903, 2017

Marketing Channels for Your Small Business

Advertising, Marketing Advice|Comments Off on Marketing Channels for Your Small Business

From branding to promotions to paid media, there are countless channels you can use to promote your business. We hope these Marketing Channels for Your Small Business inspire you to think of new and different things to try in your outreach.

BRANDING

Branding is more than just visuals. It’s also your brand promise – that is, the promise you make to your customers – and how that promise is communicated throughout your entire business and its corporate culture. The key to branding is consistency. Specific things to think of in terms of branding are:
  1. Merchandise displays
  2. Package design
  3. Pricing (where are you in terms of your competitors?)
  4. Product placements
  5. Reputation
  6. Slogan/tagline
  7. Voicemail/on hold messages
  8. What employees say to customers

STATIONERY PACKAGE

Your stationery package is an important part of how you communicate your brand identity. It will include:
  1. Logo
  2. Letterhead
  3. Business cards
  4. Thank-you cards
  5. Forms

PROMOTIONS

How are you promoting your products and services? Are there promotional opportunities you’re not taking advantage of, beyond a basic sale? These promotions can be digital (enter a code to get a discount in e-commerce) or in-person. The list of potential promotions is enormous, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
  1. Co-op marketing opportunities with vendors
  2. One-on-one personal contacts
  3. Seasonal promotions
  4. Contests and giveaways
  5. Endorsements
  6. Rebates
  7. Coupons and special offers (buy one, get one etc.)
  8. Referral and loyalty programs

DIGITAL

multichannel marketingDigital marketing is everything online or mobile. Your website must be mobile-friendly — if it’s not, getting a new, responsive site should be your first priority — as well as user-friendly. Beyond your website, there are many additional opportunities available in digital promotion. The great advantage of digital marketing is that it’s by far the easiest to track your results — most digital media includes built-in analytics of some kind. Consider the following elements:
  1. Email
  2. Email newsletter
  3. Email signature line
  4. Website
  5. Virtual tours
  6. Videos (including animations, how-tos, promotional)
  7. Client portals
  8. Landing pages associated with a particular promotion
  9. E-commerce (an online store)
  10. Digital ads
  11. Pay-per-click advertising (which is exactly what it sounds like — ads that come up in search engine results, but you only pay if the viewer clicks
  12. on the ad)
  13. Remarketing ads (ads that follow a user around the web)
  14. Mobile ads/geotargeting (ads that appear on your mobile phone while you’re using certain apps, based on where you are)
  15. Social media advertising
  16. Video ads
  17. Banner ads on specific, industry-relevant sites

CONTENT MARKETING

Anything you do that is informational in character, rather than directly promotional, is a form of content marketing.
  1. Blogging
  2. Informational brochures
  3. White papers
  4. Podcasts
  5. Memes
  6. Free downloads
  7. Informational videos
  8. Checklists and how-to guides

BROADCAST

As in all paid media, the key is careful selection of what you buy, and finding a competent media buyer who can help you get the best bang for your buck.
  1. Community/public service announcements
  2. Radio ads/underwriting
  3. Live radio remotes
  4. Television ads
  5. Cable ads

PRINT ADS

Print advertising can be placed in a wide variety of publications.
  1. Advertorials
  2. Advertisements in trade/association publications
  3. Advertisements in newspapers
  4. Ads in alternative newsweeklies or community papers/shoppers
  5. Classified ads
  6. Magazine ads
  7. Ads in directories of professionals, association members, chamber members, etc.

COLLATERAL

Print collateral is anything you print and distribute. Generally, the cost of these is the design and printing; this is not paid media placement, except in the case of direct mail.
  1. Direct mail
  2. Flyers
  3. Handouts/one-sheets
  4. Pocket folders
  5. Preprinted inserts
  6. Product catalogs
  7. Reprints of articles
  8. Booklets
  9. Brochures
  10. Coupons
  11. Print newsletters

OUTDOOR

Outdoor advertising is anything that is a form of signage, whether you pay to have it placed or it’s part of your physical location or equipment.
  1. Billboards
  2. Electronic billboards
  3. Door hangers
  4. Exterior signage (including window or door clings)
  5. Transit advertising
  6. Branded company fleet or equipment
  7. Yard signs
  8. Sandwich-board signs
  9. Vinyl banners
  10. Bumper stickers
  11. Posters
  12. T-shirts or other branded items of clothing

TRADE SHOWS

Trade shows are not relevant to all businesses, but very important to some.
  1. Trade show display materials and banners
  2. Desktop displays

GIVEAWAYS

Be sure to consider what you’re trying to achieve. What you choose as a giveaway will vary depending on your purpose, your budget, and who you’re trying to reward.
  1. Branded tchotchkes (magnets, keychains, coffee mugs, fans, balloons, T-shirts, frisbees, etc.)
  2. Calendars
  3. Holiday gifts
  4. Trade show giveaway items

PUBLICITY

How can you get your name out there and generate positive publicity for your business? Sharing expertise, being civic-minded, or sponsoring worthwhile things are a start. What are you doing that’s newsworthy?
  1. Participating in career fairs
  2. Demonstrations
  3. Event sponsorships
  4. In-kind sponsorships: donating your expertise to a civic project, worthy non-profit or charity initiative
  5. Memberships in local civic organizations: tourism bureaus, chambers of commerce
  6. Networking events (as host or attendee)
  7. Participating in or presenting workshops, seminars and speaking events
  8. Press releases to generate media coverage: TV, radio, print
  9. Speaking engagements
  10. Testimonials
  11. Webinars
  12. Volunteerism: service on local boards of directors, for example

SOCIAL MEDIA

Choose your social media channels wisely for what’s most important to your business. Don’t overlook business websites like Yelp and Manta. Most of these include opportunities for paid promotion, as well as organic reach.
  1. Facebook
  2. Google+
  3. Instagram
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Manta
  6. Pinterest
  7. Twitter
  8. Yelp
  9. YouTube
  10. Snapchat
Let the marketing and advertising experts at ENews Networks help advise you on how to reach more people online! Contact us today to get started.
102, 2017

Social Media Checklist

Marketing Advice, Social Media Tips|Comments Off on Social Media Checklist

Social Media Checklist
Stumped by how to get started with social media? Social media channels are ever changing, so we thought you might appreciate this helpful guide to getting started with multi-channel internet marketing. Fill out the form to get our Free Social Media Checklist.
112, 2016

Why Use Social Media for Your Business?

Social Media|Comments Off on Why Use Social Media for Your Business?

Why Use Social Media for Your Business?
Marketing is not a one way street anymore. With the advent of social media, customers are one click away from engaging with their favorite brands. Why Use Social Media for Your Business? Because your customers desire it!
1611, 2016

Social Media Tools

Social Media|Comments Off on Social Media Tools

Social Media Tools
Social media is here to stay in the marketing world and, by all accounts, it will only further penetrate all aspects of life and work. ENews Network’s social-media experts are already forecasting the direction of social media in the new year. To be prepared, it’s that time of year to organize our social-media tool boxes, adding some new tools that can be game-changers in terms of how effective this platform is for certain strategic objectives.
1310, 2015

More People Get Their News From Facebook and Twitter

Facebook, Other, Social Media Tips, Twitter News|Comments Off on More People Get Their News From Facebook and Twitter

More People Get Their News From Facebook and Twitter

A July 2015 study from Pew Research Center reveals that increasing numbers of Twitter and Facebook users visit the sites to get news. Of the over 2,000 study participants, 63% now depend on both channels for updates on national events and political issues, big leaps from 2013 numbers. Twitter, which was more news-oriented from the beginning, didn’t have as dramatic a leap: 52% to 63% during the two-year period. Those reporting they use Facebook for news, on the other hand, grew from 47% in 2013 to 63% in 2015, or 16%. While the opportunity to stay abreast of friends and family events gets users on Facebook initially, it’s news (sports, science, technology, business and entertainment) that keeps them there.

FB and Twitter News graph

As recently as 2013, approximately half of Americans used Facebook and Twitter to get their news. In just two years, that figure grew to close to two-thirds. As the chart below shows, Facebook’s user numbers didn’t budge from 2013 to 2014. Despite the inevitable slowdown, today 71% of Internet users have a Facebook account, and 70% of those go to the site daily. Forty-five percent go there several times a day. By following friends, brands, organizations and news outlets, Facebook (and Twitter) users have created their own customized newspapers. They seem to like their new handiwork.

Social media sites graph

Facebook’s growth has leveled off. Twitter’s leap in audience doesn’t make up for its smaller size and disappointing ROI.

While Twitter’s audience numbers made an impressive 28% leap from 2013 to 2014, the platform’s failure to gain the ubiquity of Facebook has disappointed many. Twitter remains hard at work creating a niche for live-tweeting events, television shows and sports, but it hasn’t shown much promise for the retailers who pay for ads.

Key takeaway: As Facebook and Twitter mature, their audience growth rates are leveling off. Younger audiences abandoned Facebook for Instagram, but baby boomers, Gen Xers and mature holdouts finally claimed their profiles. Brands should align their marketing content with current events to engage users.

402, 2015

Easy Ways to Find Employees Online

Advertising, Facebook, Instructions, Small Business Advice, Tips and Tricks for Bike Shops|Comments Off on Easy Ways to Find Employees Online

Are you convinced that the Internet is the most useful place to recruit qualified employees? You should be. You can post jobs online and use the Web for recruiting. These days, even a job posting in the Find employees onlineclassified section of your local newspaper is more likely to produce electronic resumes and applications. Easily customizable, free, and paperless... why wouldn’t prospective employees apply online? Make the online world your recruiting partner by following these easy steps to post jobs and recruit online.

7 Easy ways to find employees online

1.) Post jobs on your company's or organization's website.

•  Place the link prominently on your home page. Your company website is your most significant online recruiting tool. Recognize its power to attract superior employees. Your job posting will attract candidates who are interested in your mission and vision as well as your open jobs.

•  Make the recruiting portion of your website communicate your company culture, the reasons why a prospective employee will want to choose your firm, and specific instructions about how to successfully apply for your posted jobs.

•  Added bonus: the jobs posted on your company's website are also featured on online job search sites. For example, Indeed.com, is a jobs search engine that drives perspective employees directly to jobs on career websites, employee recruiting job boards, online newspapers, blogs, and association websites.

2.) Recruit through online social media sites:

•  Post jobs on your company's or organization's social media pages. As the power and reach of sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter expand, so does their ability to recruit employees. Each site offers employers methods to recruit and hire employees, but the true power of their reach may rest in your ability to tap into the networks of your own satisfied employees.

•  The innovations for employer job posting on social media sites are growing. Potential employees, who frequent these social sites, can stay up-to-date on your job listings without ever leaving their favorite site. You can post jobs online on your company's LinkedIn page. Facebook also offers company pages where you can post a job. Apps available at Facebook automatically post jobs that are drawn from your website. You can auto post to Twitter, too, using sites like Tweet My Jobs. This is a key tool to attract employees who have identified your company as a place where they'd like to work.

•  Many social networking sites exist based on causes, industries, interests, businesses, skill sets, and more. Identify and participate in the social media and networking sites that cater to people in your industry, and that attract people with the skills you need. Each has its own protocol to source great candidates online.

3.) Post to print ads online:

•  Post jobs in the classified section of your local newspaper; the paper likely has an online partner. Classified advertising in local newspapers is not dead, but it has changed. It is a great opportunity to fill many positions, especially local jobs requiring local candidates, your neighborhood newspaper recognizes the power and reach of the online world.

4.) Use Job Search Engines:

•  Use Job Search Engines to help job applicants notice your company and your online job postings. For example, Indeed.com offers opportunities for employers to pay for their job listings to stand out. An added bonus: employers avoid the cost of posting jobs online on multiple sites that then must be monitored.

•  Linkup indexes a company's website daily to offer applicants an opportunity to apply for your newest, often unadvertised jobs, directly through your company website. This enables employers to receive online job applications that meet your specific requirements.

•  SimplyHired lists jobs for free and offers a pay-per-click option that allows your jobs to stand out from the pack. Their relationships with all of the major social networking sites give your open jobs wide distribution.

5.) Post to a Specialized Job Board:

•  Depending on the qualifications required from the employees you seek, specialized job boards may be a better option for your online job posting than the big sisters in the online space. Specialized job sites, such as Dice.com, target key employee skill sets or areas of expertise such as technology that your company may need. You may decrease the spam of hundreds of unqualified resumes in your inbox using more specialized job sites.

6.) Recruit in industry-related email newsletters:

•  The candidates you attract will generally have experience in your industry, but they may be looking for a paid relocation package. Depending on the ability of your region to attract job searchers, this may or may not be a good strategy for you.

7.) Post jobs with your local labor department:

•  Post jobs with your state Workforce Development organization, through your state department of labor. They appreciate employer job postings.

I expect that online recruiting options will continue to multiply as opportunities to match employers with superior candidates is a never ending quest. Best of luck!