Category: Advertising

5 New and Innovative Ways to Promote Your Business on a Small Budget

Are you trying to take your marketing campaigns to the next level but don't know where to start? Does your business already have a large following on Facebook or Twitter but you don't know what the next step is?Instead of leaving your marketing program to fend for itself, here are five simple, innovative and fun promotions that you can use to take your marketing campaign to the next level.1. SnapTagsThe continued growth of mobile technologies has brought about a new era of promotions in the form of SnapTags.  Simply put, SnapTags can turn your ordinary brand logo into an interactive marketing experience.  How does the consumer get involved? All they need is a camera phone to simply take a picture of the logo in which a 2D barcode is embedded.   The image can be sent to a code via text message and instantly the user will be provided exclusive information or downloadable content concerning your buiness. The beauty for marketers is that SnapTags can be posted on anything, including Facebook pages, YouTube channels, or pretty much any social media website. Click on over to Spyderlink to find out more information on SnapTags.2. Virtual Business CardsWho honestly wants to carry around a stack of business cards in their pocket or wallet all day?  Technology is the driving force behind marketing and promotions today, meaning it is time to trash all those paper cards and experience the world of virtual business cards.  A more direct approach to the SnapTag application mentioned above, virtual business cards serve the purpose of “handing out” your company’s name and information.The link to social media promotions is that it will be easier to locate a virtual business card already on your phone or in your email.  If somebody wants to follow you on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedln, that information will be readily available on the card and easy to locate. and are two websites where virtual business can be created.3. Hold a ContestEverybody likes to win! Holding a contest on any or all of your social media pages will allow users to interact with your page directly while providing them with a little incentive. It can be as easy as lets say, Starbucks announcing “the first 100 people to mention their favorite fall flavor will receive a half off coupon for their next purchase.”Contests are also a great way to obtain more followers.  One example might be “the next 300 people to ’like’ our page will receive 10% off their next purchase.”  You can then send those people a code in which they can redeem the offer.  The idea is to draw attention to your company. Create buzz. Have people talking about this contest all over Facebook or Tweeting to their friends about what they could win.4. Flash MobGet those dancing shoes ready! While browsing through various social media promotions, I stumbled upon the flash mob idea at  Flash mobs have become the fun, new way to reach the younger consumers by gathering a group of people in a public place to participate in some organized action, the most popular being dancing.As the business owner, you can Tweet a time and place for your followers to gather while providing specific details, like wearing a certain color or choreographing a dance routine with your friends.  Everyone who attends can receive some type of compensation like free products, samples, or coupons.  Even go as far as holding a flash mob contest on your YouTube channel or Facebook page.Participants can post videos of their flash mobs to your page and have people vote on the best one.  Try providing specific instructions like incorporating your product into the video or developing some kind of cheer.  This type of promotion should create a lot of excitement for you social media followers.5. Picture ThisWe have all heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  Social media is the perfect outlet to get your product noticed or message heard through something as simple as a picture.  Does your business have a new product coming out? Try taking a picture and posting it on the web for potential buyers to view before it even goes to market.  Maybe you’re offering more of an edible product.  Snapping a quick picture of a freshly baked good or recently prepared beverage and posting it to your page can quickly grab the attention of any loyal follower.  A picture reveals exactly what is being offered.  All that is left for the consumer is the experience, which should follow if this style of promotion is used effectively.Key Take Aways: Remember, don't limit yourself.  Discover what you want to promote, how to promote it, and then go for it.  There is a high level commitment associated with promoting through social media, especially if you choose to take the contest route, but the attention and buzz created will certainly pay off.Know of any other promotional ideas perfect for social media? We would love to hear your comments and reactions!Westley Phillipi is a marketing analyst and a contributing writer for the 60 Second Marketer.

Consumers Only Spend 2 Seconds Looking at Your Ad. Here’s How to Get Them to Take the Next Step and Buy Your Product.

On average, readers only spend about 2 seconds looking at a print ad. Given the short amount of time you have to grab their attention, it's important that any ad you create 1) grabs the reader's attention, and 2) encourages them to buy your product or service.Most print ads are composed of a strong visual, a headline, body copy and a logo or signature. But producing a great print ad isn’t as simple tossing these elements together. There are several do’s and don’ts that are essential to creating effective print ads:DO THIS:
  • Agree on your SMART goals. Your objective should be more than to simply “increase sales." Get more specific with your goals, such as to “increase lunchtime store visits by 30% in 3 months” or “drive 15% more customers into our retail locations over the course of 60 days." Specific goals are called SMART goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Timebound. Design your ad around SMART goals and be sure to hold yourself accountable to them.
  • Hook the reader within 2 seconds. On average, readers only spend 2 seconds looking at a print ad. It's important to use visuals and headlines that cause the reader to stop and look at your ad. Headlines that evoke an emotion from the reader are more likely to catch the reader's attention. Using white space and bullet points in an ad have both proven to stop readers in their tracks and produce a higher response rate as well.
  • Use high-impact visuals. In the 2 seconds a reader takes to look at your ad, 1.5  seconds are dedicated to visuals while only 0.5 seconds are spent looking at your copy. Use bright, clear images to promote your product. Research shows that people recall photographs 26% more than artwork and are more likely to look at an ad where the subject's eyes are looking directly at you. That said, your visuals should always support the concept of the product or service you're selling. Using attention-grabbing visuals just so you can stand out can have a negative impact on your brand.
  • Put strategy before creativity. Many advertisers sacrifice targeted content for witty or appealing messages. Even if it would be interesting to use a cartoon to advertise your product, would that really be appropriate in an ad about fine jewelry? Think about where your ad will be printed as well. The message you might want to use to sell your orange juice will be different in a local newspaper than it would be in a specialty magazine.
  • Don't stuff your ad with too much information. Less really is more. Too much copy or too many images can actually cause the reader to skip the ad because they feel overwhelmed. In most cases, brand-oriented ads should only use one or two images, have a one-sentence headline and keep the copy to four sentences or less. (There are exceptions to this rule such as when you're running a promotional/retail ad. But if you're running a branding ad, it's a good idea to keep your ad clean and uncluttered.)
  • Don't force unrelated connections. It may be tempting to use a funny visual of a baby with food all over its face in your ad, but if your ad is for a new desktop computer, the audience might not make the connection. Worse yet, research indicates that when an association in an ad isn’t clear, the audience will forget about the product and simply remember the funny visual -- in this case, the baby with food all over its face.
  • Don't create negative associations. You might think its clever to compare your energy drink to a cheetah, but the second you mention that a cheetah hunts and kills its prey, the audience automatically applies that association to your product. It's difficult to avoid some negative associations when using analogies in your messaging, but think through all of the possibilities before printing your ad. In the same vein, try to forgo offensive or stereotypical associations in your message. What may be funny to one person might enrage another and forever damage your brand image.
  • Don't let your brand disappear. It's not unusual for a brand to disappear in a print ad. When the integration is stretched or when your logo and signature are not prominently displayed, people can forget what product an ad was about entirely. Be sure to place your brand’s logo at a readable size in one of the corners of your advertisement.
A few final thoughts: When crafting a print ad, compose your elements in a way that's eye-catching, creative, thought-provoking and positive. Be sure to avoid clutter, negative association and bad integration. Print ads are still a prominent form of advertising and can be an incredible tool for your marketing when done correctly and effectively, so use these tips as guidelines the next time you create an ad for your product or service.Francesca Pefianco is a marketing analyst and writer for the 60 Second Marketer.

5 Ways to Benchmark Your Email Campaigns

Email has emerged as one of the most cost effective ways to deliver content to your customers, but is your email campaign performing as well as it could? There are many ways to judge success of an email campaign, but by looking at these 5 metrics, you can get a well-rounded picture of how well your campaign is performing … and how you stack up against other email marketers.Open Rate: This metric, as measured as the percentage of people on your email list that open your email, used to be the dominant metric used in email marketing. However, since open rates are determined by adding a piece of code to your email, there can be discrepancies across email clients depending on when the code is called that can skew your open rate data. This inconsistency coupled with the fact that open rates do not reflect how engaging your email content is, has led to more people relying on clickthrough rates to determine the health of their email campaigns. However, open rates can help you evaluate the quality of your subject lines and can alert you if a large portion of people are completely ignoring your communication. For companies that send out emails frequently, you should look to achieve a 20% open rate or higher.Clickthrough Rate (CTR):  This metric is the most popular way to measure email success, with 92% of email marketers tracking CTR. Calculated by dividing the number of people who click on a link in the body of the email by the total number of people who open the email, this metric gives you a better idea of whether or not people are engaged with your content. According to MarketingSherpa, an average click through rate runs around 6.64%, depending on how long your email campaign has been live.Delivery Rate: While this may not seem like a significant factor, this metric can help you identify the health of your email list. Figured by dividing the number of emails unable to be delivered by the total number sent, most established email campaigns have a delivery rate of 96% and higher. If you are receiving a lot of hard bounces, emails that are not able to be delivered to the email address you entered, you may need to clean your list. Taking out all hard bounce addresses, and reaching out to your consumers for their current information will help you improve your delivery rate.Conversion Rate: Using a service such as Google Analytics, you can track how many of your email recipients convert on the website. Whether your goal is to get consumers to fill out a web form or make a purchase, you can track their behavior on your site to monitor how many people are being driven from email to do these particular actions. The only downside here is that you cannot track in-store purchases made as a result of receiving an email unless you include specific promotion codes. However, this metric is still valuable in benchmarking your emails. Marketing Sherpa reports that though only 41% of companies capture this information, those companies see an average conversion rate of 1.37%. Applied to a list of thousands, this can translate into significant revenue you can attribute to your email campaign.Return on Ad Spend: As with every type of campaign, we recommend calculating your Return on Ad Spend or ROI. This is the most comprehensive tool to evaluate your email campaign, as well as benchmark it against other media you are using to see which tactics are most cost effective for your business. Though it depends highly on your business structure, for active email campaigns, a ROAS of 4,000% is a reasonable goal to strive for.Posted by Nicole Hall, Account Manager with Mobilize Worldwide. Mobilize Worldwide develops mobile apps, mobile ad campaigns, mobile websites and just about anything else related to mobile marketing for brands interested in growing their sales and revenue using this new and emerging medium.