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Three Questions to Improve ANY Marketing Campaign

Whether you watched the Super Bowl for the football, halftime show or just the commercials a huge amount of people had their attention turned to the last game of the NFL season. As with every year the commercials are a big talking point, and some brands did better than others.

We’ll give you three questions you can ask during the planning phase of your marketing activities to give you the best results.

Millions of Dollars wasted because they didn’t understand their goals and audience.

In 2018 there were over 80 commercials during the Super Bowl, not every one is a homerun, but every single one is expensiveThe average cost of a 30 second ad in 2019 was around $5 million. That’s more than a majority of small businesses will make this year all spent on a single ad. Now for most of these brands it’s a drop in the bucket and not a huge deal. The problem comes when you spend all that money on the spot, and even more on the creative and actually shooting and editing the commercial only for it to go over like a lead balloon.

In years past there’s usually a 5-8 commercials that really stand out as funny or emotional that really connect with viewers and more importantly potential customers. This year a lot of brand mailed it in with their big game commercials. There was trend of a lot of brands leaning on nostalgia. Even worse than having uninspired ideas are ideas that don’t accomplish anything or don’t resonate with your target customer.

Let’s look at one of Bud Light’s commercials for example. Bud Light for the past year has gone all in on it’s medieval themed commercials ever since the success of “Dilly Dilly”. This year they tried to keep the momentum going with another medieval commercial this time with Corn Syrup as a main focus. Here’s a link if you haven’t seen it yet.

I can’t speak for the minds behind the commercial I’m sure they meant well, but it was poorly executed. Knowing your audience is key and Bud Light and their creative team doesn’t seem to understand that their customers drinking Bud Light probably aren’t as health focused as other consumers and this not worried about corn syrup being included in their beer. While the commercial generated a laugh it failed to actually resonate with customers. And worse it probably cost them a few as seen with many corn farmers pouring out their supplies of Bud Light.

A failure to understand your customer and a failure to establish a concise goal for their commercial has now lead to controversy and will surely end up costing them extra money in PR damage control. And I doubt they’ve actually convinced anyone that was on the fence about Bud Light to buy their beer because it happens to not have corn syrup.

At the end of the day there are 3 questions you can ask to make sure any marketing activity is going to be effective.

  1. Does this help us accomplish a relevant goal?
  2. Will this resonate with our intended audience?
  3. Does it help us make money?
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The One Thing EVERY Business Needs in Their Advertising…

Your company is leaving business on the table. With a smart retargeting strategy and execution you can help recover lost sales and increase your social media followers.

Don’t like reading? Click here to watch our video on retargeting for the hotel industry.

No matter what industry you’re in there are customers who leave your site without making a purchase, booking a room, or putting in their information. Every business would love to capture more leads or get more potential customers in their funnel. An easy way to do this is to implement a retargeting advertising campaign.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is just a phrase for those ads you see after visiting a website or social media page without buying anything.

Why should we implement retargeting?

Studies show that it usually takes someone seeing something SEVEN times before they can actually recall it. If you’re running an ad or someone finds your site via google and you can’t convert them right then you probably won’t. UNLESS you can keep hitting these potential customers with ads and offers to keep their attention.

Is it Hard? How do we do it?

Back in 2010 retargeting was a lot more difficult than it is today. Thankfully like most things Facebook has made it pretty simple to implement a retargeting strategy. As long as you’re familiar with Facebook’s ad platform (not just boosting posts) you can set up retargeting ads in a matter of a few minutes.

Having a good strategy behind your ads is the hard part. Many companies just throw up pictures and a discount to try and lure people back. That can work but more often than not, it wasn’t simply price that kept someone from taking action. Your business needs to think through objections and try to find patterns of people leaving your website in your analytics to come up with a winning strategy to help you get these customers back.

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You’re Not Posting Enough. Fix Your Social Media Content.

“I don’t want to overwhelm people.” One of the most common quotes I hear when I sit down with businesses owners.

The fact of the matter is that almost every business is fighting a battle with one arm behind it’s back. For the most people people are spending more time on their phone than ever, but thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and Google they’re also seeing less of your content than ever before. 

I relate social media and blog posts to swinging at pitches in baseball. You can’t hit the ball if you’re not swinging. You’re also not going to have a great batting average if you’re only swinging once a game. 

Let’s look at it from a simple math perspective. Most companies post between 5-7 times a week on social media. Let’s take 6 x 52 weeks per year. 

That’s 312 social media posts per year.

312 times you’re hopefully getting in front of your fans (I say hopefully because let’s be honest the algorithms will come into effect.)

If you just added 4 more posts per week…..

That’s 520 social media posts per year.

208 MORE opportunities to be in front of potential customers.

Now to keep the baseball analogy going, you can’t swing at bad pitches and think you’ll make the hall of fame. That means you can’t put out terrible or uninteresting content. Because the answer isn’t just post more often and get more customers. The answer is to figure out what your customers want to see and create posts and blogs about that. Come up with a plan and strategy ahead of time and create images and videos that can be used for multiple posts. 

If you feel like your social media has gone stale. Get in touch with us, we’d be happy to offer so help. 

Websites

Hospitality Website Tips for More Revenue

Your website is your hub for your online presence. As a hotel or restaurant it’s crucial that your website not only look beautiful, but also function properly.

Iphone On Table with Website

Mobile Friendly for More Conversions

Earlier this year Google announced they would separately index and rank mobile sites. What does this mean for you? If you’re website isn’t mobile friendly or responsive you’re more than likely getting buried in Google rankings. If you don’t know if you’re website is responsive or mobile friendly you need to call us and we can immediately start working to get it fixed and your business back on the first page of google. If your website is already on WordPress or a similar platform making your website responsive could potentially take as little as a few minutes. If you’re on an outdated system or haven’t updated your website in three or more years it is worth it to evaluate converting your website to a new system.

Another reason Mobile Friendly sites are so key is that more and more web traffic is originating from mobile devices. If more of your customers are finding you on their phone it only makes sense you’d want your site easy for them to operate.

Person using Google Maps

SEO To Help Customers Find You

If you’re not sure what SEO stands for it is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. Basically it means making sure your website is designed and the content is properly put together so Google can rank you compared to your competitors. An overwhelming majority of web traffic starts with a search engine, and Google is obviously the most popular. The more appropriate content and keywords you can put into your website the higher it will rank on Google, making it easier for potential customers to find you.

Your website should be working for you. It shouldn’t just be a placeholder that checks the box of “yeah we have a website” it should help drive revenue to your bottom line daily. Making a few tweaks and keeping your website up-to-date can have a huge impact on your business.

Foolproof Way to Get more Online Reviews Email Marketing

The Foolproof Way to Increase Your Rating on Google,…

How Do I Get More Reviews Online?

An overwhelming majority of patrons make decisions on where they will eat, stay and spend their money based on ratings on various websites. Your star rating on a site like Google, TripAdvisor, or Yelp is the number one factor that drives customer behavior. Thankfully because of this websites like this have leveled the playing field between smaller restaurants and hotels and larger national chains.

These tools make it easy to build a great reputation online from real customers who have spent money at your establishment. At the same time, a few bad reviews can hurt your business traffic by deterring customers from coming to your business. For some businesses it’s hard to recover from three or four 1 Star reviews dragging your average down. A 2016 study said that every decrease in star rating on review sites lead to 10% of lost revenue. Luckily there’s an easy way you can get more positive reviews.

Based on a 2017 study, almost 90% of customers are willing to share a positive experience with their friends or family. That same study found that 30% of people on their own typically share good experiences on their social media channels. What if you could get that more of your customers who had a great experience to rate their service or share about it? You can it’s as easy as asking them to.

An Email Is Worth 100 Reviews.

Email Marketing has been put on the back burner for most businesses since the rise of social media. But, it’s still on of the most effective ways to drive action. A simple email to customers asking customers to review their experience can lead to the desired outcome of more positive reviews. Ecommerce stores have been doing this for years by incentivising their customers with discounts for reviews (both good and bad) and there is no reason why this strategy couldn’t work for the hospitality industry. Look at the example below from a coffee shop I recently visited. It’s incredibly simple, no frills, just a prompt and image below with a link to their Yelp page. While I love this coffee shop and go there regularly I would have never thought to give them a review on Yelp without being prompted.

 

Email Marketing isn’t the only way to achieve the desired results of more online reviews. This same tactic of asking for reviews can be used via Instagram Stories or a Facebook post. The main takeaway from this post is to start asking for reviews. The more you ask, the more likely you are to receive more reviews.

 

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Don’t Plan to Fail

IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU ARE PLANNING TO FAIL. 

– BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

That is a classic quote. It’s one that is central to our business. Before every week and before we create every campaign we set out a plan to help us succeed. 

A good marketing plan can take your social marketing from a chore to a walk in the park.  So many small and medium sized businesses don’t have a plan when it comes to social media, blogging or website. Instead of fighting a daily battle and struggling to execute, plan ahead and make it easier on yourself. 

If you don’t already, set yearly goals. Your goals can be as simple as we want 10,000 Instagram followers by the end of the year or they could be as abstract as, we want to raise awareness. Whatever you do, just set a goal and go with it. Then set quarterly or monthly goals that are in line with your yearly goals. Where most companies fail (even large ones) is that they don’t have a plan in place and goals set. After you have these things in place break it down weekly. Look at each social media platform and figure out what time you’ll be posting, and what content you’ll be posting. 

A favorite tools of ours is Google Calendar. It’s nothing special, but when used correctly, can be highly effective. It’s easy to use, and syncs across all of your devices. On Friday afternoon take the time to plan ahead your entire posting schedule for the next week. Your planning sessions can be as short or as long as you need them to be. The more details the better, but if you can go ahead and create events to remind you to post on each social media platform with details it can go a long way to make your week easier. If you don’t have photos, video, or other content needed for the next week’s posts you can also plan time to create the content that next week. 

Another helpful tip is that you can create different colors for different social media platforms or different actions. Your Facebook Reminders can be blue, while your email marketing campaigns can be great. Whatever works for you and your company. 

The most important thing to remember when creating your plan is trying to relate each action back to your monthly and yearly goals. How are you getting closer to accomplishing the goals set out to help your business grow? Will this blog post help us reach our 10,000 Instagram Follower goal? Will our new weekly email marketing campaign bring in more sales? These are things that you need to try and address during your planning sessions. 

Short term and long term planning is something that can take your marketing to the next level in efficiency and effectiveness. If you don’t know where to start, or still have questions feel free to shoot us an email or call us. We are more than happy to help you out. 

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Your Business Needs a Blog

The truth is almost every business in 2018 should have a blog. There’s so much upside to having one and very little downside.

WHY SHOULD WE HAVE A BLOG?

Honestly if your business can’t devote the time and energy to blogging on a regular schedule, it might not be worth it. But, that shouldn’t be an excuse, in as little as 1-2 hours a week you can post content to your blog that will bring huge value to your business.

Blogging regularly adds content to your website that Google and other search engines use to help rank your website. The more you blog about topics related to your business the more search engines see that and help you climb the rankings. Now blogging alone isn’t a sound SEO strategy, but, it’s cost effective and time effective.

WHAT WOULD WE EVEN PUT ON OUR BLOG?

The truth is, you can put anything your heart desires on your blog. But, if you want it to be worthwhile you should typically keep your posts related to your business and bringing value to your customers. That means think of questions and topics your customers would likely ask you about and write about those. Specific examples would be: A wine store writing about different types of wine and food pairings, or a clothing store giving fashion advice, or an elevator manufacturer talking about different types of elevators and recommended maintenance. There are an endless amount of topics any one business could post about, and it’s really about sharing the knowledge and expertise your staff has accumulated over the years to potential customers.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE POST?

This is different for every company, but the one thing you should do is be consistent. Make it a part of your routine. Posting once a month might not be enough, but posting daily can become a chore. We often recommend once a week to start out. If you find that you can post twice a week go for it, but once a week gives you roughly 50+ posts a year to help build content on your site. That’s 50+ opportunities to attract new customers, engage current customers, and build your business. If you miss a week, don’t worry about posting two the next week. Just get back into a rhythm of posting consistently.

HOW LONG SHOULD EACH BLOG POST BE?

Once again there’s no clear cut answer here. The main thing is that you publish posts that clearly convey the information you’re trying to share. Sometimes that might be 500 words other times it might be 5,000 words. Gary Vaynerchuk said at Sloss Tech last year “If your content is good, it doesn’t matter how long it is, people will pay attention.”

WE WROTE A POST ON OUR BLOG, NOW WHAT?

No one will read your blog if you don’t promote it. Share links to your blog on all of your social media pages, especially LinkedIn if your sales come from B2B. That’s an added benefit of writing a blog,  now you have one day a week that you don’t have to worry about content. You can share your blog across all of your social media pages.

WHERE DO WE START?

The first thing you should do is meet with your team or who will be writing the posts. Sit down and decide when you would like to post, how often, and a handful of topics you’d like to cover. Come up with some rough outlines for each subject and start writing.

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LinkedIn Social Media Strategy

What platforms are you currently using for social media?”

“Right now we use Facebook and Instagram mostly. With some Twitter.”

“What about LinkedIn?”

A lot of businesses forget about social media channels outside of the big three. Some companies include Pinterest, and a lot have moved away from Snapchat with the addition of stories to Instagram, but a ton of companies neglect LinkedIn. 

And for some it’s easy to forget about LinkedIn, it’s not as popular as Facebook, it’s not as active as Twitter, and not hip and sexy like Instagram and Snapchat. But, the one thing that LinkedIn does have going for it, is a large active user base of business minded professionals. 

It’s astounding to me the number of B2B companies focusing their marketing efforts on traditionally B2C platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and rarely, if ever post on LinkedIn.

And while Snap Inc’s IPO got lots of media attention this year, most people forget last year LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for around $26 Billion.  That’s right, LinkedIn the red-headed stepchild of social media is worth almost as much as Snapchat.

LinkedIn has 467 Million users and 25% of those are using it daily. The advantage that LinkedIn has over traditional social media is that it’s the “business” social media. It’s where you go to connect, network and learn more about companies, what they are about, and their employees. So this makes it a great place to put B2B focused content.

Now, LinkedIn, like any other social media site takes time, strategy, and effort to make it an effective tool. But your company’s strategy can largely be the same as any other site. The biggest focus you should have when posting to LinkedIn is providing value to your potential customers. What does providing value mean? Well, it means something different for every company. For example, Process Marketing shares information on what companies should look for when redesigning a website, or how to create a YouTube series that can drive traffic for your business.

Another example might be a restaurant, bar, hotel or brewery showcasing their ability to become and event space. B2B and networking events can be an additional revenue source for the hospitality industry during slow days / seasons. Anything your company can create that can make your company the authority on your services is going to be incredibly effective.

Active LinkedIn users love to share informative content to their connections. We tend to tell our customers that any informative blog post or great infographic is a quick and effective piece of content to start out sharing.

This is probably a no-brainer, but you should also encourage your employees to share company updates on LinkedIn. Their connections might find the content useful and become potential clients.

LinkedIn should be a part of of almost every company’s digital strategy in one way or another. If you’re not sure where to start or want some direction get in touch with us, we would absolutely love to help you get started.

As always if you enjoyed this article or found it helpful in any way, feel free to like, leave a comment, or share it across the internet. Thanks for reading.