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Wednesday, 03 September 2014 22:55

How to use YouTube to promote your brand

While YouTube is not often the most talked about marketing tactic for a brand, it can greatly complement your marketing efforts by giving your audience an additional channel to absorb your information. In fact, video marketing may become an even greater channel for your brand as online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016, according toThe Hayzlett Group. Statistics show that over 1 billion users spend more than 4 billion hours watching YouTube videos each month, which means that maybe now is the time to enhance your brand's YouTube presentation. Here are a few ideas to get your video marketing rolling on YouTube:

Share big news. Delight your followers by giving them insight with video announcements of new store openings, new products, awards or other happenings in your business. Sometimes a video is the best way to give details without requiring too much of your audience's time.

Published in The Marketing Edge
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 20:42

How to use Facebook remarketing

Remarketing has been around for a while now, but many small businesses have been leery to try this somewhat advanced online marketing strategy. Now that Facebook has rolled out its own version of remarketing, though, you don't have to be a Google AdWords pro to reach your recent website visitors. In fact, Facebook has made it pretty easy to get information from your website about recent Facebook users' interactions with your website. Below are three simple steps to begin taking advantage of this new tool:

Step One: Go to Ads Manager in Facebook and click on Audiences on the left side of the page. A form may pop up, but if not, simply select the green Create Audience button and choose Custom Audience from the drop down. Next, choose the type of audience you want to create on Facebook. In this case, you'll want to choose Custom Audience from your Website. Here you can select which of your website pages you want to gather the audience from. You can choose to record anyone who visits your website, or you can track those that visit specific pages. For instance, do you want to target people who have viewed a certain product on your page but didn't purchase it? You are able to define those parameters here.

Published in The Marketing Edge
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:16

Four ways to show customer appreciation

There are plenty of examples of businesses going above and beyond to make their customers feel special mostly because when this happens, the results go viral. Customers love feeling appreciated, and when they are hit with a random act of kindness, they are more willing to spread the word. While businesses should always be appreciative of their customers, it's not always easy to show it. Here are four easy ways that you can show customer appreciation to your most loyal patrons.

Send a thank you note

Published in The Marketing Edge
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 19:15

Why competition is good for business

Most small business owners dread the idea of comparing their brand with their competition. We often see their facial expressions change dramatically when we ask them about their competition during a discovery meeting. While dealing with competition seems challenging and stressful, it is important to understand that competition is actually good for your business. New competitors frequently come and go, but only those who are really savvy, focused and good at what they do will survive the daily race towards winning the trust and loyalty of their customers.

In fact, competition is what drives successful brands. When we're not challenged, we tend to opt for the status quo and do things the way we have always done, which is perhaps the most dangerous way to run a business a straight road to obsolescence and failure. It's important to realize that there's always someone out there who knows better and can do better. This is an uncomfortable reality check that drives us to strive to offer the best products, services and customer experiences we can possibly offer. Let's face it: we live in world of choices. We have multiple choices and/or substitutes for just about any product or service we can possibly think of. All it takes is a simple web search and a world of possibilities is waiting for us at our fingertips. Marketing has never been so sophisticated, and competition has never been this fierce.

Published in The Marketing Edge

According to KISSmetrics, it can cost up to seven times more to acquire new customers than to retain them, which means if you are not working towards keeping long-term relationships with your customers, you are losing money. In fact, customers actually desire a long-term relationship with a branda survey by Responsys showed that nearly three out of four people look for that relationship with a brand that is appreciative of their business. However, your customers don't want to be bombarded with sales pitches and irrelevant information. In fact, Responsys found that 34 percent of the people surveyed say they leave annoying brands. How, then, do you successfully communicate your brand to keep a long-term relationship with your customers without losing them along the way? Here are a few customer retention tips that will help your brand keep in touch without annoying your customers.

Personalize your approach.

Published in The Marketing Edge

Twitter can be an overwhelmingly fast-paced social media platform to use for businessat least at first. For one, you are limited to only 140 characters to get your message across. Then, once your message is finally shortened and sent, it doesn't take long for it to get buried in the sea of other Tweets. Despite some of the barriers that may discourage you from opening or continuing to use your Twitter account, businesses can greatly benefit from the unique features of this highly popular social media platform. Here are a few things to remember when using Twitter for your business:

Get in the habit of tweeting regularly

Published in The Marketing Edge

These days, consumers don't go online; they are online, all the time. With continuous connectivity, the distinction between consumers' online actions and their real, geographic behaviors is rapidly blurring. Marketers need to be aware of how 'living in the moment' is changing audience expectations and driving a bigger demand for convenient, personalized services. 

Mobile networking puts users in a perpetual marketplace. They have instant access to a universe of digital information, and they're able to make decisions with the touch of a button. As a result, they're less tolerant of unsolicited or irrelevant messages. To score real returns from this dynamic arena, businesses need to focus less on promotion and more on discovering and providing the information consumers value most on a personal level.

Published in The Marketing Edge

The greatest challenge of social media marketing is finding a way to quantify its marketing value. Actions such as likes, shares and retweets shed insights on which kinds of content make the biggest impact on your target audience, but where and when does that translate to monetary or conversion values? In terms of concrete numbers, how can businesses actually measure the success of their social media marketing efforts? 

The key lies in remembering that social media is about engagement, not sales. To evaluate the effectiveness of a social media campaign, don't focus on measuring the activities themselves. Instead, figure out how those activities tie in to other marketing objectives you can measure. 

Published in The Marketing Edge

It's a common practice for small businesses to bring their marketing efforts in-house. After all, why pay outside agency fees for services you can do yourself with just a little extra time and effort? Unfortunately, though, many businesses don't fully realize the time, energy and hidden expenses that even simple marketing projects can involve. For businesses with limited resources, in fact, it can actually cost more to manage these activities in-house than to hire a professional marketer. 

Marketing is an ongoing activity (like accounting), not a one-time project. Professional marketers don't just add gloss to a brochure or polish to a sales pitch; they ensure that every component of your marketing strategy from market research to distribution is integrated into a strong, consistent program that reaches your target audience and reinforces your brand image. Having a professional handle such integral part of your business not only saves money by getting the work done efficiently and accurately, but also yields a much higher return on your investment. 

Published in The Marketing Edge
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 23:18

Honesty is your best marketing tool

The holiday season means a spike in sales for most businesses. At the same time, though, honesty is never a more powerful marketing tactic. Customers often value a comfortable experience, with a brand they can trust, more than they do product features especially when they're already rushed during a busy shopping season. 

How can honesty improve your marketing strategy? 

Published in Money
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