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The Marketing Edge (302)

Getting noticed is hard. When you have exciting news to share, you want everyone to be as enthusiastic about it as you are. Right?

The problem is that any number of the 142,000-plus small businesses in Maine, or 8,000-plus non-profits in Maine, or dozens of State agencies and departments, or hundreds of elected officials on a local, state or regional level might also have exciting news to share.

Wednesday, 01 August 2018 08:49

The Marketing Edge - The Power of Nice

Written by Elizabeth Sutherland (AP)

For more than a decade there’s been a little yellow book on my desk. It’s a book I regularly reread to freshen up on what I think is one of the best business philosophies I’ve ever read.

It’s called “The Power of Nice” by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval and, as its title suggests, is about how to conquer business with kindness. It’s a short book, full of fun anecdotes about how being nice, or kind, has had an incredible impact on someone’s life and career.

The authors are two entertaining, engaging advertising professionals responsible for the AFLAC duck and the Toys R Us jingle among many other successful campaigns. (You’re singing “I don’t wanna grow up…” in your head right now, aren’t you?)

In the book, they detail six principles of being nice that can change how you do business in a positive way.

It’s no secret that people like talking about themselves, some more than others. Add to the mix a situation where you are trying to make a good impression and really get someone to like you, and we tend to lay it on pretty thick.

You’ve probably been on that really bad date where the person on the other end of the table shamelessly goes on and on about themselves, not even stopping to see if you are still interested and listening – or if you’ve started dozing off over your surf and turf dinner (we hope they were at least buying).

If it wasn’t on a date, you’ve likely seen it at parties and networking events. Or in a business meeting. Or, even worse, in marketing.

Often, when people think of email automation, they think it’s a cold, impersonal experience with the recipients. However, nothing could be farther from the truth!

Effective email automation can offer your potential customers a better experience with you, your company and your brand.

Email automation can give interested parties exactly what they want when it’s relevant to them, while helping reduce email clutter from the inboxes for those who aren’t interested. While this is a pretty large topic, here are some starting points to help you start thinking about how email automation might benefit your business.

The Fourth of July has hit and it’s the height of summer! 

You may be wandering the internet as you plan your celebrations for Independence Day and beyond - the time-honored summertime tradition of feasting outdoors with family and friends. There’s often a festival atmosphere and for holiday happenings, the day maybe ends in fireworks. With later summer fun, perhaps an evening swim or a nice campfire.

In many key ways, preparing for a BBQ (on the Fourth or otherwise) is a lot like developing a marketing campaign. 

To have a successful BBQ you have to know a few things: who will be attending, what makes your guests happy and meets their expectations and, if you’re hosting, what kind of budget you have for the party.

The same is true for a targeted marketing experience.

You’ve done it.

Your business or organization has a wonderful thing happening and you’ve drafted a news release that you are SURE will attract more attention than you had ever dreamt possible. All you have to do is use the handy Spell Check tool, and then hit send to as many people as possible, right?

Wrong.

There are plenty of things you can do to help your media release generate attention. But perhaps more important than that, there are things you should not do when contacting the media as well.

Here are five to get you started:

If you have been reading tech news recently, you may have heard about the GDPR - the General Data Protection Regulation which was enacted on May 25, 2018 in the European Union (EU).  It affects websites which collect any sort of personal data on its visitors who reside in the EU. For example, if your site is collecting data through an analytics program or with cookies, there’s a chance that a member of an EU country could visit your site and have their data saved. Compliance with GDPR is especially important to anyone who’s directly doing business with residents of the EU, like ecommerce or tourism.

But don’t worry - while it’s important to be compliant, it’s also not an impossible request.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018 18:38

The Marketing Edge - Learn from your analytics

Written by Cary Weston

If you have a website but you’re not using analytics to assess how it’s working, you’re missing a fantastic opportunity to gain insight into your visitors.

Understanding what your website visitors are doing can significantly help your small business website marketing efforts. One quick way to judge the impact of your marketing efforts is to see it’s impact on your website’s use. Web analytics tools measure activity and value for website visits. (Google Analytics, the most popular of these tools, is free, powerful, and magnificently simple to set up and use.)

By reviewing the data collected, you can see what pages are being used as well as how much and for how long, commonly used search terms that brought someone to your site, what sites visitors came from, how many pages visitors look at, and even what kind of device and browser they used when accessing the site.

This is helpful information because it shows how successful your site is at meeting your goals. Some typical issues and quick fixes include revising content on pages people quickly leave, fine-tuning your site to give your visitors a better experience.

A few months ago, I was scrolling through YouTube and landed on a video by a YouTuber that I watch every so often. Her name is Zoe Sugg and she’s a popular United Kingdom-based beauty and fashion vlogger with over 12 million subscribers. She started her video with a friendly “hello, everybody!” much like most of her other videos, but soon after she launched into a passionate plea to her subscribers to celebrate her birthday by donating to a cause that was close to her heart.

“World’s Most Popular Search Engine” I typed into Google (the default search method on Chrome, also owned by Google), knowing full well the answer I’d be given. It’s Google, of course. With 72.48% of the world’s market share of search according to Search Engine Watch, Google is a powerhouse when it comes to finding information on the internet.

As most of you probably know, using Google’s search engine is free – but some of you may not be aware that it’s not the only free tool that Google offers. As a matter of fact, there are quite a few helpful free Google tools to market your business. Here are five of them:

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