Oct 262015
 

Social media marketing

When using Social Media to promote your event consider:

  • To whom does your event appeal? (your demographics?)
  • What is the reach of your event? (your geographic reach?)
  • Is your event a multi day event? (how will you accommodate visitors?)
  • Does your event promote other participants?
  • Is there a fee to your event? (are you selling tickets?)
  • What is the expected outcome of your event? (What financial, attendance or other goals are trying to achieve?)

Social Media Marketing Factors:

  • How big is your brand?
  • How many Social Media followers do you have?
  • Does everyone directly or indirectly involved with the event understand their involvement to promote the event via social media?

Outside Social Media Marketing Opportunities:

  • Local Tourism Sites.
  • Organizations that you belong to.
  • Local Chambers of Commerce.
  • NGO’s
  • Clubs (Lion’s…)
  • Make a list of all websites, companies and organizations that are friendly to your organization and ask them to promote your event on their website, facebook, twitter...

Free or Almost Free Event Promotion Opportunities:

  • Kijiji
  • Craig’s List
  • Some newspapers still offer free classified ads
  • Local Electronic Bulletin boards

Cross Social Media Marketing:

  • If your event has an outside team/group/attraction booked, then demand that they promote your event on their site.
  • Local restaurants might be willing to promote if you put them on your concierge page.
  • Local hotels or B&B’s might be willing to promote if you put them on your concierge page.
  • Local “event friendly” retail outlets will sometimes permit you to advertise/promote on their website or even store window. (Any printed media should always send the prospective visitor to your website.)

Promote from within:

  • Get your employees, managers, shareholders and board of directors participate in the shameless promotion of your event through social media.
  • Shamelessly ask your visitors to share/like/promote your event.

Engage Visitors:

  • Start a contest to get visitor engagement, and if there is a prize at the end then you can get extra publicity after the event!
  • There are many other ideas for social media engagement.

Engage the Press

  • Create a press release.
  • Invite the press to your event. (have a pre-event party)
  • Ask the press to make an article on your event.
  • Follow-up with them.
  • Make the press feel very welcome.

Get Local Sponsors & Sponsor Local Charity

  • Sponsor a charity at your event (they will then promote your event).
  • Get the press to sponsor your event (they will then promote your event, sometimes for free).
  • Get one or two of your “event friendly” businesses to sponsor your event with in-kind promotion for them.

Have a Short/Long Term Social Media Marketing Strategy

  • Develop a 6 months out plan.
  • Develop a 3 months out plan.
  • Develop a 3 months out plan.
  • Develop a week by week plan for the final 4 weeks before your event.
  • Know who does what, when and how.
  • Monitor your Social Media effectiveness and adjust as you might need.
  • Get everyone in your company and organization involved!
  • Boost your posts - pay for some social media advertising.

After-the-Event Social Media Marketing:

  • Who liked it? (testimonials from participants and visitors)
  • Pictures & videos posted? (submitted photos/videos posted on your website)
  • Featured articles from the press? (links to their website)
  • If you have created an “contest” then the winner will provide you after-the-event publicity.
Oct 072015
 

Building Your Brand

Brand Purpose:

A brand gives a company a recognizable face, it defines your company mission, it states quality expectations and it creates a community.

What does Forbes say about "brand"? Click here

Definition

brand  (brănd)
n.
1.
a. A trademark or distinctive name identifying a product, service, or organization.
b. A product or service so identified: bought a popular brand of soap.
c. An association of positive qualities with a widely recognized name, as of a product line or celebrity: The company tried to improve its brand by donating money to charity.
d. A distinctive category; a particular kind: a brand of comedy that I do not care for.

Read entire definition

Why is a brand so important?

In my opinion when we think brand we think Apple, IBM, Microsoft, McDonald's and for good reason, they are all in the top ten of Brand Recognition. Having top recognition means less work for your advertising team, but more work for your marketing team keeping your brand value high.  Brand recognition means that your not having to fight for sales by using price as your message.  And if you're in a close fight for a sale, your brand can win the day, it's really hard for your competition to fight when your brand is so recognisable that your competition can only compete on price.

How to Build your Brand?

  • Get professional help along the way.
  • Know your strengths and fix your weaknesses.
  • Know your competition
  • How do your products and services positively impact your users?
  • What is your niche?
  • Get rid of conflicting products/services.
  • Price is not a brand, it's a technique!
  • Being technical is not a brand, how your brand technology positively impacts your clients is your brand strength!
  • Being smart is not branding, how your intelligence is applied is another brand strength.
  • Being in business for 50 years is not branding, it is the strength of your brand.
  • Word of mouth marketing is not a technique, it is expecting clients to be your spokesperson and that is too risky, build your brand, and project your voice!

This topic is far too large and complex so I have added some resources below.

Resources:

Oct 062015
 

Protect Your Brand

When we look at branding, Apple is the #1 brand, it is known for being high-tech, high quality, that they develop products for the creative mind and their products have leading edge technology.  BMW is the #1 car brand and a brand that is so strong that they are reducing the number of models in their Mini Brand to make their brand even stronger!

Mixing missions or target markets within a single brand can be disastrous (classic coke) and it may send mixed messages to the prospective buyer (Ford Edsel)

Stay brand focused

Mixed branding may also confuse your designers and developers, and it can take years to recover when one deviates from their core business. (Microsoft disaster with windows 8)

Avoid Variation

Product variation invariably cuts into your core business revenue. (Read about Snapple)

Entry Level Trap (low price)

Setting up or even entertaining an "entry level" product may devalue your brand and then your marketing approach becomes a race to the bottom!

Upgrades may not work as expected.

This is very similar to offering too many choices so do not plan on a client upgrading, they might just get upset that your nickel and diming them. (See cable TV pricing)

Keep It Simple

Keep the sale forward keep by keeping selections/models/plans simple, and limit choices. On the other hand, if you offer no choices that may stall the process because prospects need a selection to make informed decisions, however, too many choices may delay the process because too many choices mean no decision.

Protect Your Brand

Whatever your decision, protect your brand, for it takes a long time to fix if you take it in the wrong direction.

Sep 222015
 
Internet Marketing
 
As a business owner, your website was not created 'just for the fun of it'.  A lot of thought and effort went into your website so it can communicate, as effectively as possible, a broad spectrum of information about your business: who you are, your mission and values, your products and services, your team, and how to get in touch with you.  Under the covers of your website, your website designers and developers have also added some information onto every page of your site so that your website can be found quickly and correctly by visitors if they are using search tools such as BING or GOOGLE.  This technique is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  Making sure your website (i.e. your business) can be found via Internet search engines is the first critical aspect of website marketing.
 
So what else can be done to market and promote your website so that you can get visitors "through the door"?
 
Prior to the onset of the Internet, traditional tools to market your product might have been such things as advertising in online Business Directories, Newspapers and Magazines, distributing flyers, door-to-door sales, sales conventions, telemarketing, etc.
 
All of these avenues are of course available now through the Internet, but they take on a different form, but the result is the same which is to raise awareness, attract visitors and of course, make money.
 
The thought process for choosing the right tools for your website marketing follows along the same lines as you would take for traditional marketing:
  • Do website marketing methods reach my target audience?
  • Is it cost effective and will I get a good return on investment?
  • How can I measure the effectiveness of my marketing money spent?
  • Is the website marketing approach helping build brand awareness and customer loyalty?
  • Will my existing customers be able to find me & can my website marketing help further sales to existing customers (increase their awareness of other products and services)?
Here are some ideas on where and how you can do your website marketing.
  1. Business Directories
    • Your local business directories will always have an online version of their printed.  It may be more cost effective to have a simple ad in the printed book but a more elaborate ad in the online ad - especially if your target audience are those who have access to smartphones or your product/service is needs driven (such as a restaurant, vet, clinic, etc.) where visitors would be using an internet search tool to get the information quickly.
    • There may be a wide variety of paid and free online business directories that you could use to place an ad or listing of your products and services.
  2. Vendor / Supplier Websites
    • If you are a reseller, make sure that your business is listed on your supplier's website so potential customers can find you (this is also known as a backlink which we will discuss later).
    • If you are a distributor or supplier, then make sure you list the businesses details, and especially the website / email information, for those who are reselling your products or services.
  3. Social Media and Word-of-Mouth
    • Find out who's talking about your business (good or bad) or get people talking about your business.
    • Blogs - get independent persons to write about your products and services and make sure they put links in their blogs that take readers to your website and, ideally, to a specific page on your website that details more precisely what is being discussed.
    • Social Media - tools such as Facebook, Disqus, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are great tools to start a dialogue with existing and potential customers and to showcase products, services, project success stories, FAQ, etc.  More information on this is covered in the topic 'Why should I use social media?'
  4. Newsletters and Electronic Flyers
    • Keep your existing customers informed by sending them newsletters via email (make sure you have their permission to do this or it can be construed as SPAM)
    • Create some ads for Google, Facebook, Bing, LinkedIn and on other search engines or social media sites.  Costing and approach is very similar to door-to-door distribution of fliers - you pay more depending on the size of the ad, how many 'doors' you are delivering too (known as impressions in Internet marketing parlance) and if you want to 'target' the delivery to specific households or businesses.  More about this is will be covered in the topic 'What is email marketing?'.

Written by RapidPage