I gave a speech to the local Business Improvement District in Hackettstown titled, “Marketing and Your Online Presence.” I thought I’d share my talk in a few parts to everyone! Take a look at Part 1 and Part 2!
Campaigns / Promotions
Your advertising, marketing campaign and/or promotion is really the sales force of your business. Rather than hiring someone to go sell your business to people, you use a campaign to get the word out and attract people to your business. When coming up with a campaign for your business…remember that it’s for a set amount of time. Sometimes they can be reoccurring. Once you’ve done one you can always go back to it a year later, 5 years later…whenever.
So let’s say you’ve come up with a campaign. Let’s say you’re planning a hashtag promotion that gives away a product a week. Let’s say you plan on running this promotion for 13 weeks. That’s an important one. You can’t just run a promotion for a week and say, “Well that didn’t work and I don’t want do this again.” Let your campaign marinate. Often times, it takes one person…or it take one post on social media to help get it really going. If it doesn’t work right away you can look at why it didn’t and use that for the next one…to make sure the campaign gets off to a good start right away. Everything is valuable.
Another tip I would give is to ask for feedback when brainstorming your campaign, but don’t actually bring too many cooks in the kitchen. Feedback is great! Someone can offer a better hashtag than you thought of, or someone could suggest a better time of the year to do the promotion. There was a quote from Forbes that says:
Nothing destroys a good idea faster than a mandatory consensus. The lowest common denominator is never a high standard.
Think outside of the box. I know this one can be a little tricky but it can be pretty easy to get inspired. A quick example is to start reading books related to the subject. The Roy William’s book I spoke of earlier can really help to inspire you. Take his successful ideas and relate them to your business.
Another idea is to look at other businesses. This works on two levels…1st is to take a look at the ‘big dogs’ in your industry. If you run a jewelry shop, look at what Jared’s is doing. They’re companies that hire advertising agencies, who run demographics and do marketing research to find the best way to sell. Their final ad is a result of all that. So look at their promotions and look at who they might be targeting for yourself. They’ve all ready done the leg work…you can benefit off that. The second is to look at the ‘small to mid sized’ businesses in your industry. Ethically, I would say to start looking up businesses in other states. It looks really bad if you rip off a promotion idea from a competing business in your own town. It’s tacky, you’ll probably get called out, and we’re all in this together. But, for example, if you find a jewelry shop in Wisconsin who thought of a really cool promotion for their business…why not take inspiration from that!
It’s okay to fail. A huge thing that a lot of smaller businesses are scared of is failing. Some of it has to do with money, and while everything is going to take either time or money, failure is still something that’s hard for people to deal with. It should and it shouldn’t. Failure is Inevitable…for one it’s a lesson in how not to do things. It’s a step in the right direction…failure’s effect on your life is all how you deal with it. John Wanamaker once said “I know half of my advertising isn’t working. I just wish I knew which half.” He’s knew he was making wrong decisions, but he didn’t know when. He saw the value in trying and failing, along with probably every self-help book that’s ever been published.
On a different scale, do you know how many companies that you might respect or cherish have, just, constantly failed. An older example of failure actually turned into an amazing advertising campaign for Avis, the car rental company. The campaign started in 1962 and it was the ‘We Try Harder’ campaign. Avis would come in 2nd at Hertz car rentals every year…so they built a campaign around, them failing to come in #1. Get it…we try harder…cause we’re number 2. One ad I remember had a headline that just read, “If you find a cigarette butt in an Avis car, complain. It’s for our own good.” The ad goes on to talk about how they try harder and their customers should essentially help them get to number. Do you know how many times Apple launched a huge product that have failed. Even when Steve Jobs was at the forefront? Examples include; the hockey puck mouse, the Newton, Eworld, iPod Hi-Fi, iPod Socks, and a whole…whole lot more. If that doesn’t get you here’s 12 McDonalds products that failed over the course of 15 years. That’s almost one per year…and there’s a lot McDonalds has to do in terms of product launch:
- McGratin Croquette
- Hula Burger
- Pizza & McPizza
- Arch Deluxe
- McLean Deluxe
- Big N’ Tasty
Quick tip for hashtags. You can search hashtags to see which one’s are popular. So when you’re posting a picture or something, look up some and see which one’s have the highest tags. You can also use hashtags as a promotion for your business, but it’s gotta be good. For example, you could start a hashtag like #eatinatmamas and then offer a weekly gift certificate or free meal to one person a week / month that uses the hashtag or tags your business. This is brilliant because it gets other people to promote YOU! Just be careful the offer is worth what you’re asking people to do, or people won’t do it. Small promotions can have a huge impact for your marketing strategy. Just posting images of new products, or a perfectly made cheesesteak could be enough to make someone’s mouth water. But be smart about it. If you’re a restaurant, and you’re service lunch make sure you post a picture of that ‘perfect cheesesteak’ the next morning between 10 – 11. If you’re a hair salon, take some images of the previous years up-do’s around prom time. Please, please…just keep it interesting. Before you post it, think to yourself, “Is this something I would like.”
Tips for Posting on Facebook To Get Results:
- Get Your Facebook Fans onto an email list
- Practice storytelling with each Facebook post
- Understand what excites your audience
- Make sure your content has context to the reader
- Have a friendly and relaxed approach when posting
- Use Facebook For Lead Generation But Convert On Your Own Site
- Learn how to be more relevant to your customers’ lives.
- Empower your employees to scale your content
- Simply Stop Writing Promotional Posts
- Focus on building relevant, high quality content
- Focus on providing value
- Analyze what’s working and produce more of that
- Create more video content
- Know more about your potential buyers
- Know what works for your audience
- Remove or Adapt Your Promotional Posts
- Diversify your social media platforms
- Become indispensable to your audience
When’s the best time to post on social media:
Days: Tuesday – Sunday | Time: 9AM, 1PM & 3PM
Facebook is broadly used on mobile and desktop, at work and at home. It really depends on the audience as far as who and how it is used.
Days: Wednesday (B2B performs 16% better during business hours, B2C performs 17% better on weekends.) | Time: 12PM, 3PM, 5PM & 6PM
Twitter is a hard nut to crack, and definitely audience dependent, like Facebook. It is often treated like an RSS feed, and something to read during down times like commutes, breaks, and so on.
Days: Topic Based | Times: 2PM, 9PM & 2AM
Pinterest users seem to make network activity an evening sport, much like sitting down to TV in the evening during their free time.
Days: Monday & Thursday | Times 2AM, 8 – 9AM & 5PM
Instagram users are on a platform meant for mobile, and that means they tend to use the network all the time, any time.
Days: Tuesday – Thursday | Time: 7 – 8AM, 12PM, 5 – 6PM
LinkedIn is for professionals, and they tend to use it around work hours.
- Your Ideas Are Good…I Promise
- The Message Is Not The Medium
- The “I Should Hope So” Question In Advertising
- 9 Marketing Tips For Facebook and Twitter (If You’re Sincere)
One easy pitfall is to get into is becoming comfortable with your business and your promotions. The you should always be looking for the plateau. Even if you’re ‘at capacity’ you should have an ace up your sleeve. The second you get lazy, you’re opening the door for someone to take some of your market share. Remember the AVIS ad’s I was talking about earlier? They were #2 trying to be #1! The same happens right here in town. It’s not as hostile in a small town but it still exists because local people have disposable income and that disposable income has got to go somewhere!
Being progressive, at its core, means that you have to keep your business on the top of people’s mind when they need your product or service. Think of Pavlov’s dog. When someone says, “Oh, I’m out of this!“, “I’m starting to get hungry…” or “What should I get Aunt Judy for her birthday?“…you need be on the top of their mind.
Keep Your Customers At The Core
This may be one of the most important things to remember when thinking about your business. Your customers are the reason you’re in business, which is all the more reason to be sincere with your online presence and keep your customers at the center. Acquiring a new customer can cost 5 times more than keeping a customer. Make sure you pay attention to your current customers and even find interesting ways to keep them coming back. Offer them a discount for being a loyal customer. Thank them by posting a picture of them on your social media (and don’t forget to tag them.) Get your customers to tag your business and/or hashtag. Your fans will root for you, don’t be afraid to ask them. Take Czig Meister! I see so many people around town, and in other towns, wearing their shirts. They’re supporting a local business that they want to support! Find that angle and exploit it. Most customers who love you, would love to help you be successful!
So how do you do it? We’ll on Facebook, here’s some tips:
- Get Personal
- Use Pictures
- Run a Contest
- Have Fun
- Showcase a Cause
- Use Facebook’s Features
- Consider Using Your Personal Profile
- Crowdsource Your Content
- Love Your Fans
- Intent Precedes Content – Keeping Customers At The Core
- Seth W.’s Beliefs About Customer Service
- Entrepreneurship The Iron Maiden Way
- Your “Fans” Are The Reason You’re In Business
- 86% of Customers Pay More For Better Customer Experience
- 9 Marketing Tips For Facebook and Twitter (If You’re Sincere)