7.5 over-used approaches in marketing

Be careful not to over use these marketing tools.

1.) Yellow-pages – a thing of the past thanks to Google.

2.) Billboards- unless you have multiple billboards don’t waste the money.

3.) Do it yourself marketing like creating your own website. Wix is a great example. Creating your own graphic design and social media are other examples. Remember friends don’t let friends use free builders!

4.) NEVER Repeat post – your followers deserve and expect fresh material.

5.) Small ads in newspapers- These often go unnoticed and don’t produce the ROI desired.

6.) Email blasts – these can be a great tool however over emailing your followers can get you blocked. Limit your customer emails to once a week at most.

7.) iPhone photos – while our handy phones have a decent camera the difference with using a professional is evident. Invest in quality shots for your marketing brand.

7.5) Your business card. Although a marketing requirement don’t count on it to be your only source.

-Written by Megan McKelvey of McKelvey & Co.

How To Increase Your Social Media Reach

For most businesses, generating leads is the ultimate benefit of creating and maintaining a social media presence. In order to make social media an effective lead generation machine, you first need to generate a following. This means fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and your other social media accounts.

8 Tips for Getting More Social Media Followers, Fans, and Likes

1. Prioritize the social networks where your fans are likely to be.

“Which social media network should I focus on?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions marketers have. We recommend that you create and maintain a presence on the top social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest), but focus your efforts on the social media networks where your target buyers are spending time.

-Create profiles for all the top social networks.
Have you ever found yourself wanting to tweet to or about a company, only to find they don’t have a Twitter account? I have. Not only is it frustrating, but it also kind of seems amateur and unprofessional. It also creates distance between your brand and your customers and potential customers.It’s important that you at least give folks the option to get in touch with you on their social network of choice, and maintain some sort of presence there.

-Focus on the networks where your target buyers spend time.
Take the time to research your buyer personas so you can find out where they hang out on social media. This will help you use social media to generate real customers, and delight existing ones.

2. Optimize your social profiles.
This includes choosing an easily identifiable username, uploading a recognizable photo (like your company logo), including clear and concise descriptions of your business, and leading people back to your website with a trackable link.

3. Promote your social presence everywhere.
And by everywhere, we mean everywhere: On various pages of your website, on your blog, on signage in your storefront (if you’re a local business), in print advertising, on your business cards, in your email marketing messages. Many social media sites now have official “Follow” buttons you can include on your website and blog. That way, people can start following you with a single click — without ever having to leave your website or blog.

Cross promotion across all your social media accounts is also a great way to let your social followers know where else on social media they can find you. That way, you can get your Twitter followers to become your Facebook fans; to get your Facebook fans to become your Instagram followers; and so on.

4. Add social sharing buttons to all your content.
Just as you should be promoting your social presence in as many places as possible, you should also be enabling your site visitors and email subscribers to share your content with their personal networks as easily as possible.

5. Share useful, valuable content.
It’s not just enough to promote your presence. You need to make sure your presence is something that’s worth following in the first place.

Make sure your tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn updates consist of valuable, useful, and engaging content. Avoid product-focused content, and instead, aim for social updates that contain educational content that has the potential to attract more fans and followers.

6. Interact with followers and anyone who mentions you.
Most social networks are all about making connections and having conversations. Just as you should be regularly sharing educational, insightful content, you should also be monitoring your presence and interacting with your fans and followers. This’ll help you build a loyal, engaging following.

7. Find, follow, and build relationships with people in your industry.
Social media is a great way to find and follow leaders in your industry, which can include both people and other brands that are creating great content related to your industry (and aren’t a direct competitor, obviously).

8. Hire a dedicated social media manager.
There’s a whole lot more than goes into optimizing a company’s social media strategy than someone can do on as a “side project” — especially with all the important changes and trends that are cropping up in the social media world all the time.

Building your social media reach will take some time, but if you’re committed to the steps above, we guarantee you’ll start seeing results.

Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/27094/8-Guaranteed-Ways-to-Increase-Social-Media-Reach.aspx#sm.0001w9k4kp1eh4fhfzxidvla11tw7

How to Determine your Marketing Budget

Small business owners should never overlook the importance of marketing. No matter how good your products or services are, people need to hear about them first, and marketing is the best way to spread the word and increase sales.

If you spend too little on marketing, no one will know that your products exist. Spend too much, and you can break the bank. You can also spend what little budget you have on the wrong kind of marketing. It’s a balancing act.

Two main things should be considered when setting a marketing budget:

  • The development or refinement of the brand and the channels used to promote the brand. These include logos, custom web design, videos, blogs, e-mail campaigns, brochures, ads, etc.
  • The ongoing expense of promoting and advertising your brand to your customer base and your prospects. (Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, etc).

There are certain items that you must spend time and money. Some of which are:

  • Branding
  • Website
  • Social media
  • Advertising
  • Content
  • Events

Here are a few tips for crafting a budget and spending it wisely.

Percentage of Revenue: Most small businesses allocate between 7-12% of their total revenue to marketing (total revenue being all of the money generated through sales before expenses are taken out). One of the main advantages of this percentage approach is that the budget is not fixed. It will grow along with revenue, increasing your marketing presence as your business expands.

If your business is only barely covering costs, or operating at a loss, 7-12% may not be practical. However, marketing is required for growth, and it’s not always a bad idea to cut into already narrow margins to increase overall sales later.

Fixed budgets: A new business may have to be more careful with their money, so an alternative option is to use fixed budgets. In your first year, you may simply have to find an amount that you feel you can afford and stick to it.

For companies that have been in business for one to five years, using 12-20% percent of gross revenue or projected revenue on marketing is suggested. (Companies less than a year old, need to ramp up before spending marketing dollars.)

For companies that have been in business more than five years and have some market share/brand equity, allot 6-12% of your gross revenue or projected revenue.

Return on investment: As you execute marketing campaigns, you need to determine what worked and what didn’t. Return on Investment compares the gains from a strategy or campaign to its costs in percent form, and will show how you can efficiently spend your money in future marketing efforts.

Ultimately, it all comes down to planning and budget.




3 Don’ts in Social Media

Here are a few things not to do when posting to social media:

iphone1.) Never ignore your followers. When it comes to good or bad reviews and comments, acknowledge them with either an apology and desire to correct things or gratitude for the positive feedback.
2.) Never repeat post. Your followers want to see new and fresh things. It’s better to wait until you have fresh material than repost old things.
3.) Avoid offensive topics like politics, current issues, sports teams and such. Most likely you have a vast and varied  group of followers so the less you post potentially offense material, the better.

Are You Living A Why?

Asking The Question That Can Change Your World

Why is the sky blue? Why are we here? Why do people do bad things? Why is the earth round? Why do I have brown hair? Why is that hair falling out?  To prevent sounding like a 4 year old, I will stop there.  In life, why questions abound.

Humanity is defined by it’s curiosity. We have an insatiable desire to know why things are the way they are. It motivates our behaviors and moves us to answer these questions.  Conversely, knowing why drives others to be attracted to us.  When a person knows why they do what they do, others take note.  There is a sort of bravery and magnetism we admire in people or groups of people that know why they do what they do.How do we know “The Why” is seminal in life?  I’m glad you asked.  Think about it, at the end of a long, frustrating day what is the question that plagues the human mind while staring at the ceiling. “Why am I doing this?” Whatever the “ this” is, we will ultimately ask why of it.

Most people, and thereby companies, tend to focus on the how and what.  Go to any networking event and you will hear nearly every person ask or respond to the following, “So, what do you do?”. The immediate follow up questions include; “So, are you like so and so?” or “So what makes you different?”. Like a carousel to nowhere, the pattern repeats over and over. The focus remains on perpetual comparison and not on a unique proposition that creates intrigue, interest and true success. People crave something different, but typically can only compare to known quantities. We tend to lie to ourselves and try to make the how and the what our sole purpose.  Instead, we should be living the why.

At RedShift we strive to think about the why.  Why is this company necessary?  Why do we offer the services we offer?  Why would people want to engage us in business? Our simple answer is; RedShift exists to make life better. You, the owner(s) and leaders of your business and the people you serve.  What and how we do it aside; we are here to assist you in reaching your goals and affecting your business in such a way that life is just, better.

This idea is at the core of everything we do.  Sound business & marketing strategy and creative design are simply vehicles to that end. Lofty, sure. Grandiose, probably. Attainable, we believe so.