Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Unique Ways To Get People Talking About Your Business

When push comes to shove, consumers go with the names they know. If a company is not on their minds, it will not receive their hard-earned dollars. Make customers continue coming back by promoting the business in unique ways. The best promotional efforts subtly embed the company name in the minds of consumers. Without even realizing why, people will automatically reach out to the company when they are in need of what it offers.

The Website Is a Powerful Tool

A website has the potential to draw customers from all over the globe. Even a small business can harness the potential of a website, attracting customers day and night. Developing and maintaining a website that lands customers on a daily basis is not difficult to do. One method is to add an internal or external blog and start writing. Address the audience as if the experience were a normal face-to-face conversation and provide information that has substance such as tips about additional uses for products.

Tying the website to social media networks on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest develops a sense of community. Post status updates on social media sites and encourage customer comments. Listen to what customers have to say and respond to their questions and concerns. Keep asking for feedback because it will prove invaluable when refining products or services or developing new ones. Develop programs to recognize and reward consumers who contribute thoughts and suggestions via social media.

Customize Marketing Efforts

Prospects and customers are much more likely to pay attention to a marketing message addressed to their name rather than "Dear Valued Customer." It is easy and inexpensive to integrate information from customer mailing lists into marketing letters, postcards, and even email communications. This extra step can make a huge difference in the amount of new and repeat business. Recipients will take time to read and act on the promotional messages.

Show existing customers some appreciation by providing them with custom promotional products as a thank-you for their loyalty. Customers like the extra thought put into gifts that correspond with their interests and they will enjoy the personal touch that the customization provides. These gifts contribute to corporate branding by keeping the business on the mind of the recipient. They also show that the company values each customer as a unique individual.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Brand Ambassadors: Key Ways To Ensure Your Staff And Trade Show Reinforce Your Business Image

Whether you're a business working the trade show booth circuit, or simply an organization trying to get the promotional word out to your targeted demographic, chance are you've heard the term "brand ambassador" within your industry inner circle. While many companies only consider brand ambassadors to be high profile celebrities hired to represent a firm, savvy entrepreneurs understand the importance of broadening the definition of this invaluable promotional tool to include both individuals and/or marketing materials/resources utilized by companies in any niche that embody and represent what a business stands for and by.

While a brand ambassador tactic can prove a major differentiator in any marketing mix, it has also firmly established itself as a major weapon in every trade show stand strategy arsenal. If you're currently not considering this approach in your displays for trade shows, it's time to start. Understanding some critical factors to consider with both your staff and stand can help ensure you're optimizing return on investment on this imperative brand-centric solution.

How To Help Trade Show Stand Staff Best Convey Your Corporate Message And Identity

When grooming your team members to become the best representatives of your business, it's important to reinforce several imperative "musts" that need to be adhered to when manning your company booth. First and foremost, thoroughly educate your team on what your business brand is truly all about. Convey a clear, distinct and (most importantly) consistent message to your staff on what your corporate missive is and what your performance expectations of them are throughout the marketing function. Feel like you're not equipped to manage the training appropriately internally? Hire a professional training firm that specializes in brand reinforcement to guarantee that your staff has a firm grasp of how to be corporate representatives while working your trade show stand.

Important Factors To Consider When Using Displays For Trade Shows As Brand Ambassadors

When creating your company trade show stand there are a few significant features to keep in mind throughout the design process to guarantee that you end up with a final product that truly encompasses the business image that you want to convey. Always keep a steady focus on the professional image that your stand offers to passersby. Your expectations of your booth should mirror those that you have of your staff; the final display should always reinforce your image as a polished, poised and professional firm. Never set up a stand that looks shabby and dated - it instantly renders your company as an ineffective (and potentially financially struggling) non-entity!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

How Different Businesses Can Gain From Online Animation

Motion graphics, as the name suggests, is graphical communication of a piece of information. It involves communication with the use of sounds, music, graphs, designs and texts. They are extensively used in online animation, which results in quick and easy advertisement of a product or services provided by a company.

Motion graphics communicates the information graphically making viewers doesn't feel the pressure of going through a commercial. Users, on the other hand, get the same feel as they would get after watching a live video.

How the usage of movement of graphics in online animation can help different sectors:


Graphical representation of information can help education sector immensely. Large or complex subjects such as medicine and astrology can be taught well with the help of animation. For example, if pupils have to be told about our milky way or the anatomy of a human body animation can show a subject matter in varying proportion or highlight it to show its effect clearly to viewers and learners.

Real estate

Construction sectors can also look to gain from online animation. They can through moving graphics show their prospective clients what is yet to be constructed or which is still under construction. Viewers can, with animated graphics, get the same feel of a project as they would after visiting it in real. This means that viewers can virtually see what is otherwise not possible in reality and thus can go for a project after making an informed decision.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Writing Effective Headlines For Advertising Small Businesses

To stand out in a crowded marketplace full of information overload, creating powerful headlines is a must. Your headlines not only have to be intriguing enough to get noticed, but they need to incite people to take the desired action. It's no wonder countless businesses are seeking the services of experienced copywriters. If small businesses learn to write better, they will convert more sales, it's as simple as that. Sales copy is crucial to close more sales. Learning how to write effective headlines that attract attention and convert is part art, part science. There's a skill to draw the interest of your prospective market. You also have to tweak and experiment till you can find that perfect balance that converts the best.

Small business owners have to be vigilant, they can't just write headlines and step away, it's vital to monitor the results. They need to figure out which type of headlines garner the best interest and take steps to build on it. Some small business owners may put a great deal of emphasis on a marketing project, then only consider the headline an afterthought. Since the owners put so much effort in the marketing campaign, they mistakenly think that would be enough. In some cases when they go to launch, it ends up dead in the water because they failed to capture attention with the headline. In contrast, another owner can launch an inferior marketing solution, but put considerable resources into using effective copy for the headline and enjoy some success. This owner understands it's not necessarily the quality of the solution, it's the headline. There are many great products and solutions out there in the marketplace garnering no attention whatsoever because of ineffective sales copy.

Writing effective headlines for advertising small businesses considerably increase the chances of success. It takes more than just the arrangement of words, it's about understanding the needs of your target market. You need the right words that evoke emotion. Stirring up emotions leads them to take the desired action to purchase your solutions or products. Let's face it, if just words on a headline was enough, everybody would be having success. There's tremendous skill involved in writing persuasive copy that converts.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Small Business and Marketing: How People Make Their Buying Decision

In the past businesses could find huge success marketing their product with a method known as the "hard sale." With this form of marketing a business would use tactics that would pressure consumers into purchasing their product or utilizing their service. However, with the recent down turn of the economy, this approach had to transform into something more thoughtful to appeal to consumers. This is because most customers began to carefully watch and monitor where their money was going and how it was being spent. Therefore, businesses now must offer specific reasons why their product or service will benefit or enhance the lives of their customer in order to have successful sales.

As a result of this new sales approach many businesses are having to reevaluate their marketing strategy. Consumers are no longer making as many impulse purchases and now must have a legitimate reason to spend their hard-earned dollars on a specific product or service. Some important tips for businesses to utilize in order to secure consumers purchase what they have to offer include:

- The customer needs to know the direct benefit they will receive from a businesses product or service. This includes how it will enhance their life and why they should purchase one brand over the other.

- Do not use traditional advertising hype and schemes such as: forced urgency where a consumer can only get your product for a limited amount of time, false promises and outrageous claims and overzealous hype that is no longer effective, such as "Get miracle slimming results overnight and drop 30 pounds."

- Do not oversell the product. Ensure the customer knows the benefits of what is offered, but do not saturate media, emails and social networks with too much information.

- Utilize channels such as social media networks to utilize the new form of word of mouth advertising.

It is still a fact that one of the main influencing factors that affect what a consumer purchases is through emotion. If a product induces "good" feelings they are more likely to spend their money on that product. Also, if the company or manufacturer has a good or popular reputation their products may also be purchased more frequently. Keeping marketing and promotion campaigns honest, free of hype and about the customer are sure ways to effect a consumers purchasing habits.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Biggest, Best or Only Advertising Claims

Is yours the only product of its type in the market? If not, is it the best, biggest, or most powerful? If so, go ahead and tell the world, but be certain not to sit on your laurels, at least according to the National Advertising Division, an investigative unit of the advertising industry's system of self-regulation. The NAD has consistently held that broad, unqualified superiority claims such as "largest," "best" and "highest" must be supported by reliable data against all or a significant portion of the market.

Assuming your claim is properly substantiated, a recent NAD case illuminates the importance of monitoring and reexamining your claim as the marketplace evolves. The case revolved around T-Mobile's "America's Largest 4G Network" claim, which the company was able to make for years, until the size of competing networks grew*.

When making an unqualified superiority claim, an advertiser is telling the world that its product is the best, biggest, or fastest compared to essentially all products in the class. Of course, depending on the size of the market, there may be a competitor whose product is better, bigger, or faster, so before making the claim, be certain to test your product against the overwhelming majority (i.e., 90%) of the competition.

Even when you get past this high hurdle, the claim needs to be substantiated on an ongoing basis. In an ever-evolving, competitive marketplace, someone is always looking to trump the competition. This means that you'll need to constantly keep your eye out for new or improved products in the same class as your own. Whenever they appear (and they no doubt will), their performance will need to be tested against your own, and if your product falls short, your claim is no longer valid. To avoid this and the potential repercussions, it's best to constantly work on improving the size, power, or performance of your own product to maintain your edge. If you're unable to do so, be prepared to change your advertising (and possibly your packaging) with very little advance notice.

Friday, October 26, 2012

This Is the Easiest Way to Start Branding Your Business

The most important items to consider when branding your business is the consistency of your stationery. If you use a logo, it must be presented on every item you use. The paper stock, printing style and ink color must be consistent for all stationery (letterhead, envelope, business card). The only correct change would be the paper stock (paper color, paper weight, style of paper either bond paper, rag paper, laid or linen papers). The most used envelope in business is the 24 lb. white bond no.10 printed regular or window envelope.

Personalized business envelopes should be flat printed (offset) in one or 2 colors, not 4 colors unless your logo is 4 colors. The reason is simple. In this economy, the return on investment is not worth the cost. 4 color printing is expensive even with the reduced costs of digital printing. A smartly designed logo in 2 colors will do the same branding as 4 color without the expense. Spend your money on the logo. It's a one time charge.

White is the most common color for stationery and black ink is the color for type. There are thousands of typefaces to choose from but don't expect every printer to have these typefaces. Stick to the standard ones as Times Roman, Helvetica etc. making your ability to switch printers easier.

Professional people such as doctors, lawyers usually use Helvetica typeface with black ink flat or raised printing.

White bond 20 lb. paper is the business standard. 24 lb is a little heavier and gives a more distinguished look and feel. 25% rag papers is the next step up. Next would be laid or linen papers in any available color. All your business stationery must be on the same paper color and brand. Cranes papers are the most expensive and distinguished. US paper money is printed on exclusive rag fiber Cranes paper.

Your advertising should be on the same paper but with your logo as the first item your prospect will see. If you are using paper it should be the same style as your letterhead.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hiring the Best Vehicle Magnet Printing Services

Vehicle magnet printing has become a very popular means of getting messages across in places with high traffic. Some people call this means of communication mobile billboards. It is used in relaying important information of a business such as the tag line, brand name and contacts. When designed properly, this means of communication can be very effective in spreading promotional messages of a business. Currently, there are many companies offering vehicle magnet printing services. Majority of these companies claim to deliver the best services to clients who hire their services. However, you cannot be certain about this. This is why you should take time to learn more about different companies before hiring their services.

Choosing services of the best company

• Professionalism: The best company to contact when you want to use this means in communicating your promotional messages with clients is the one that offer professional services. It should avoid using words and methods that may cause controversy with the authorities. Basically, this means of communication enables you to promote your business while accomplishing other tasks. This is because you spread promotional messages everywhere you go with your truck. Therefore, these messages should be designed professional to promote your business without causing controversy.

• Quality materials: Quality materials should be used to ensure that you promote your business for long. Use of quality colors and magnets ensure that they do not fade after a long duration of exposure to harsh weather conditions. Dimensions of the materials and font size should also be ideal to ensure that your ad capture attention of even the most casual people who see it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Should You Brand Yourself Or A Company Name?

One of those big hairy decisions you'll need to make when creating your brand is whether you want to brand your name or a company name.

The natural tendency for a solopreneur is to shy away from branding their name because they feel like that would be too self absorbed and that they aren't important enough that people will be searching for them.

My answer to that is simple: No one knows who you are right now whether you use a name or a company name.

Even if you brand your company, system or product. No one knows what it is until you start marketing it, so they aren't going to be any more likely to be searching for your company name as they would be searching for you yourself.

Which is why it's up to you to build your brand into something people will be searching for.

There are distinct advantages to branding your name instead of just the name of your company, system, or product.

The biggest one is that being an entrepreneur, chances are you come up with brilliant ideas all the time. If you lock yourself into a company name then decide later to change your direction you'll have to rebrand and start from square one.

On the other hand, if you brand your name then you can build credibility for yourself (while co-branding your system or product) and you can take that credibility with you as you grow on your entrepreneurial journey.

Your brand is an asset and if you handle it right it will support you through all of your future endeavors.

And if you think you know exactly what you want to do right now you're wrong. Your business is going to be constantly changing throughout it's life. Not necessarily drastic changes, but enough that having your name behind you is going to be a good thing.

The bottom line is, your focus and keywords may change. Your name likely won't!

If your name does change due to getting married (or divorced) then you'll have a decision to make about whether you want to change it in relation to your business. Regardless if you've branded your name or a company name, changing your name within your brand will make an impact.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fundamentals of Email Marketing

Email Marketing has boomed over the last several years. The cost of print marketing, combined with the time sensitive email generation, has pushed email marketing to the top of many company marketing strategies. So what do you need to know about email marketing? There are some basic ideas that prove to benefit both the consumer and the company if followed.

First, you need to build a list. Not any list, you want a precise, categorized list. There are several ways to build your list. The easiest is to start with your current customer base. Once you have this starting point, you'll want to segment your contacts by date. Putting customers into buckets gives you an idea of the "purchase commitment time" they have. For example, some customers may remember you and want to buy from you 3 months after their initial contact. Others will need more frequent reminders to keep them on-board. Once you have your current customer base setup, you'll want to send a notification asking them to "opt-in" to your newsletter. This is a soft way to get your foot back in the door, and ensure you're getting explicit permission to send them correspondence.

Getting new customers emails is the second phase of building a list. There are several ways to do so, and the most reliable is creating a "join my email" button on your website. This allows anyone that happened to find your website, as well as those currently familiar with your business to sign up for email updates. If you have a service provider that gives you options, then take advantage of trying to collect as much information as necessary to later categorize your new email customers. Other options for collecting new emails is to create an actual sign up form at your front desk. Ask people to join. Avoid doing "raffles" due to the lack of commitment by those who typically sign up. You want solid, interested customers receiving your correspondence.

Now that you have a list, when should you mail? Studies show you should mail frequent enough to keep customers informed, but not too much to overwhelm them. It's a good idea to pepper in business related ideas, along with your normal articles to give your readers "value" outside of just a sales pitch. Most experts say the best time to mail is on Tuesday morning. This gives your customer a chance to read their emails from the weekend, get their week started, and take time to peruse non-immediate email content. Other studies have shown that Sundays are also a good time to send emails, as people who keep up on their email, will often check in on Sunday to see what the week has in store for them.