to focus on this necessary strategy.

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