Monthly Archives: August 2016

Integrated Marketing: 15 Ways to Connect Your Offline & Online Marketing

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businessman with tablet connecting offline and online marketingIt’s one of the biggest mistakes we see in marketing today: companies treating their online marketing (i.e. website, social media, content marketing, SEO) like it exists in a bubble separate from in-person customer service, radio and billboard advertising (traditional marketing).  Yes, we consider customer service as part of your marketing efforts—and you should too!—because customer service is part of the customer experience and many offline and online marketing tools rely on direct conversations with the customer (read how marketing can’t exist without excellent customer service here).  That doesn’t mean you should “hard sell” during every customer inquiry; if you’ve followed our blog enough, you know we recommend using a more subtle approach and selling when appropriate.

That being said, integrating all your marketing together—print, radio, SEO, content marketing, social media, TV (everything!)—sounds great in theory (doesn’t it?), but it’s hard to imagine how to apply to your business marketing without solid concrete examples of online and offline marketing integration:

  1. Keep the feel of your offline and online materials the same (i.e. colors, logo, text, etc.)
  2. Use your billboard or radio to market a social media contest or campaign (coordinate your efforts through a strategic marketing plan).
  3. Add your social media channel URLs to your print pieces.
  4. Answer customer questions by directing them to the content marketing piece that answers the question.
  5. Offer an incentive to customers that join your email marketing list.
  6. Draft email marketing pieces that bring your customers (and potential customers) into your store.
  7. Answer frequently asked off-line questions from customers in your email and content marketing pieces.
  8. Add pictures & notices of in-store discounts to your social media channels.
  9. Give people a glimpse of the results of your services with pictures and videos in your email and social media marketing.
  10. Use local search engine optimization to reach the attention of local customers.
  11. Build a solid website that is mobile marketing friendly (with all the contact information easy to find) for customers that want to visit your store.
  12. Use similar graphics in a coordinated and customized (for the specific platform) social media and print advertising campaign.
  13. Add QR codes to your print materials connected to strategic URLs for a social media or website page.
  14. Use your website, social media, content and email marketing to promote your offline events.
  15. Post videos and pictures of your store, products, or employees (with their permission!) on YouTube and social media to draw your online customers into your business.

If you need any other ideas, or need help crafting a marketing plan that integrates your offline and online efforts, don’t be afraid to contact a marketing agency (like us!) that can help coordinate your efforts and get you the maximum results for your marketing dollar.

15 GOOD Ways to Build Your Email List (And a Few Ways Not to)

laptop with email icons used for email marketingTrue story: we once knew a business owner (not one of our clients) who told us he purchased a trade association list so he could add all the emails of the members to his email list.  He thought it was a brilliant business move, but it turned into a major goose egg.  Turns out, the people he was emailing didn’t want his emails (why should they, when they never asked for it?).

Email marketing is a powerful tool in your online marketing toolbox with one of the highest return-on-investments (ROIs) and an excellent way to promote your content—if you build your email list the right way.  Building your email list the wrong way (see our list of ways NOT to build your email list below) can land you (and your email server) in the same boat as stealing online images—-in hot water, increase the amount of spam reports against you, and ultimately sabotage your email marketing results. (If you need more information on successful email marketing the right way or a company to help you execute a solid email marketing campaign, you know who to call.)

How to build your email list

  1. On your solidly built website (more about building a solid website here)
  2. On direct mail pieces
  3. On social media
  4. Through a contest
  5. On your blog
  6. Make your emails easy to forward and share with others
  7. With a marketing piece in your packaging
  8. In your email signature
  9. At the end of your video (direct them to a link on your web page)
  10. At tradeshows and events
  11. Through social media ads
  12. With a QR code
  13. At check out
  14. In sales meetings
  15. With a discount

How not to build your email list

  1. Buying email addresses
  2. Adding customers to your list without their permission
  3. Buying lists from another business
  4. By using old lists that were collected in the past (but not with the users’ consent to email)
  5. From membership lists

5 Ways to Use Your AWESOME Content

Businessman sitting at the table with laptop and looking at camera after writing awesome piece of marketing contentIf you’ve decided to take advantage of the many, many benefits of content marketing, you undoubtedly fall into one of two categories:

  • You’ve written an in-depth piece you know your customers can benefit from and have posted it;

OR

  • Your marketing firm wrote an excellent piece based on your feedback and has posted it.

Now what?!

As great as it is that you’ve turned out an AWESOME content marketing piece that’s not going to give your customers a concussion from the constant beating of sell-sell-sell (more about great content here), your job is not done.  You’ll get a whole lot more bang for your marketing buck from that content marketing piece if you let people know it’s there (here’s how to draft an awesome content promotion plan).

Content that isn’t pushed out, just…well…sits.  You’re not getting everything out of that piece that you can.  And after all the work you—or your content marketing firm—put into drafting and creating, you have several options of how you can maximize your investment by promoting your content.

Social Media Marketing

Hopefully, the same people you are writing your content for are the same followers on social media (if you’ve targeted your efforts correctly).  Promote your content on the social media channels with the right followers; make sure you draft a different message for each social media site.  PLEASE don’t draft the same message on Facebook and Twitter or on Pinterest and Twitter.  When you do put your post up, research your hash tags (one of the key ways to build your social media following) and only use the appropriate number for the site (there is such thing as too much)—and only if it’s appropriate to use hashtags on the site (if you don’t know, put your social media efforts in the experts’ hands).

Email Marketing

Use your content in emails to your customers (after all, that’s why you drafted it, right?).  Use an image and strong email headline to increase your open rate and a strong call-to-action to inspire your email recipients to act.  That action doesn’t have to be sales (your approach depends on your industry); instead your call-to-action can be a request for more information or an offer for a free product or sample.

Send it to your sales team

An excellent piece of content can be a powerful tool for your sales team, whether to other business managers or in a retail setting. Ask them to integrate the piece into their marketing pieces (i.e. presentations, emails, etc.) and make sure to keep the conversation two-way.  Ask them for their input for future content based on the questions and feedbacks they receive from customers and potential customers. If you are using a marketing firm, pass the feedback from your sales team on to them to guide future online marketing efforts and for a strong marketing plan.

Social Media Ads

If social media advertising is part of your content promotion plan, draft an ad around a very strong piece of content.  Use two different set of criteria to ensure maximum effectiveness:

  • Choose a social media site that has a demographic that fits with the ideal audience you created the piece for.
  • Target your social media ad at the audience you drafted your content for (i.e. text, graphics, location, etc.)

“Shareability”

Since you’ve created such fantastic content, naturally people are going to want to share, right?  That’s why you should make sharing your content easy and convenient for readers so they can pass it on to others—the ultimate goal of your content marketing efforts.