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The Ultimate Social Media Questionnaire

The Ultimate Social Media Questionnaire
13Jan

Are you ready to market your brand on social media? Before you set up your first profile, you need to ask yourself some questions. Social media marketing is more than just spreading the word: it’s about connecting with your customers. You must carefully consider your approach  We’ve gathered the top twenty questions you need to answer before your brand’s social media debut.

Part I. Your Brand
1. What is the tone of your brand?
2. What products or services are you trying to promote?
3. What products or services form the core of your brand?

Part II. Your Customers
4. Who are your ideal customers?
5. What problems do your ideal customers face?
6. How does your company help solve those problems?
7. Where are your customers geographically?

Part III. Your Social Media Presence
8. What are your ultimate goals for social media?
9. Which social media platforms work best for your company?
10. How can you incorporate compelling content into your brand’s message?
11. What are the most important keywords for your industry?
12. How does your online presence compare to that of your competitors?
13. How much time can you invest into social media?
14. How often should you post during the week? During the day?
15. Which scheduling software is right for you?

Part IV. Your Content
16. When is the best time to post your content?
17. What content do your customers find most appealing?
18. Who are your industry’s top social media and online influencers?
19. What types of original content can you create?
20. What visuals should you incorporate into your content?

Do you have all of the answers? If not, it’s time to get to work!

The Go! Agency team can help you answer these questions and get started with one of the most effective avenues of marketing available today! We are dedicated to spreading your message and have worked with clients from a wide variety of industries, customizing and optimizing hundreds of social media campaigns.

Schedule a free consultation today to learn how we can help your business level up!

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The Top 5 Holiday Content Marketing Tips You Need To Know

120919 The Top Holiday Content Marketing Tips You Need To Know
9Dec

Content marketers love the holiday season. Unlike the lazy days of summer, there is more than enough inspiration to go around for email marketing, social media, blogging, and any other avenue you can think of.

There’s just one catch – there are just so many great ideas out there, there’s not enough time to do them all. Fortunately, we have you covered and we’re exploring the best ideas right here.

1. Updated festive visuals
Add a Santa hat to your profile pic, a menorah to your cover image, flashing lights to your Snapchat Story. Above all, make sure your holiday-themed content has imagery.

2. Flash sale
Have you looked at the calendar lately? It’s a bit too late to do a “12 days of deals” type deal. However, it’s still fair game for quick “limited time” social-media-exclusive sales. These do surprisingly well, especially as many of us procrastinate. Make sure the sale is worth people opening up their wallets for them because a lot of “wish lists” are complete!

3. Seasons greetings
Email marketing is a fantastic avenue to send out holiday wishes to your loyal customer base. As always with E-blasts, it is important to send out content that isn’t 100% pushy promotions. A holiday greeting email will do just the trick to make your readers smile.

4. Pics from the team
Whether you post (not embarrassing) pictures from your Christmas party or your team reaching out to the community for a volunteer event, this idea adds a healthy dose of humanity to any marketing campaign. This type of content, above all else, should be promo-free.

5. Content your audience will share
Cut out some of the promo posts in your content calendar and make room for some wholesome holiday fun. Preferably content that your audience members will want to share to their friends and family. Festive videos, recipes, craft and party ideas are just a few ideas that can generate engagement.

Maybe the holiday season snuck up on you this year, or you’ve been grasping at straws for what to publish. Either way, the above ideas will help you finish off the holiday season on a high note so you can focus on the new year!

Contact us today to help you make every day great on social media!

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Blast from the Past: A Look at the Digital World 10 Years Ago

Blast from the Past_ A Look at the Digital World 10 Years Ago
11Sep

Remember what the digital world was like in 2009? It might not feel that long ago, but 10 years have passed! With all of the forward-thinking technology that’s made its way into our lives and the constant changes of the online marketing landscape, there’s a lot to reflect on.

So, where do we start?

Let’s dive right in and take a look back at some of the biggest trends and predictions from 2009.

Apps, Androids, and More 
There’s no doubt that 2009 was the year that the tech world was booming—and for good reasons. For starters, Apple was paving their own way with the rising popularity of the App Store, which first came to life in 2008. With the release of the iPhone 3GS, mobile users were also introduced to in-app purchases which allow developers to still offer their app for free.

And let’s not forget the steady competition that Apple now faced with Android. Mobile devices with this operating system were—and in some ways, still are—cheaper alternatives to the Apple products. Users also got to experience Google’s own version of the app store.

But…which app really made a difference in peoples’ lives?

Would you be shocked if I told you that it was turn-by-turn auto navigation? Yep—the iPhone started to give GPS companies a run for their money by providing mobile users an app offered by TomTom. The catch was that you needed to pay $100 for the app, which if you think about it, isn’t awful considering you would be paying that same price or higher for a GPS device on its own. Although, in the distance, you could hear Android users rejoice at the fact that a similar software was being offered on their phones for free.

In addition to the new wave of smartphones and apps came the steady rise in sales of netbooks, Amazon’s Kindle, and tons of other tech products that seemed to make life just a little bit easier.

Predictions For the Future of Digital and Online Marketing 
You’re probably thinking, “Wow, we’ve sure come a long way in the past 10 years.” And, you know what, you’re right! At the time, these technological advances were no doubt next-level. Even though consumers had access to the best products yet, there was still hope that both the tech and online worlds would evolve into something even better when 2010 came around. That’s where a few key predictions were made.

Both online video advertising and video streams were thought to increase in the next year along with the rise of digital ad spending. In addition, it was predicted that many brands would start utilizing more targeted ads in the future to really aim themselves at the right customer; although, more consumers were predicted to utilize ad-blocking software.

With the rise of mobile usage and apps, it’s no surprise that many social networking sites and apps were predicted to only get bigger and better in 2010. For example, Twitter was thought to continue building its audience as one of the “newer” social media channels. Spotify had also just begun to climb the ladder as an audio streaming service, and Netflix was teaming up with electronic companies to bring video streaming straight to consumers’ TVs. Many believed that streaming services like these would become dominant within the average home.

Flash forward to 2019, and many of these predictions have come to life. It’s no secret that as time goes on, the tech world continues to evolve and improve. Reflecting on everything that’s been accomplished in 2009—and now in 2019—makes me excited to see what’s next in the future!

What do you think the next trends will be in the future?  Let me know in the comments below!

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8 Steps to Sending Effective Mass Messages Through Social Media

8 Steps to Sending Effective Mass Message Through Social Media
5Aug

There is nothing worse than receiving a mass message that has nothing to do with our needs from a person that we have never even heard of, right? I remember 4 years ago this rarely happened on Facebook and LinkedIn, but today I can log-in and be hit with 10-15 per day!

If you have taken the time to read these messages, some are very effective. They hit all of the right points to keep you engaged, while others COMPLETELY miss the mark and turn you off. Sometimes they can even anger you to the point where you remove the sender as a contact.

When done effectively with planning, these mass messages can truly benefit your social media marketing efforts.

Now a point of clarification. I am speaking about the messages which go into your inbox, not status updates that can be viewed in the newsfeed.

In this blog, I am focusing on Facebook and LinkedIn, as these two popular sites have this functionality. Here are some useful step-by-step guidelines for you to follow when creating your mass message using Facebook and LinkedIn in order to create buzz and engage your audience:

Step 1: What is My Message? First, you need to think of the reason why you are reaching out to your audience. Is it to offer them a discount, let them know about a new service or to share a new blog post with them? When writing this, you want to convey the message in a conversational way – seeming as if it was written directly for with the recipient. Remember, this is social media, not mass message central.

Step 2: Who is the Target Market for the Message? Second, you need to think about who you want to reach with the message (as the message should be completely tailored to this market). For example, sending a medical-based email to a recreational golf professional could result in removal, blocking, or spam flagging. Make sure you are aiming for the correct market.

Step 3: What is the Goal? If the goal of this is to get people to visit your website, blog, or even call in – make sure that you clearly present this information in the message. Sounds obvious, but it’s easily overlooked.

Step 4: Keep it Concise! There is nothing worse than opening a message on LinkedIn or Facebook that is miles long. Remember that on these sites communications are short and to the point. Make sure you can convey everything you want to in a very specific and concise manner.

Step 5: Choose a Greeting. Personally, after the subject line, the greeting line is the next point where I decide if I want to read on. Starting off with “Hello Friends” or “My Dear Friend” or “Treasured Business Associate” is not in your best interest. Why? Because this is not how people communicate with one another on LinkedIn….or in real life! You want to start off with something engaging that makes the reader feel as if you are writing directly to them!

Step 6: Choose a Subject Line. This is extremely important, as you want to write something compelling enough to get your audience to open the message. My biggest piece of advice is to lay off the Caps Lock key. There is nothing worse than looking at a subject line that is screaming at you. For that matter, leave out the excessive use of all capitals in the body of your message as well. This can be off-putting.

Step 7: Proof Read! In this extremely critical world, few things are worse than sending a message out to thousands of people and misspelling an element of your message. Even worse though? Get ready to be educated by the “Grammar and Spelling Police” as they give you lessons on how to spell words and form sentences. Proofreading protects you from this and gives your message that professional sparkle.

Step 8: Choose Your Platform. Personally, I believe that LinkedIn was made for communications like this. It is a networking platform and this can be viewed as an extension of networking. Facebook, on the other hand, is more specific. I would only do a mass message on Facebook if I have a target group created where they are familiar with me and my business. Why? Facebook users can be quite vigilant when it comes to hitting the “Spam” button on messages that they do not want to deal with. LinkedIn, on the other hand, allows you flexibility and makes it easy to send messages like this. The only drawback is that you can only send them in batches of 50. My top tip for LinkedIn is to make sure before you send the message to un-check the box next to “Allow recipients to see each other’s names and email addresses”. You will find this below the message box. This helps your message look more personal and direct.

Overall, these messages should be used within an overriding social media marketing strategy. Don’t send them in high frequency as they can be very annoying. Keep your messages written with your target market in mind and only reach out when absolutely necessary. Oh yeah, and drop the “Hello Friend”.

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You Can’t Do It Alone: Building the Ideal Team

Go Blog 091218
8Jul

When it comes to sorting out your social media marketing campaign, working with a knowledgable marketing strategist is an absolute must. They should be experienced and well-versed enough to provide you with the inside track on what you need to be doing, so that you can efficiently execute your plans and quickly achieve your goals.

Or will you?

One of the downsides of getting a robust and forward-thinking plan from an expert is that you still need a certain level of skill in order to execute that plan. I know, it seems like a catch-22: you get a plan from an expert because you are not an expert, but expert plans are best executed by experts. Even with the perfect plan there are hundreds of pitfalls that need to be avoided. 

In my experience, I find companies that use a team to execute their social media marketing strategies tend to be the most successful. I have trained teams ranging from 100 to 2, and the common factor to success is simple: each team member knows the roles and knows who will be in charge of that role’s duties. 

Don’t worry about getting new staff for each role: one person can be in charge of multiple roles, as long as that one person is skilled in each. Not everything is trainable, especially on the fly. Social media marketing is an investment into your online future, so you want to make sure that you trust the leaders of your team. Your reputation will be on the line. Here are the six main roles that you should be thinking about when you are getting ready to execute your social media marketing strategy. 

  1. Project Manager: This person is key, as they will be in charge of, well, managing the project itself. Project Managers ensure that team members meet all objectives and hold everyone accountable to deadlines and budgets. 
  2. Copywriter: What is social media all about? Content! If you do not have the time or the skills to create quality content, you need to enlist a copywriter. Grammar, punctuation, and attention to detail are a must. 
  3. Graphic Designer: How do you make sure that your brand looks consistent across the board? Visuals, my friend. Whether your visuals consist of images, videos, slideshows, or channel branding, you’ll need a pro (if only to ensure that your graphics don’t look like they were designed by an intern). 
  4. Advertising Specialist: Do you know how to utilize social media advertising platforms? If you don’t then you need to hire someone who does. Of course, you could always wing it and risk losing tons of time and money with little to no results. 
  5. Analytics Specialist: Are you successful? What is working for your brand and what isn’t? If you have no idea, then you need someone who revels in tracking data. This role should extend beyond social media and into your website itself!
  6. Website Designer: If you hired a website designer to create the perfect website (perhaps at a substantial investment) without making arrangements for ongoing maintenance, you’ve made a mistake. Having a support person on hand is necessary in today’s digitally-driven world! This is especially true if your objectives are sales, conversions, email signups, and similar goals via your company website. If your website isn’t working, then neither will your marketing efforts on social media, or anywhere else, for that matter. 

So there you go! These roles will form the basis of a nice, well-rounded team. Although I have seen all of these roles filled by as few as two people, most teams will need more. This goes back to what I said earlier: you must make sure that anyone filling any of these roles–especially employees who fill two or more roles–is qualified, professional, and actually has the time! Remember: you are only as strong as your team!

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Why You NEED to Fix Your Facebook Target Audiences

050119 Why You NEED to Fix Your Facebook Target Audiences
1May

Picture this: You own a bakery in Tampa, FL. You decide to promote your budding brand online through social media marketing with an emphasis on Facebook advertising. But here’s the issue—once you log into your Business Manager to set up your audience, you see a plethora of options ranging from target demographics to specific zip codes to everything else that makes your head spin.

How do you know you are targeting the right people? It’s a valid concern. If you get it wrong, you could end up wasting your entire advertising budget trying to reach people who were never going to be interested in your bakery anyway.

When is it time to consider a change in advertising audience? Here are three scenarios that I see all the time:

  • You received a large number of engagements and conversions with your first ad, but saw a significant decrease in the next batch.
  • Customers are complaining they are seeing your ads too much.
  • You’re getting inquiries for areas your business does not serve.

If you’re seeing any of the above, you need to step up your audience targeting game. You can’t get those hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars back just because you chose to target the wrong audience, but you can move forward and adjust your scope.

Do yourself a favor and step away from your business for a moment. Look at your customer base with fresh eyes. You may be interacting with these people on a weekly or even daily basis, but you might not have really looked at who they are.

Sure Marge is a sweet lady who buys your gourmet cupcakes at every holiday, but what makes her tick? What does she want, what interests her, and most importantly, how would you sell your bakery’s goods to a woman just like Marge?

Your goal is to boil down your ideal customer by looking at the categories your current customers fit into.

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You should ask yourself the following questions:

1. What age range does my brand appeal to?
Does your business cater to a younger demographic or older adults? Maybe you sell products aimed at children, but remember that you’re really marketing to their parents. Or maybe you manage a senior living community, whose audience is not the potential residents, but rather their caregivers, who are in the 35-55 age range.

2. What location does my ideal customer live in?
Are you trying to appeal to someone in a specific city, like you would if you ran a bakery in Tampa? Or do you need to compile a list of zip codes to tackle a whole region, like say a business that wants to appeal to the Philadelphia/New York region? Regardless, location is an important factor. You may need to adjust your settings so that you don’t oversaturate your market as well, which would actually do damage to your brand as people get sick of seeing your ads.

3. What is the income of your ideal customer?
I once worked with a client who owned a luxury home renovation business. They would do amazing work on homes that were worth at least $650K+. Yet before they came to us, they tried to advertise on their own and failed to specify income in their target audiences. Needless to say, they had a lot of calls, but they were dead leads since nobody who saw the ad could afford their services. Once my team targeted people with higher incomes, we narrowed their reach and brought them real results.

There’s nothing to be done about it: You have to target the right audience. It may be challenging, but that doesn’t make it any less necessary. You need to be sure the people who see your ads will actually be interested in your business!

Are you still a little fuzzy on how to optimize your Facebook ad target audiences? Let’s discuss it during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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Your Metrics System: How to Track Results

092618 Your Metrics System_ How to Track Results
26Sep

You’ve done it! You created and survived your holiday marketing campaign!  While it would be nice to revel in the feeling of accomplishment, you’re not done yet.  

“But the campaign was a success!” You say, “we earned so much money! What’s left to do?”

Nothing much . . . only determining if your campaign was actually worth the time, money, and energy you spent on it.

I hear this sentiment all the time from business owners. After they’ve dipped their toes in the marketing world for the holiday season, they decide to leave the pool until the next fall. 

“Why would I ever need to know all those marketing stats?” They ask. 

This attitude will doom your chances of long-term success. These metrics affect your business, your brand, and your bottom line.

Those “marketing stats” will help you in a myriad of ways. They 

  • are necessary for calculating your return on investment (ROI);
  • give you valuable demographic information;
  • help you determine your upcoming budget; and
  • give you insight into and ideas for your future marketing initiatives.

Here are a few metrics you should consider measuring at the end of your holiday marketing campaign.

Impressions are the number of times an individual person sees a piece of content (ads, tweets, updates, blogs, etc.). This is an awareness metric. Although impressions are important, it can be a vanity metric. Focus on the quality or the effect of the impressions. How many times did a person see your ad before taking an action? 

Reach refers to the number of people who saw your ad. I’ve already discussed how important it is to target the right audience, and this metric lets you see if you hit your target! Did the social media network, website, and/or publication you chose for ads live up to your hopes? Did you get the customers you expected, or did you see a boost in traffic from an unexpected demographic? For instance, video games are marketed to teenagers, but parents are usually the people who actually buy them.

Engagement is, essentially, interaction. It shows that your audience actively participated in your content. Likes, clicks, shares, comments–all of these are ways your audience engages with your brand. Think of engagement as the active result of reach and impressions!

Click Through Rate (also known as CTR) is found by dividing the number of individuals who clicked a link or ad on your webpage by the total number of users who viewed the page. If your page was viewed by 380 people, and 7 of those people clicked the link to your storefront, then the click through rate would be 1.84 percent. That CTR isn’t horribly low, by the way. According to Hubspot, search ads average a CTR of 1.91 percent and display ads have around .35 percent.

Conversions are actions taken by visitors. These actions can include completing a purchase, filling out a survey, or subscribing to an email newsletter. Tracking conversions enables you to retarget consumers. In retargeting, you present ads to consumers who visited your page but did not complete an action (e.g., added items to the digital shopping cart, but never paid).

All of these metrics will vary according to your goals. Too many novice marketers make the mistake of only analyzing these metrics after the holidays or another big campaign, but that is asking for trouble. You need to do this throughout the year! Take stock of where you are so that you can get to where you want to go!

Voilà! I’ve told you everything you need to know about running your holiday marketing campaign! If you have additional tips (or cautionary tales), share with us in the comments below. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about digital marketing, seasonal campaigns, or one of my many Christmas cookie recipes!

Do you need more help with your holiday marketing campaign? Don’t wait for a Festivus miracle! Contact The Go! Agency today for your free consultation! 

 

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Creating Your Timeline for Holiday Marketing

092418 Creating Your Timeline for Holiday Marketing
24Sep

The holiday season is just a few weeks away! So far, I’ve told you what you need for your holiday campaignhow to target your audience, and where you should focus your budget, among other tips from my years as a marketer. Now I want to address the schedule. 

Your holiday marketing campaign isn’t a high school project: you can’t expect to reach your goals if put everything off until the last minute. You need deadlines! I’ve found that there are three pillars for a good deadline. Good deadlines must be . . . 

1. Good for Your Budget: The deadline must fit within the confines of your budget. Will you have enough money to run ads for a given amount of time? Will you have enough in the budget to cover your personnel needs until a specified date? These are the questions you’ll need to consider.

2. Good for Your Bandwidth: Speaking of personnel, you must give your team deadlines that are reasonable. Don’t assume that your staff will be able to pull off a Christmas miracle! Factor in human error and human nature by giving yourself and your staff a buffer. Never set deadlines at the last possible minute! 

3. Good for Your Campaign’s Effectiveness: Will this deadline further your goals? In other words, are you spinning your wheels? Determine which actions are priorities, and which actions can be postponed.

Let’s start with a list of everything you need to accomplish or complete for your campaign. You’ll notice that some of these lead into the next item (i.e., you cannot complete Y until X is done). Generally, holiday campaigns include:

  • Final Strategy: When will you have your final plan? This is the blueprint that you’ll be sticking to for the entire campaign; so while you can (and should) be flexible, your campaign plan should be complete.
  • Budget: When will you have your budget ready? Do you need to hire any contractors or agencies to take on extra work of the campaign? It might sound silly to include deadlines for strategy and budget, but it will help you keep an analytical perspective toward your campaign.
  • Creative/Visuals: When do you need your final designs? This aspect includes layouts for ads and any new website or landing page visuals. Do you use a contractor for design work? Remember that contractors might book up quickly for the holiday rush!
  • Copy: When do you need all of your campaign’s written content? This should include landing page copy along with advertisements, posts, and blogs. You’ll need to account for editing content in addition to the approval process for ads.
  • Advertising: There are a few aspects to keep in mind here. The first is practical: what is the deadline for submitting ads for a given publication, website, or platform? The second aspect to consider is when will your ads have the greatest impact? For example, you can’t expect a lot of engagement from a Cyber Monday sale ad if won’t be approved until Tuesday morning.
  • Website Landing Page: You could generalize this to your entire website, but focus on the landing page for your holiday promotion or campaign. When will you need to have it up and running? If you use a contractor or another third party entity for your web design, what is their turn-around time? Will the holidays affect their schedule and availability? 

Finally, you should consider the timing of your overall campaign. The timeline for a campaign that peaks on Black Friday is drastically different from a timeline for a campaign that peaks during the week of Christmas. 

Armed with my advice, creating your campaign timeline should be a breeze! I mentioned this already, but it’s important enough to repeat: keep your plans firm, but allow for some wiggle room! Life happens. You realize that your copywriter will be out of town for Hanukkah. Your social media manager is hosting a horde of relatives and cannot work any overtime. Your IT guru will be on PTO all of Thanksgiving weekend–and you approved her request back in March. 

This guide should help you create the optimal timeline for your holiday marketing campaign! Now let’s go!

The holidays are coming in fast–is your marketing strategy ready? The Go! Agency can help you get results! For a free consultation, contact us today! 

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Contests, Promos, & Giveaways: What You Should Know

091918 Blog Contests, Promos, & Giveaways_ What You Should Know
19Sep

Whether your business centers on a product or a service, the holiday season is filled with opportunities. But how can your marketing compete when all of your competitors are pushing for the same clients? Why not incentivize your customer with a contest, promo, or giveaway?

In my years as a marketing expert, I’ve noticed that companies fall into one of two camps when it comes to incentives. The first camp consists of the anti-incentives crowd. These brands might feel that giving a free incentive would denigrate their product or service. They believe that such promotions (or even discounts) could damage the brand even if they attract new customers. Antis see incentives as pandering to their consumers. The second camp is filled with pro-incentives people. Such brands believe that people love free stuff, therefore free stuff will attract customers. This group is all about giving away promotional materials, too. (Coincidentally, brands like these are the reason we have uniquequirky, and just plain weird marketing swag.)

Both sides make fair points. You don’t want your brand to appear aloof, but you don’t want customers to take you for granted, either. There’s a way to balance both. Let’s discuss contests, promos, and giveaways, along with incentives!

Contests are events in which individuals (or teams) compete for a prize. They are a great way to get user-generated content (UGC). Often, brands will ask customers to post pictures or create videos that meet certain requirements. 

Tagline: “Send us your best pic, and the winner will receive an all-expenses-paid cruise!”

Promos (short for promotions) are limited-time offers or events that are held to encourage consumer engagement. Brands want to attract new customers, so they’ll offer free shipping for a given time period. Some companies offer discounts to new users or members. In several U.S. states, the school year is preceded by a “tax-free weekend,” in which the government forgoes sales taxes in an effort to increase back-to-school shopping at local establishments. 

Tagline: “Buy-one-get-one-free sale on pens this weekend only!”

Giveaways are when a brand gives an item or provides a service free of charge to consumers for promotional reasons. These can range from a free gift with purchase to giving out promotional swag to passersby. 

Tagline: “Free gift with every purchase!” 

As you decide what you want to do, you need to think about the following points.

1. Competition 
This point could just as well be labeled “research.” Find out what your competitors are doing. While you want to stand out from the crowd, knowing industry norms will keep you from looking reckless or foolish. For example, a Porsche dealership wouldn’t hold a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) for free deal on cars, but they might throw in free oil changes and other maintenance for the lifetime of the vehicle.

2. Incentives
There are actually two types of incentives. The incentive could be a reward, i.e., something that could be considered a bonus. With the above example, a reward might be the inclusion of an official Porsche crest keyring. The incentive could be a motivator, i.e., something that would push your audience through the decision process faster. In the previous example, the free maintenance acts as a motivator. The great thing about the types is that you can combine them or use them concurrently. One final note on incentives: it should be something complimentary to your service or product. An insurance company might give out a free umbrella to new clients, for instance.

I personally believe that incentives can be great for your brand’s sales and reputation. I’ll leave you with a story that, to me, proves the value of an incentive.

The Go! Agency handles the marketing for a franchise of assisted living facilities. One challenge they faced was that caregivers of potential residents who toured their properties would love what they saw, but choose another home for their loved one. These decisions were often based on price and other factors that our client could not control. We decided to add value to the tours by creating an ebook that explained what you should ask about a potential assisted living facility. At the end of each tour, the guide would say, “I know that you’ll probably continue looking around and researching your options. We totally understand–you want to find what’s best for your family! Anyway, the website has a link to an ebook we’ve written. The book gives you some questions that we’ve had people ask time and time again. We’ve chosen the most important ones, so it should be useful if you tour another residence.”

BOOM

By sharing knowledge, our client is now an expert. 

BOOM

By trying to help out caregivers, our client is now a resource.

BOOM

By emphasizing that they understand, our client has now endeared themselves to that family.

All because of an incentive. 

Contests, promos, and giveaways are great for encouraging engagement from your audience and drawing attention to your brand. You can do so much with these events, both in terms of money made and buzz generated. 

Do you need help with with an event, or your overall marketing strategy? Discover what my team of marketing experts can do for your brand! Contact me today for a free consultation!

 

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7 Questions to Answer When Creating a Holiday Sale

091718 7 Questions to Answer When Creating a Holiday Sale
17Sep

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday . . . . We’re about to enter the holiday sales season!  

I have seen so many brands crash and burn when it comes to holiday sales. Either they do no promotion at all or they go overboard and spend a fortune promoting the sale. You don’t want to do either! Sales should be organized, promoted, and measured. Never wait until the last minute to plan your sale! And remember that you have to budget for the whole season: you should never throw all of your holiday budget into promoting your Black Friday sale, for example. 

I’ll let you in on a secret: you can learn a lot from your competitors! What are their promotions like? How far in advance did they begin promoting the sale? What discounts are they offering? Do some research and see what the norms are for your industry.

On to the nitty-gritty! Here are seven big questions you should answer. 

1. What is Your Goal? 
What are your desired results from this sale? Do you want to reach new customers or gain exposure? Do you want to make room for new inventory? Do you want to make money? This will affect the details of your sale, like prices and discounts.

2. Does Your Sale Revolve Around the Price or the Product? 
“But wait,” you say. “Don’t sales involve both?” I’m talking about discounts versus bundles here. Are you offering your merchandise at a blanket discount (“20% off the whole store!”) or are you grouping products/services into bundles (“Buy One, Get One half price!”)?

3. How Will You Measure Success?  
Determine what metrics you will use to gauge your success. One thing you should absolutely find out is the total amount grossed from the sale, minus the total amount spent on promoting the sale. Other metrics might include counting unique website visitors, new email marketing subscribers, or social media engagements.

4. Where Are You Going to Promote It?  
You should definitely advertise your sale on social media, but how do you choose which platform? The obvious answer would be: the platform which is most frequently used by your target audience. Boosted or sponsored posts on the right platforms are crucial!

5. What is Your Promotional Budget? 
Speaking of sponsored posts, you’ll need to determine your promotional budget. What will you spend on ads and boosted posts? For online merchants who also have brick and mortar stores, will you be making any physical materials like flyers or signs? Keep in mind that this might not be the only sale you will have during the holiday season–budget accordingly!

6. What is Your Timeline?  
This not only includes the time of the sale itself, but the lead-up to the sale. How long will the sale itself last–a few days, one day, a few hours? A good timeline is thorough! You should include deadlines for writing ad copy, designing visuals, and placing advertisements; additionally, you need a deadline for sending your website or IT team the necessary codes and information for the website! As I mentioned above, you should look at your competitors and other companies in your industry to determine discounts, duration, and other specifics. 

7. Is Your Website Ready?  
The doomsday scenario for every online merchant is a website crash on the day of a major sale! Don’t let this happen to you! Consult with your website design team to double check that your online store is stable and ready for an influx of customers. Contact your web host to ensure that their servers can handle the anticipated above-average volume of traffic. If possible, ask your IT person to be on standby during the sale–especially for weekends or holidays, but expect to pay for their time–in case of emergency issues.

There you have it! These will help you plan the holiday sale–without losing your holiday cheer! I’ve learned from experience that there’s no such thing as a stress-free sale, but these questions will help keep you focused!

Do you need marketing help for the holidays and beyond? Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

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