13 Step Road Map to Maximize Business Results with Hyper-Local Marketing

It’s a no brainer. Local businesses that want to maximize their business results should implement hyper-local digital marketing.  Identify your most critical local markets, and deliver compelling localized  messaging, content, programs, offers, and calls to action based on the area or  neighborhood.

 

In this article, you’ll learn…

  • 13 tips for effective local marketing
  • How reaching a local audience can drive business results

More folks turn to the Internet than any other medium—including newspapers, TV, or word-of-mouth—for local information, according to the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, a whopping 83% of local search users contacted businesses offline, with 46% of consumers making contacts over the phone and 37% visiting the businesses in person, and half of all local business searchers eventually made purchases, according to TMP (15miles) and ComScore. Numbers like those demonstrate how digital marketing can take local businesses to a whole new level.

If you are a local business looking to grow (and who isn’t?), follow this digital road map and get hyper-local (with amazing results).

Read more here

 

Learn and Earn Word Of Mouth Marketing For Your Business

If you could master what has been identified as one of the most valuable forms of marketing, the one that most people trust above all others Word of Mouth Marketing 4and the one that is most likely to deliver sales for your company, would you instead choose to ignore it or leave it to chance?

Why would you simply choose to sit back and hope conversations will just happen organically about your brand? If you want to win the marketing race you need to unleash the power of word of mouth marketing (WOMM).

Most of the time, your talkers will come from the everyday actions you take to be a great business – they recommend their friends because they really like you. But sometimes you have to be more proactive about earning those talkers and getting them to spread the word.

Word of Mouth Marketing-GraphLook at the facts. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. In a recent study, 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe word of mouth is the most effective form of  marketing.

According to Susanne Fanning, President of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), the official trade association for the word of mouth and social media marketing industry, marketers need to focus on the three E’s: Engage, Equip, Empower.  If you can master these, you can become the most beloved and talked about product in your category, which will ultimately lead to increased sales. “We’ve seen a good WOMM campaign generate thousands of conversations, recommendations and triple sales in just a year (yes, even for the boring products).”

Engage—Give your fans the gift of you. Engage with them. Listen to what they are telling you. Be part of the conversation about your brand. Be a presence in your fans’ lives. @NikeSupport is a prime example of customer service done well. They constantly respond to followers on Twitter, whether it’s about their apparel, Fuel Band or other products. Every few minutes, you can watch them respond to someone new.

Equip—Give them reasons to talk. It can be amazing products, great service, insider knowledge, social elevation, incredible stories, unbelievable facts or even funny disclosures. It’s on you. It really depends on you understanding your consumers and what they like about you and providing whatever it is they need from you. Apple revolutionizes technological devices and delivers amazing products to its consumers, allowing them to naturally rave about the newest iPhone. Another area to excel in and that’s on the rise is social customer service.

Empower—Give consumers different ways to talk and share. Let them know that they are important to you and that sharing their opinions is important to you. Help them find ways to share within their circles and find ways to help move their conversations around. Lay’s is an excellent Word of Mouth Marketing 2example to highlight how they empowered their fans to “Do Us a Flavor,” and allow consumers to create a new flavor of potato chips to hit store shelves. Over 3.8 million submissions were sent in 2013 making it one of the biggest marketing campaigns for PepsiCo owned Frito-Lay.

As is typically in these times, technology has increased social connectivity making it easier for consumers to do your marketing for you. A post Word of Mouth Marketing 3that takes just a few minutes for a fan to write will be seen by hundreds of friends who trust them, and it can rapidly travel out to thousands more. Very well planned messages have been shared by millions within the span of days.

Look at the Epic Split video by Volvo featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, the video was released on YouTube on November 14, and on the first day the film was viewed over 6.5 million times and shared over 32 thousand times. Then in four weeks it was shared over 6 million times across social networks. It quickly became the most shared film on YouTube. The clip has received extensive media coverage from all over the world as well, and has been the subject of approximately 20,000 editorial pieces online thus far.

It is simply not possible to achieve these kind of results without technology. The results are undeniable; consider the fact that those who read these posts as well as yours could potentially have hundreds of offline conversations with friends, families and acquaintances.

Engaing, Equipping and Empowering  your customers will fuel conversations and drive passionate Word of Mouth marketing that will make a huge difference for your brand and your sales.

Send us examples of your Word of Mouth achievments and be on the look out for Part 2 next week as we share these and more powerful WOMM success stories.

 

Suzanne Fanning is the President of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), the official trade association for the word of mouth and social media marketing industry. Her social strategies have been featured in Advertising Age Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes Magazine, and PR Week.

 

Are you on the Map for Small Business Saturday?

This year Small Business Saturday is Nov 30th and is known as the day we shop and support small business in a BIG way.  Plan ahead to attract more customers and make Small Business Saturday 2013 a memorable day to celebrate your business, your customers and your local community.

Nov 30th is now 4 weeks away so jump into your planning now to help make this Small Business Saturday a stellar success.  Here is a useful countdown planner.     ShopSmall_logo

Small Business Saturday is a day to rally people nationwide to get out and Shop Small so how about rallying your local community for this event?  Ignite your neighborhood and tell all the local businesses in your community to get ready for the big day.

For additional inspiration, check out what other communities have done for successful events focused on this important shopping day.

Need help with finding the right gift and home products for your retail store to get ready for Small Business Saturday?

Ivystone and Simblist can help!

How a Big Yellow Duck Delivers So Much Happiness

It’s a simple idea really…..take the convergence of 3 large rivers, the gateway of the city of Pittsburgh, and turn it into an art project representing a large bathtub.  All that was needed was a big yellow duck and the result was millions of people flocking to see the 40’ bobbing body of happiness delivering much more than anyone could have imagined.    Big Yellow Duck-Pittsburgh Point of 3 Rivers

 

Yes, I visited the duck one incredibly beautiful Sunday morning on my weekly 15 mile bike ride on the Pittsburgh bike trails.  I was thrilled to see the gigantic

MMScolieri on a Sunday morning bike ride w a big yellow duckbundle of sunshine along with the emotional enthusiasm in the enormous crowds delivered by the presence of “the big yellow duck”.  It was a unique bike ride that day and so is this equally happy and unique marketing perspective from the Jill Berardi Group.

       9 Marketing Musts Delivered by a Duck

 

Is Your Brand Forgettable?

Brand marketing can create a strong connection and value for your business audience.  When done correctly, the marketing of your brand will help you to really shine and stand out from your competitors. Shiny Golden Egg

Consider building a modern day brand so chock full of personality that people can’t help but love or at the very least, keep talking about.

Here are a few tips:

  • Focus on your strategic goals.  Define these goals, both short term and long term and use these as your roadmap. Are you looking to gain new customers?  Communicate more closely with existing customers?  Increase traffic in your store by 25%? Whatever the goal, define it!
  • Define your audience.  Find out where they spend their time and on what social media channels.  Then create powerful stories about your brand that connect with them.  Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine here.
  • Choose one social platform to start.  If you’re just getting started; get comfortable with one social tool and make it work for you and your audience. If strapped for time, seek out someone on your staff, friend or family to help get you started.  The topics to connect customers to your brand are practically endless; customer service, sales, product uses, customer favorites, best sellers, company history.  Think creatively to grab attention to your audience.
  • Expand and experiment If you are seeing connections and results, expand your reach, scaling it up as you find what works with your audience.
  • Be willing to modify your strategy.  Understand that marketing your brand takes time, twists and turns.  Be flexible and don’t be afraid to ditch a strategy or social media tool that just doesn’t produce results.  The important thing here is to not tackle so many channels at once that you have no concept of what is and is not working for your brand awareness.  When in doubt-see tip #1.

Don’t miss these branding lessons from 8 companies–bold, brash and brazen ideas that may help you amplify your own brand.

While they might not be for everyone, they definitely will give you a creative launch. 

Need help getting started or have outrageous brand success stories to share-let us hear from you.

Winning Holiday Strategies for Retailers and Brands

Winning Strategies for Holiday Planning 2013To help retailers prepare for the busy upcoming holiday season, Retail Touch Points has compiled the 2013 Holiday Outlook Guide, featuring insights from a number of leading industry experts, case studies, including a variety of tips and tactics that will help deliver a joyous holiday season to retailers, brands and consumers.

This year the guide focuses on 11 different topic areas, including:

  1. Omnichannel
  2. Mobile Commerce
  3. Mobile Apps & Sites
  4. Pricing
  5. Inventory
  6. Personalization
  7. Outbound Marketing
  8. Showrooming
  9. Workforce Management
  10. Payment

Download a complimentary copy of the Retail TouchPoints_Holiday_Outlook_Guide_2013.

Use the guide to plan a successful holiday sales strategy.  Make plans to engage with your customers early and consistently throughout the season.

Let us hear about your own insights and successes.

For an abundant selection of wholesale gift and home products for your retail operation, connect with Ivystone and Simblist sales teams.

 

Retail Touch Points delivers cutting edge content directed towards acquiring, serving and retaining customers in the new world of multi-touch retailing.

The Perfect Pinterest Picture, According to Science

 

A team of scientists from the Curalate team, including a computer vision PhD and a dedicated in-house data scientist, recently did some intensive research on Pinterest, sampling 500,000 images and distilling from them half a dozen or so characteristics that distinguish the most popular Pinterest images.

They identified one ideal picture that best combines these characteristics. And here is that image.     Perfect Pinterest Photo

It’s from cooking show host Paula Deen, and it’s called “Aunt Peggy’s Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad.” This “perfect pinterest image”  has been repinned 307,000 times, liked 8,000 times, and commented upon 300 times. “In other words, that image killed it,” says Curalate CEO Apu Gupta.

“Consumers are increasingly communicating using images rather than words,” says Gupta. “We’re trying to decode that language and give you a better vocabulary with which to speak.”

In other words, in the future the picture will do more than speak a thousand words.

Read full article on perfecting Pinterest images here.

8 Solid Ideas to Add Customer Names to Your Email List

Grow your list, grow your engagement. A clean, well-managed email list can be your best asset, whereas “dirty” lists with out-of-date information are a leading cause of deliverability failures and are sure to damage your sending reputation.  Adding customer emails to your list

List hygiene is the process of removing “bad” addresses in a timely manner. Good list hygiene practices are essential to avoiding spam traps and keeping your bounce rates low – key drivers of your reputation. There is no better way to assure consistent deliverability success than by regularly cleansing your list of hard bounces, unknown users and other inactive addresses.

Businesses and brands need to check their email list size on a regular basis. It’s a good to track three metrics: net growth of your email list, net growth of email IDs for your direct mail file, and a steady increase in opens and clicks -this implies some form of interest in your email campaigns.

Take a hard look at your preference strategy. There are three tips on capturing preferences: ask them (your customers), observe them and group them (into categories). Use your preference page on your register or in a notebook on your check-out counter, to ask the consumer about their other channel preferences.  Don’t forget to inform them about your social media sites-where you post info about your business.

Take these extra steps: First, put up your preference page to sign up for email on your social media sites and websites.  Second, use popular social sites  (make sure it is where your customers are also hanging out) and include testimonials and content from your customer/vendor base within these sites and on your email campaigns. Third, post your email campaigns on your social media sites.

Here are 5 additional quick tips for using email marketing to promote and grow your business.

See How Small Businesses Are Competing Successfully With Big Brands-Infographic

Having quick access to online, mobile and social platforms along with the value consumers place on one-to-one relationships and customer service, makes it easier and likely for small businesses to succeed in more ways everyday.

12 Social Media Strategies to Reach Women

Top 10 Most Popular Stories of the Week

With so much information to choose from and so many options for staying in the know, I thought it would be useful to post The Top 10 Most Popular Stories of the week according to Fast Company.

There is absolutely something here for everyone.  Hope you discover some amazing tidbits that make you think and help you to jump start engaging conversations.

Until next week…..enjoy!