Tag: marketing tips

03
Nov

This is the End… of-Year Marketing Tip

When you own a business it seems like the last two months of the year fly by. With holiday sales, events, etc., the whole end-of-year marketing strategy sometimes gets left behind. But not this year, this year is the year where you step up your game, so that when 2016 hits, you are prepared and already have great momentum.

#1 Use Your Social Media

Although social media is the popular girl in marketing, it isn’t just there to sit and look pretty it’s there to help your business grow. An endless stream of possibilities just waits for you on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. So what better way to spend a little of your end-of-year budget then on new graphics to entice new customers and post boosts. Boosting a post can open a whole range of new customer interaction and won’t drain your marketing piggy bank either.

#2 Spruce Up Your Website

One way to really utilize your end-of-year marketing budget is by being proactive before the next year starts, and your website is one of the areas that it could greatly impact. It is easy to keep pushing website updates on the back burner, because (A) your website might look okay as is, and (B) it functions, so why bother when you can get around to updates next year. But, let’s be honest, you said that in 2014.

Your website is the face of your business in many ways. Sure your logo and branding elements play a huge role in that, but your website is often the first interaction you have with new customers, so in make your first impression count. By adding a few new content & design tweaks you will be giving your brand a fresh look for the start of the New Year, and that fresh look may just be the edge you needed to stand out from your competitors’ 2013 web designs.

#3 Bright & Shiny Print Collateral

So you have done all of the website updates, you’ve spent a little on social media and you still have room for a few more marketing upgrades. New print collateral isn’t a bad way to start off the year or launch a new design. Think how great new rack cards or brochures would look at your business and show customers that you are ready to start things off in 2016 with a bang.

You don’t have to go on a huge budget spree to get the results you want. The small enhancements mentioned above are changes that can make a huge difference and be fairly simple and cost effective components of your total marketing strategy.

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12
Mar

Lessons from Movie Marketing

Every year film companies pay out billions in an effort to bring new, and creative ideas to movie marketing.

So, what does high cost movie marketing have to do with small business? Although you won’t be spending billions on campaigns, the fundamentals and innovative ideas that now propel the film industry can be used on a smaller scale to give your brand an interesting and competitive edge.

The Oscar for hilarious marketing goes to… Unfinished Business

Recently the marketing folks for the new Vince Vaughn flick released a series of images featuring the main cast posing in stock photos. Stock photos may seem like a boring tactic for a movie campaign, but in staying with the context of the film (a comedy about business), it made sense.

We’ve all seen the typical stock photos of individuals in suits pretending to be working in a fake environment. They are ridiculous. So, in playing off of that, and offering them up as free stock photos, they created a comical campaign that had the ability to go viral… and it did. Within hours of launch the photos were trending all over social media creating a momentum for a film that didn’t have much traction prior to the stunt.

What can we learn? Sometimes the most creative and successful marketing plans are the simplest. Elaborate marketing tactics are impressive but not always necessary. By creating an image or post that is well executed and easily shareable, your business can open a door to a larger target audience by spending little to no capital.

The Marketing Knight

The Batman films are a huge franchise that has had success for years. The first installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman had an incredible following, however that didn’t stop the Warner Brothers marketing team from going above, and way beyond what their target demographic expected for the second film The Dark Knight.

Kicking things off, the team designed a campaign website for the political character Harvey Dent. This idea served two purposes. First, it promoted the film with an interactive element, and second it created a marketing tool that could actually measure the website traffic which would most likely translate to movie tickets sold. A little brilliant. The next phase was the development of a fictitious newspaper titled The Gotham Times, which was distributed on street corners in various cities across the US. The tactic utilized the brand and created an atmosphere for fans that was tangible. The last stop on The Dark Knight marketing train began with a viral website named whysoserious.com. Again creating a outlet to drive fans, the website also offered “joker army” messages which could be tracked. Those who tracked all the messages were given an opportunity to take part in a scavenger hunt type adventure within selected cities. They were then given an address (to a local bakery) and instructions. Once they arrived and gave the password (Robin Banks) they were presented with a cake and a number on it. Once the fan called the number a phone would ring from inside, and beneath the cake layers was their very own Gotham Police evidence bag with a phone and joker related items. Pretty cool, am I right? Creating the ultimate fan experience is a strategy that will never get old and will always be appreciated by the consumer, not to mention it was crazy fun and effective.

Why? Because it kept their target demographic anticipating the next campaign. Building a hype through marketing initiatives resulted in a box office boom. The first installment generated $251,188,924 while the second installment took over with $533,345,358. Not a bad jump.

How can your small business benefit? By getting creative. By changing up your website to reflect a marketing campaign for a new product or by developing fun print items to reflect your brand, you are providing your target customers with a physical and visual reminder of your product or service. Don’t be afraid to get a little innovative and build anticipation. You don’t need to bake any phones into cakes, but you can give your consumers a fun way to win rewards. Creating a hype and driving customers to your business doesn’t have to be so traditional. Your customers will enjoy the change of pace and entertaining offer, so ask yourself… why so serious?

Ready to amp up your marketing efforts? Take to social, your website or your physical location and promote your brand, product or service with a fresh edge. The great part about being in control of your marketing is you can spend $0 or $10,000. Just make sure to have professional print materials, design items and content. The better your business looks the more enticing it will be to your customers.

05
Dec

The Twelve Tips of Christmas

Twelve Writers Writing

Content is key. Over the past year we have written multiple blogs about the importance of including keyword rich material in your website. Consistent new copy on your site will engage your active customers and enhance your SEO efforts. So, whether you have one or twelve writers writing, get frequent content out there to be read by customers and indexed by the top search engines.

Eleven Responsive Websites

A responsive website is not just a trend, it is a necessity. In order to stay competitive your website needs to be easily accessible for all… meaning readable on all electronic devices. Don’t make your customers squint and get frustrated while looking at your website. Make sure it is responsive and looks good on all phones, tablets and computers, no matter the size.

Ten Logos Leading

Logo-A-Go-Go was among a few of the many blogs we wrote about the importance of a well-designed logo. Your logo is a key element of your brand. It is the symbol, mark or signature your customers relate to and place a value on. A logo should be timeless, simple and versatile in order to make a statement like these ten leading logos below.

ten_logos_leading

Nine Creative Spaces

We’ve said it once, and we will say it many more times. The space you work in can greatly affect your creativity and productivity. Creative spaces should feel creative, and color has a lot to do with that. Dark and grey tones can drag down your mood while blues and yellows give off a sense of calmness and positivity. Natural light is another must have in a creative space and has been known to enhance productivity. Check out Google’s Headquarters and see how some of the best creative’s work!

Eight Marketing Must Haves

Implementing a marketing strategy for your business isn’t as difficult as it may seem. With these eight elements, you have the ability to market your small business like a pro.

  1. Do your research. Take a look at your competitors and marketing campaigns that have been successful in your industry. Getting a background is the best way to outline your marketing game plan.
  2. Know who you are marketing to. Know who your target audience is. If you market to the general public, you may have a hard time reaching them. Narrowing the spectrum will increase your chances of implementing a successful campaign.
  3. Cohesive Brand. Your branding should be visible on all marketing materials. Take Target for example; whether it’s Christmas or summer their branding elements are apparent on all marketing items.
  4. Content Marketing. Blogs are your best friend. Offer your target audience helpful tips or information about your product or business via your website. This will drive new website traffic and potentially increase their viewing time on the site.
  5. Email Marketing. Email marketing is still as effective as ever. Provide useful content or specials to your customer base and reach them on an alternate marketing platform.
  6. Social Media. Social media essentially equals free advertising. You can post product photos or content that will automatically show up on your followers news feed. It is simple and accessible for all.
  7. Engage Customers. Engage your customers on social media or in store. Giveaways are great way engage your target consumer.
  8. Quality Visuals. There is nothing that turns a consumer off more than poor quality media. If you are going to use imagery (which you should) make sure it gives you the professional look you need.

Seven Social Winnings

Social media is a great way to interact and reach your customer base. These seven tips ensure you are getting the most out of your social media posting.

  1. Use professional quality visuals to attract customers to your post.
  2. Post frequently, but not obnoxiously.
  3. Respond to negativity calmly, than find a solution for both parties.
  4. Use relevant hashtags to expand your audience.
  5. Brand your social pages with your logo, color palette and professional cover photos.
  6. Keep posts short, but informative.
  7. Utilize the opportunity to engage customers, through giveaways and tips.

Six Designer Cravings

2014 has brought a year of web and graphic design trends. Here are the top six worth giving a look for your new website or re-design.

  1. Flat Website Design
  2. Large Home Page Imagery
  3. Motion Graphics
  4. Mix N’ Match Typography
  5. Parallax Scrolling
  6. Minimalist Design

Five Standout Titles

The best way to get your blog noticed is by having a great title. Here are five ideas to help your title standout.

  1. Be unique in your title choice. Generic will get your blog lost in a sea of blah.
  2. Be accurate. Make sure your title makes sense in regards to the blog content.
  3. SEO friendly. Use keywords in your title to boost your organic search ranking.
  4. Short & Sweet. Too long a title can turn off readers.
  5. Enticing. Think about the titles that attract you and use it as a base.

Four Compelling Blogs

Blogs are abundant in today’s content marketing world, which is why you need to have a compelling body of copy.

  1. Start with the title. Choose a title that will catch your readers attention.
  2. Play around with formats. Change it up and write in paragraphs or lists to keep it interesting.
  3. Use a visual. Giving you blog a visual will do wonders. The average person responds better to visual content over text, so give the people what they want!
  4. Don’t write a book. A blog is meant to give helpful or useful information, not compete with the length of War and Peace. Keep it short so that your readers will be more likely to finish the post.

Three Great Brands

A great brand is able to withstand time, has a logo that emulates an emotional connection and its’ name is why consumers choose them. These three brands have all hit those marks.

three_great_brands

Two Tweeting Don’ts

Try not to over tweet and whatever you do… do not send Twitter SPAM, don’t be that business.

And a Website with SEO, Please

Search engine optimization should always be on your mind. The better your organic search engine rankings are, the more visits your website will receive. A stagnant website with no new content will become static noise in the search engines eyes, but a website that has new content will makes it alive and kicking and will make a big difference in your website’s overall visibility.

Disclaimer: The logos used in this post are registered trademarks owned by their respective companies of which Sixth Gear LLC is not affiliated with or sponsored by.

24
Mar

5 Tips for Marketing Your Business

We all start somewhere. Every business, every idea has a beginning. Once you nurture that idea into your own business and are ready to introduce yourself to the world, the question always remains, well what now? And our answer, is marketing. Below are five marketing tips useful for any business owner to kickstart your marketing efforts.

Access Your Market

Knowing who your marketing to is the key to any sound marketing strategy. So how do you know who your market is? Do the research. See who your competitors are targeting too. Once you have honed in on your target customer, then dig a little deeper. Say you are a small microbrewery that determines craft beer drinkers are your target customers, you then need to know who they are. What are the average ages of craft beer drinkers? Is it a male or female dominated industry? All of these statistics will help you figure out the demographics of your target audience and give you an opportunity to market directly towards these prospective customers.

Jump Into The Social Media Madness

All we hear now a days is “are you on Facebook?” or “OMG did you see who just favorited my tweet?” And although it makes us feel like we are in an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, there is a reason why it’s all we hear about. With 93% of marketers using social media, you can’t really argue it doesn’t work. So get with it. The best way to meet and engage your local crowd is through social media. So why wouldn’t you, its free, it’s easy, and now it’s a necessity. Having an active social media presence is a perfect way to get your word out to your customer base. Running promotional deals on Facebook or offering a promotional code to all new followers on Twitter is the kind of initiative needed to gain interest and interact with your target audience. Businesses of all sizes are booming with thousands of followers social media, so if your mom can make a page for your cat wearing reindeer antlers, you can create one just as easily for your business.

Put Faces To The Name

Put a few faces to your business name. No one will know what you have to offer if you sit inside at your computer all day. Taking part in local events where you hand out coozies, coupons, or provide free items is a tactic you will not regret. You can have customers drive by your store all day but interacting with them and representing your business will make them stop by the next time. So get involved. Connect with your customers and other businesses. Often times we see joint ventures and cross promotions and those are the types of business relationships you could use as a new business owner, so we suggest you get out there and make some new local friends.

Take Advantage Of Free Listings

Why? It’s free. What is it good for? Your visibility. Each listing you have gains your business credibility with search engines, just make sure you are keeping them as similar as possible to one another, that way you are hitting the right keywords that you want to be indexed. Another perk to free business listings is that locals can easily search you, in turn creating more website traffic that increases the amount of local customers visiting your establishment.

Don’t Forget SEO

Good content is essential. We’ve instilled blogging and keyword rich content into all of our client’s heads for good reason. Businesses can really thrive in the content realm, because there are so many things happening locally that can serve as the basis for new content. Post relevant local information for your customers that will engage them in conversation. Hit keywords that you think will be searched for in respect to your business, and constantly be posting new and original material. If you do this your website will be visible and primed to generate new business.

There they are. Our five marketing tips for businesses of all sizes. The biggest aspect of marketing a business is the time commitment. Blogging, listings, and connecting with your local audience are on-going processes, with big benefits. So if you have a local or even national business (or are looking to start one) take these first steps towards establishing your presence in the marketplace.