Monthly Archives: September 2011

Why your Retail Business needs a Facebook Page

Facebook pages have become the successful launching pad or website complement for many small businesses and WAHers (I am hereby coining this for “Work At Home ers”). For small businesses without a bricks and mortar presence, Facebook gives the opportunity to have a conversation and demonstrate the personality of the business and therefore bridge the service gap.

This post is going to focus solely on Facebook Pages for bricks and mortar businesses, with strategies to benefit both Retail and Professional Service industries.

This post assumes you have a Facebook page running for your business. If you don’t, please contact me at maryanne@wiseupmarketing.com.au, I can direct you to some fantastic articles and free eBooks that take a step by step approach to helping you get started.

Ask everyone – “Why not like us on Facebook?”

Once you have set up your Facebook Page it is important to let your clients know and to ask them to like you on Facebook.

  • Print a small strut card and place it on your reception counter or at your register
  • Update your business card with your Facebook page name
  • E Mail your database to announce the launch of your Facebook page
  • Add a Facebook news feed on your website homepage

Building up your offline clientele in your online space gives you the ability to extend your brand and promotional message so that it is regularly in front of your customers, keeping you top of mind.

What should your business “do” on the business page?

  • Use a profile picture of your shop front if you are in retail
    • This acts as a visual cue for your clientele. It reminds them who you are when you pop up in the newsfeed and when they walk past, too
  • Use a profile picture of your staff if you are in professional services
    • This reminds your clientele they know you personally when you pop up in the newsfeed and reminds them of the one on one relationships they have built up
  • Communicate in a style and tone that reflects your bricks and mortar business
    • Don’t be overly casual just because it is Facebook. Your Page is still a reflection of your brand and should align with your overall brand strategy
  • Post photos of new stock that has come in, stock that is on sale and people interacting with your stock
  • Post videos that are created in the workplace featuring staff and clientele
  • Educate your clientele by sharing relevant articles, think of the magazines you keep that are relevant, now look for those sort of articles and spreads online and share
  • Boast a little! Announce any awards you have been nominated for or better still, have won, congratulate staff members on achieving service milestones or on new qualifications. Keep building the sense of community
  • Announce events and invite clientele to attend

5 Ways Your Business can benefit from a Facebook Page

1.Profile Tagging

When clients come in, ask them if they have seen you on Facebook. If they say they like your page, tell them you plan to send them a shout out when they leave.

Kylie’s Hair and Nails had a great morning with Rebecca Appleton, we love your new look”

Profile tagging delivers in three ways:

1. Like a thank you card, it gives your clients a warm and fuzzy feeling of being important to your business

2. Through the newsfeed, it reminds your other clients of what you do and why they liked you

3. Through the newsfeed of your client, your business is promoted to a greater network, attracting new likes that are valuable

Always make sure you have told your client that you will do a shout out to ensure they agree. It could offend to shout out without warning.

2.Check In’s

“Check In” is usually done on an iPhone or Android phone whilst at a location. A user goes onto Facebook and selects the place they wish to “Check In” and this then broadcasts their presence across their newsfeed and on the page of the place
they have checked in.

So like a profile tag, it then means your business is promoted to the network of your client. To take advantage of checking in make sure when you set up your page you selected “local businesses and places” as your page category and entered in your full address. This allows your clientele to find you when searching and then can “Check In” when at your place of business.

Encourage “Check In’s” by offering special discounts and offers for clients who check in.

“If you “Check In” today, you’ll get 10% off”

We have developed process cards to take staff and clients step by step through the check in process. Get in touch if you would like a copy.

3.Photo Tagging

Like profile tagging and “Check In’s”, Photo Tagging also promotes your business to your client’s network. The additional benefit of photo tagging is you are promoting your products at the same time.

“Alice trying on our latest pair of Religion Jeans”

“Tom choosing between Aviators and Wayfarers, what do you all think?”

Photo tagging gives the opportunity to start a conversation between current clients and potential clients about your product range, further motivating potential clients to come and find your retail store.

4.Geographical Targeting

Another benefit you can tap into as a business with a physical location is geographical targeting. You can create a Facebook Ad campaign and target a radius around your business (smallest is currently 10 mile, which is 16km). This means your ad only shows to those who have selected their location and it falls within the radius you select. Instead of running an ad to everyone, or for example, shoe lovers, where there will be a lot of wastage, you can run your ad to shoe lovers within 16km of your retail location.

5.Reach clients outside of your location

Finally your business can benefit from having a Facebook Page by using it to extend your reach outside of your location.

Upload albums of your new arrivals, sale stock, most popular, offer free postage and free exchange for any Facebook orders. You may find you attract some new clients that your retail store could never service before, whilst also increasing the convenience for some of your existing clients to shop from home.

It is important to keep up to date as the rules of Facebook Pages are always changing; these tips are current at the time of publishing. I will endeavour to
update this post as changes occur.

Need help with your Facebook for business strategy? Our Mini Marketing Plan looks at all elements of your marketing mix and gives you strategies to grow that you can start working on immediately.

Until next week F is for Facebook and also for Frenemy (also known as your old boss)

Mary-Anne

Wise Up Marketing

Advertisements

Email Marketing Basics for E Newsletter Success

Nearly every small business we talk to is looking for the same thing – cost-effective marketing solutions. “How do I get my business in front of potential customers without spending a packet?”

This post will guide you through email marketing and help you unleash its potential for your business. Follow our easy plan to increase your open rate, your click-throughs and your shares, giving you E Newsletter success!

E-Mail Marketing: The Basics

It is important before weE Mail Marketing even begin, that we clear one thing up, E-Mail Marketing to us does not involve bombarding our potential customers with offers every week in the hope they will buy from us. We are a business that rarely advises you to compete on price, so it should be no surprise that our e-mail marketing strategies will not focus solely on price promotion. Instead we believe you need to value add. You need to give your target customer a reason to open your e newsletter,
over and above this week’s special.

E Newsletters have emerged as a very successful E-Mail Marketing tool, as they give a personality to your business and allow you to connect with your customer over and above a promotion or sale. It’s an opportunity to bring together all your social media platforms and deliver a concise summary direct to your subscriber’s inbox.  Oh and did we mention, it’s free?

7 Steps for E Newsletter Success

1.Gather a great list

 From today, utilise every opportunity you can to grow your email database:

  • Ask permission to email updates and offers from your business. (It’s actually the law – http://www.adma.com.au/regulatory/compliance-tools/spam-act/).
  • Create a database capturing the First Name, Last Name and Email address of each subscriber (at a minimum). This can be in an excel spreadsheet or a mailing list using E Mail Marketing Software (EMS).
  • Remember to delete or mark inactive anyone who asks to unsubscribe.
  • Use a sign up tab /form on your website and social media platforms to encourage sign up.
  • Offer a discount to reward sign up.
  • Run a competition to drive sign up or buy space in a complementary newsletter to attract new potential subscribers.
  • Never email your list using the “To” box, as all email addresses will be visible to all subscribers. Instead use the “BCC” or better still send through email marketing software.

2.Cut through with your subject line

E Newsletters cop a bit of flack for being lost in a sea of email. It’s a fair point too. That’s why you need to ensure your subject line connects with your subscribers:

  • Keep it brief, too many words will get cut off.
  • “What’s in it for me?” Highlight the most exciting reason why your subscriber should open the email.
  • Think about your inbox; What gets instantly deleted? What gets opened? Why?
  • Mix it up; call out your promotion, ask a question, highlight brands.
  • Introduce your newsletter at launch “The Monthly Hoot: Launch Issue”.

3. Create a template that is easy to use

Set up a template whether in Word or using EMS and aim to use that template every month with minimal changes. This builds consistency and helps give a professional look.

4.Balance the content

You want to get opened, get read, be clicked and be shared! This can’t be achieved with just one type of content:

  • A personal message, aim to have a short message from the business owner or the nominated voice of the business. They should wrap up what’s been going on and what subscribers should look out for in the newsletter.
  • Recap the month; share a post from Facebook that got people talking, perhaps include a paragraph of the best blog post for the month and a link to read more
  • Feature a reader of the month, product of the month or special of the month
  • Add some value to newsletter by adding an educational article, a humours anecdote, a recipe, a local restaurant review. Something readers look forward to every month that is more than just a plug for your business.
  • Run promotions, competitions, special offers sometimes. Not every time.
  • Use a variety of methods and learn from what works best with your subscribers.
  • Open it up to subscribers to supply content. Content co creation can be a great way to foster valuable connections.

5.Send at the right time

Based on your business type, establish the best time to send:

  • Mainly Business Customers? Usually around 3pm Tue-Thurs is a good time.
  • Mainly WAHers? Try after 7pm on a weeknight.
  • Is your business focussed on the weekend? Thursday 3pm – Friday 3pm

6.Encourage sharing

  • Create content that people just have to share. Added value and co-created content will be especially popular.
  • Make your email easy to forward. Use a “Forward to a Friend” form in your EMS or simply add “If you enjoyed this issue, please forward it to a friend” at the end.
  • Run competitions via the newsletter that use “Refer a Friend” for more entries into the draw.

7.Check your stats

Most effective tracking will come from using EMS, as you will be able to analyse your open rate, click-through and your shares. You may also be able to look at the most popular time of day your email was opened.

  • Use your stats to learn what your subscriber base is really looking for in your newsletter.

Start today by committing to a monthly newsletter for your business and pick a date to send out your newsletter every month (e.g last Wednesday of the month). Consider writing a plan for the next 3 months of what you will feature in each newsletter, so you are not overwhelmed as each month rolls around. Monitor the success of each newsletter, compare the results and uncover the best formula for your E Newsletter Success.

Using E Mail Marketing Software

Just before we wrap up, one last word on EMS. Although we guided you through our 7 Steps to E Newsletter Success, with the choice of using EMS or going it alone, we must stress our advice is to use it!

EMS allows you to:

  • Manage your database subscribers and unsubscribers easily, professionally and most important of all, in accordance to anti spam law.
  • Create a template to use for each mail out that is professional, structured and can manage technical requirements like including plain text elements to not get misread by spam filters.
  • Create ease of sharing with “Forward to a Friend” forms.
  • Create ease of sign up with links on your website and social media being directed to a form that automatically updates your mailing list and validates the subscriber.
  • Personalise your newsletter, so you can send 1,000 emails with one click, yet each recipient can be addressed by their first name.
  • Easily analyse your statistics to make changes and increase effectiveness of your newsletter.
  • Do all this for free (within limits) – check out Mail Chimp and Send Blaster.

Have you launched an email newsletter yet? What you would consider changing after reading this?

If you are procrastinating about it, contact us and we can help you with a plan to launch your businesses email newsletter.

Until next week E is for E Mail Marketing and for … (no really it is, click to find out)

Mary-Anne

Wise Up Marketing

Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


The Decision Making Process of the New Consumer

What did we do before Google, Facebook, Twitter, Trip Advisor, You Tube and everything in between?

The ability to research has become quicker and easier than ever before. As consumers we are presented with not only an increase in information, but also the falling away of geographical barriers to purchase.

The new consumer is influenced less by what they are told and more by what they uncover. This post will look at the decision making process of the new consumer and how to use the internet and social media to connect from awareness to purchase and beyond.

Traditional Decision Making Process

Marketing theory has traditionally painted the consumer decision making process to move through 5 stages, with strategies to maximise the opportunity to attract and maintain the consumer through each stage. The process has looked something like this:

  1. Need recognition. When the consumer feels they have an unsatisfied need, this creates a motive to act.
  2. Identification of alternatives. Consumer research begins; this might include different categories to fulfil their needs as well as different brands or providers.
  3. Evaluation of alternatives. The consumer compares their options; they might seek out offers, opinions of friends, relatives and respected bodies.
  4. Purchase decision. With the decision made on what to buy, the consumer will now make a series of small decisions including where, when and how, until the actual purchase is made.
  5. Post-purchase behaviour. The consumer will either be satisfied or dissatisfied with their purchase.

Think back to the late 90’s when the humble DVD player launched. Your decision making process went something like this:

  1. Need Recognition: Saw an ad on TV or in the newspaper about DVD players and how the quality of DVD is far superior to that of Video. Thought about never having to rewind a video again, this motivated you to learn more.
  2. Identification of Alternatives: Looked at catalogues and at Harvey Norman and found out there were two brands you could choose from.
  3. Evaluation of Alternatives: Talked to friends who had bought a DVD player about what brand they got and what they thought, talked to a few salesman about the different brands, read an article in Choice magazine.
  4. Purchase Decision: After deciding to buy a Panasonic DVD Player, you reviewed the newspaper and catalogues and decided to go to Harvey Norman on Sunday and buy their advertised deal.
  5. Post-purchase behaviour: You watched your first DVD that you hired and felt satisfied that you just eject it and return it.

The Online Effect

Fast forward to the year 2010 and you hear some buzz about a new personal computer called an iPad. Let’s review the decision making process:

  1. Need Recognition: You saw Steve Jobs on the news talking about the iPad, your friend also sent you an email with a You Tube clip of a leaked iPad, your friends are debating on Facebook which store they will camp at for an iPad,
    iPad is trending #1 on Twitter. The hype is getting to you and you can’t imagine not being able to have your photos, music and apps for business everywhere you go.
  2. Identification and Evaluation of Alternatives: You go on the Apple website and read about the different sizes available and that you can also choose to have Wi-Fi compatibility. You don’t even consider any other brand as you are an Apple devotee. You check out blogs in the US of those who got an iPad on pre release, read reviews on how much space you might need, you sign up to Optus and Telstra to find out what their data plans are. You sign up to Apple to be notified when they are releasing the iPad.
  3. Purchase Decision: You order your iPad online and it gets delivered to you on the day it launches. You get the 32GB with Wi-Fi.
  4. Post-purchase behaviour: You sit on the couch and update your status on Facebook to say how in love you are with your iPad, you Tweet that you can’t work out how to get your wireless printer working and post on an Apple Forum how your iPad has completed your world.

With the increase of information, we see the identification and evaluation of alternatives merging into one step; they are done concurrently as the consumer gathers information from multiple sources.

How to win the New Consumer Over

I love this illustration from Orbital Alliance: I look at it to draw ideas for marketing to the new consumer. I see this as the new consumer decision process; the online stratosphere has increased the information available to consumers. The inputs are greater than ever before and (literally) at their fingertips.

My tips for maximising your connection with the new consumer

  1. Increase Awareness
    1. Optimise to be seen in search results
    2. Use social media to create a brand name
    3. Use pay-per-click advertising to get in front of your consumer
    4. Advertise in popular newsletters of complementary businesses
  2. Maximise your Consideration
    1. Make your homepage work harder (you only have seconds to convince them to stay)
    2. Use a blog so your consumer can get to know you better
    3. Make your offers clear and easy to understand
    4. Use press releases to ensure there is hype about your product on multiple platforms
  3. Convert to Sales
    1. Offer service that your competitors don’t (or can’t)
    2. Reward regular purchases
    3. Add value (don’t just try to cut the price)
  4. Compel to share
    1. Asks for reviews and recommendations
    2. Use Social Media to thank major customers

The new consumer is just like you, they have changed a lot in the last 10-20 years. Don’t lose sight of how differently you make your decisions as a consumer and make sure you are adapting your business approach.

How has your business evolved to maximise the new consumer? Our Website Effectiveness Audit gives a third-party review of your website and helps you ensure you are maximising awareness and consideration to help you
convert sales. Click this link for more information – Package Info

Until next week, D is for Decision Making and also for … the coolest Alphabet Book that I just bought for my son’s birthday

Mary-Anne

Wise Up Marketing Solutions


Get Competitive with your Competitors

Competitors are the concern of all businesses, no matter their size. Too often we wait until sales have dropped unexpectedly or enquires are down until we look at what the competition are doing. In this post we will discuss how to get competitive with your competitors, to ensure you stay at the front of the pack and connect with your target market.

How to Identify your Competitors

When we ask our clients who they see as their competitors, they always have a list of 3 or 4 businesses offering the same or similar product or service. When we do our competitive analysis as part of our Mini Marketing plan, we generally find quite a few more.

Why the difference? As a business owner, when you look for competitors you tend to think as a business owner. “My business is selling flowers online. What other major online florists are there?” When we identify competitors for a client, we
think like a consumer “My mum’s birthday is coming up, what could I get delivered to her?” All of a sudden we find fruit baskets, chocolate hampers and gift vouchers as competitors for our online florist.

We see most businesses as having two types of competition:

Direct Competitors

These are the companies offering the same or similar product or service. These are our most obvious competitors, but not always our biggest. E.g. Gilette vs Schick Razor, Cornflakes vs Weet Bix, Channel 7 vs Channel 10 etc

Indirect Competitors

These are the substitutes for our type of product or service. These are not always as obvious and are where we need to think like our consumer and understand the options available to them. E.g. Razors vs Wax Strips, Cereal vs Toast, TV vs
watching a DVD etc

So to identify your competitors, consider the substitute categories too and you will have a more complete idea of who your competitors are.

Update your Market Analysis

Many businesses start off with a Business Plan or a Marketing Plan or some points in a notebook on how they could turn their hobby into an income stream. As part of this planning process, formally or not, we tend to do a Market Analysis.

We ask ourselves:

  • Where does my offer sit in the market?
  • Is there demand for it?
  • Are there competitors? Are they doing a good job?
  • Is the market saturated with offers or is it fairly open for a new entrant?
  • Is that market a good size or is it small and niche?
  • What are consumers willing to pay?
  • What is my competitive advantage?

We do a fairly thorough job in attempting to answer those questions. We launch our business and we rarely reassess. When we ask our clients who they see as their competition, they stop and think, they even do
some fresh research and overwhelmingly we hear “Wow! Now that I’m looking I’ve noticed a few more have popped up”.

We recommend a scheduled maintenance program (just like servicing your car)

Competitor Analysis Schedule

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

Just like when you launched and took share from other players, new businesses are launching all the time and a few are after your piece of the pie, these competitors want to take your consumers and make them their own.

If you follow our scheduled maintenance program above, we are sure your top 5 list of competitors will be constantly changing and we are sure you will find new entrants that look and sound surprisingly (and frustratingly)
like they are trying to be you!

It’s a compliment really; they are competing with you because you are on their top 5 list. Your business is being perceived as successful, credible and desirable and so you are a threat.

The best way to get even is to be even better at what you do. With our scheduled maintenance program, every month you are going to review your top 5 competitors and as part of that you should look at:

  • What part/s of their offer is stronger than yours?
  • What part/s of their offer is weaker than yours?
  • How are they promoting?
  • How many touch point’s they have? E.g. Website, Storefront, Blog, Twitter, Facebook Page, Newsletter
  • How you can stay up to date with their touch points E.g. Subscribe, Like, Follow, Visit

Then take that information and learn from it. Learn how to put your own spin on what you see as working well for the competition. For example, if you are an online florist and a competitor has just put up a section on what flower for what occasion, think how you could implement a similar page, but in a way that it reflects your brand and its communication style.

Competing with your competitors requires you to invest time in monitoring the competition regularly. At a minimum, aim to do the annual review – you’ll be glad you did! We offer a thorough competitive review a part of our Mini Marketing Plan package and sometimes it really works to have an outsider look in with a fresh perspective. Get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Until next week C is for Competition and also for creativity.


How to Brand for Success

What is a BrandYou know the importance of brands, you see them in your everyday life however, do you realise how years of exposure and experience have built up your perceptions of those brands and have shaped the interactions you choose to have with them? This post will give you a greater understanding of what a brand is and how you can brand your business for success.

What is a Brand

A brand is the combination of tangible and intangible benefits that work together to create a value. That value is known as brand equity. Your brand encompasses your name, logo, colour and sounds. It distinguishes you from the competition and when successfully executed will foster positive connections to your consumer.

Brand Perception

Every time you see, hear, touch, smell or taste a brand, you are forming opinions and as those opinions are processed, you develop brand perceptions. Put simply, brand perception is how favourable or unfavourable a consumer feels about a brand at any point in time. Brand perceptions are constantly shifting; think of your experiences from being a child to now, how has your brand perception of McDonalds changed? As a child you probably felt it was the best place to go for lunch, as you got older you started to feel differently. You formed different opinions about the McDonalds brand and your perceptions evolved meaning you might not connect with the brand like you once did.

Building a Brand

Building a brand is not a short term strategy. To be successful, brands need a balance between time and investment to grow; limited time and high investment is one strategy but for most of us starting out we build our brand with limited investment and so we need to appreciate that it will take time.

With limited investment word of mouth becomes the most cost effective way of building a brand. The more people are talking about you positively, the more desirable your brand will become. Social Media has increased the simplicity of maximising word of mouth promotion, but don’t get caught up in the numbers game. Having 3,000 “likers” on Facebook means little unless they liked you to connect with your brand, not just to win a prize or to get a like back on their own page.

Just as people invest in property to build equity from its increase in value, we aim to build equity in our brand to increase its value to our consumers.  The equity comes from perceptions of trust, quality, reliability and value for money. As these
perceptions grow in our brands favour, so too does the value of our brand. The more valuable your brand is perceived as being, the more desirable it is to your consumers as your brand equity increases so too will demand.

How to Brand

5 Brand Strategy Truths

1. Stand For Something

What to name a new business seems to be one of the most widely debated topics during the start up phase, with everyone having an opinion and the business owner struggling to make what seems like the most critical decision. My advice is to take a breath and relax. Your brand name doesn’t need to be too clever, cute or catchy. Think about the brands you come in to contact with. The most traditional come from family names – Arnotts, Kelloggs, Myer while the modern seem to make no sense at first but over time they became familiar – Ikea, Apple, Nespresso. The most important factor for a brand is ensuring it stands for something, something you can explain and something that will make a connection to your customer, adding value.

2. Get To The Essence Of It

Brand Essence is a single statement that defines what your brand stands for. The Brand Essence will guide everything you do, from what you sell, to how you promote, to the tone of every message you send out. The Brand Essence will become the reason why consumers choose you instead of the competition. Crafting a unique, inspiring and motivating Brand Essence will engage your consumers and create loyalists. Your brand essence, if succinct, can become your tagline complementing your brand name and logo.

3.       Repeat Yourself, Repeat Yourself, Repeat Yourself

We all know that the more times our brand is seen the greater recall it will have. After all repetition goes a long way to developing memory (remember learning your times tables – we recited the same lines over and over again until we could sing automatically “3 times 5 is 15, 4 x 5 is 20”, along with some mumbling here and there). Brand everything you can. Anything that leaves your desk should leave with a brand on it, as every product is a mini advertisement for your business. If you make a product, ensure you attach a label with your brand on it (and your website if it will fit). If you import a product put a label on it “distributed by” with your brand. Develop a digital signature so every email goes out with your brand name and how to find you. Repeat it enough times and it will start to be remembered.

4.       Consistency Is Critical

Brand is King. All Hail the King. We must worship our brand identity and pay our respect to our brand with consistency. This means your logo should present the same across your business cards, website, flyers and beyond. Further than that, if you use a tagline then you need to consider when you will use it. It may not be practical to always use it, but as long as you keep it consistent e.g. always on printed materials, but not on your product you will still be maintaining consistency.  Develop a short brand identity guide and send it with your logo if someone else has requested to use it. Have your designer give you a version of your logo on a black background and one on a white background. Stipulate in your brand identity guide when to use each so external parties know what to do if your logo won’t work on their very dark website

5.       Brands can Evolve

In most big organisations, every 12 – 18 months they research the market and get a read on how their consumers feel about their brand. They compare this to the previous year and to the competition and create strategies to exploit their strengths and defend any weaknesses. This can mean a tweak to the logo to appear more modern, a change to the tagline to reflect a new brand essence or an update to the product mix to be more competitive, and so thereby evolving the
brand. Many small businesses worry about making changes to their brand, but it is important to remember that brand evolution is natural and is a sign you are shifting to remain competitive. Generally I would say any small change is
survivable. You can change an element of your business name but not all. Aim to think big at the beginning – will Julia’s Gifts for Girls service your business long term? Or are you better starting as Julia’s Precious Presents with a tagline “Girly gifts to treasure” that could evolve to “gorgeous gifts to treasure” if you decided to add toys for boys.

How to brand your business will depend of course on the unique factors such as your target market, your competitive environment and your offering. Get in touch today and tell us about your business and we can work with you on strategies to increase your brand equity or have a look at our current packages.

Until next week, B is for Brand and also for vanity.

Mary-Anne

Wise Up Marketing Solutions


%d bloggers like this: