Tag Archives: Consumer

How to Market a Small Business with a Small Budget

Starting a Small Business is an investment of time and money. As a small business owner, you invest large quantities of both and naturally you feel frustrated when the results don’t reflect what you’ve put in.

This post is a “How To”, giving you some ideas on making the most of your financial budget and time invested into your small business.

 

How to Advertise a Small Business

When you run a small business, you will find yourself inundated with advertising proposals. Every proposal that comes in promises you the earth and assures your investment will pay off in valuable sales or sales leads.

It can be hard to differentiate between the advertising requests you get. When it comes to weighing up a proposal, make sure you ask enough questions to assess if it’s right for you. At a minimum make sure you ask:

  1. How many people read the publication / browse the website?
  2. How are these figures compiled, are they externally audited? (i.e. are they real and trustworthy?)
  3. What is the age / gender / location breakdown? or
  4. Who is the age / gender / location target?

Compare the information you receive to your target market profile. Does the advertising fit your business? Does it closely target the consumers your product or service is aimed? Or does it cast a very wide net in which some of your consumers are present?

Estimating how many of your target market will view the advertisement helps you analyse the true value for money. You can work out the cost per view by dividing the cost by the estimated number of target consumers who will view the ad. For example; an investment of $1,000 to target 10,000 consumers costs us 10 cents per view, where as an investment of $100 that reaches 200 consumers costs us 50 cents per view.  Although the advertisement may reach a greater number of people, we are only interested in the cost per target consumer, as the rest is wastage for us.

How to drive PR for a Small Business

When you successfully drive PR for your small business, the benefits can far outweigh the time investment needed. With an increase of review websites, product and news blogs and traditional media branching into online spaces, there is more opportunity than ever before to get your product or service talked about.

Have a go at writing your own press release if you have the time or get it done professionally if you have the money. Send out your press release to every contact you can and don’t forget to hound your local paper – they need to be supporting small business in their area and that includes yours!

How to get the most out of your Website

We all pay attention to the colour scheme, the layout, the pages and the pictures, but often critical data such as the Title Tag and Meta Data which aren’t seen by browsers, but are read by search engines, are neglected.

Maximise the money you invest in your website by knowing how your target consumer searches, then ensure your content, title tag and meta data are all maximising these search strings, so your website screams at search engines “PICK ME! PICK ME!”

We run a Website Effectiveness Audit for $49.95 and this often diagnoses the key reasons why your website isn’t ranking in searches and bringing in the traffic you wanted it to. When your website is search optimised, it runs effectively and delivers you more profit against your initial investment.

How to get the most out of your Social Media

The biggest investment you will put into your Social Media is your time and when you start out that seems like something you have in volumes, but as your business grows, your time budget shrinks.

Limit the amount of time you spend on Social Media each day, as it can easily be a distraction from what your true business is. We recently read this great article on “Why Social Media is a Waste of  Time” and thought the tips for time maximisation here were fantastic.

Budget your Social Media time investment so it is split between:

  • Networking / Attracting New Consumers
  • Following Up on Enquiries
  • Sharing Valuable Content

There are great tools to help you manage content across multiple Social Media outlets at the one time, I personally love Hoot Suite to manage Facebook and my new Twitter  account simultaneously.

How to Ask for Help

Lastly, sometimes we need to admit we can’t do it all, whether it is because we are not qualified or we simply do not have enough time.

Paying an expert for a few hours of advice saves you time and money in the long run, rather than muddling through trying to learn and execute simultaneously. The more technical the problem, the more valuable the help will be.

Reach out to small businesses that can help your small business. There are a multitude of virtual assistant businesses that give you the support systems of working in a big business without the actual staff and spacing costs. Could someone else manage your Inbox? Could your Social Media content be executed on your behalf? Would you finally get that PR Campaign out if it could be printed and stuffed into envelopes for you?

Sometimes the best H word in Marketing is HELP!

Until next week H is for “How To” and for not being afraid to ask for help.

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


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


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


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