If you’re in marketing, you’ve already bypassed pumpkin spice lattes and are thinking about Christmas carols and decor. Holiday creep isn’t anything new, it’s here and it’s real, especially in the advertising world.
According to the National Retail Federation, retailers can stand to make up to 30% of their yearly sales just in the holiday shopping season. [i] With customers starting their seasonal research early, it pays to be ready and armed with a plan.
Here are some tips to get you going:
Tip #1 Retailers should have websites and resources ready by no later than October.
Why? Customers start researching holiday gifts as early as September.
Tip #2 Make sharing of information easy with in-store apps or email marketing.
Why? 44% of customers get ideas from family and friends.
Tip #3 Create a sales recommendation list.
Why? 54% of shoppers utilize recommendations from retailers.
Tip #4 Send limited time offers via email, SMS, or direct mail campaign.
Why? 48% of shoppers still make impulse purchases for themselves and others. [ii]
Happy holiday marketing!
[i] To Maximize Holiday Sales Start Planning Your Marketing Early, Entrepreneur Magazine Online, August 1st, 2017 https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/248165
[ii] National Retail Federation Holiday Planning Playbook July 2017, https://nrf.com/system/tdf/Documents/retail%20library/NRF%202017%20Holiday%20Planning%20Playbook.pdf?file=1&title=2017%20Retail%20Holiday%20Planning%20Playbook
5 Reasons Your Business Needs an App
1. Keeping up with the times
Successful businesses are no strangers to the benefits of mobile apps. According to data collected by Biznessapps, nearly half of small businesses are expected to adopt a mobile app by the end of 2017. Apps provide an innovative mobile experience for customers that can be as unique as your business.
2. Solidify your brand
When a business creates an app, they are investing in their brand by improving recognition. Even when users aren’t directly interacting with your app, they see the icon on their mobile device. This serves as a visual reminder of your company which can lead to more sales. Competitors are aware of this and the trend of mobile apps is still on the rise.
An app is open 24/7 which means customers can access your goods and services at any time. By learning more about users and their preferences through app activity, you can also better target your audience. Increasing efficiency and catering to consumer needs will make your customers happier!
4. Provide value to your customers
Apps are often designed with incentives for loyal customers. Discount codes or reward points are only one example of how a business can retain their customer base through an app. Making it easy to connect with your brand will also provide value.
Apps are created to make a customer’s life easier, make the customer happy, entertained or are usually a tool. All of these things add value to the customers life. In return, through incentives and small surveys/questionnaires on an app businesses can receive feedback on their service as well as help them better understand and target their future audience.
5. Engage with your customers
Mobile apps receive a higher level of engagement than regular websites. This is a perfect platform to promote products or services, highlight special deals, offer discounts etc. Push notifications and social media channels through your app also provide additional ways to interact with customers.
Whether you love it or hate it, these tips will make writing content easier and more effective.
1. As much as you don't want to, create outlines.
Creating outlines can be daunting, but they’re worth the time spent. Focus on these few questions when brainstorming about your future blog article.
2. Set deadlines and stick to them.
It's easy to lose track of time when writing. In your next session, record how long it actually takes you to complete a post. This will allow you to budget time effectively in the future and work on becoming more efficient. After you have a schedule, shave off a few minutes on each task to challenge yourself.
3. Write about what you know.
Deeply familiarize yourself with a topic to establish credibility with your audience and to provide valuable content. Readers aren't going to waste time on a post if it seems vague, confusing, or inaccurate. Explore online forums to see what topics your direct audience is curious about to create content that is filling a void.
4. Use action words.
Motivate readers to action by making it easy for them to follow through on suggestions. Avoid salesy language and always be clear and concise. Adding visual content to demonstrate actions can also increase chances of users heeding your advice.
5. Include data and statistics.
It's all about the numbers. Adding stats can help build credibility by supporting your writing with clear-cut facts. They also make great headlines. Grab a user’s attention with some eye-popping stats to increase chances of your post being read.
Now, set the timer and begin writing effectively!
Utilize SEO to Increase Blog Post Rankings
Applying these 5 effective tips to the back end of your website and written content will get your site noticed and increase search rankings.
First and foremost, be sure to write captivating headlines to attract readers attention. Next, format headlines for search engines using the <h1> header tag. This will improve your ranking over other headlines that only do one or the other.
2. Title Tags
Title tags are by far the most important element for SEO because they identify your topic and theme to the audience through HTML. Title tags are displayed in the search bar of your web browser and help users find your website through post relevancy. Make sure your title tags are not more than 55 characters or they will get cut off in search engine algorithms.
3. Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are a snapshot of text to entice users to click on your web link. Meta descriptions are shown in search results as a 160 character page summary of the webpage. Descriptions are just as important as titles; they both attract users and encourage them to click to action. Imagine this as an organic ad text for your business viewed by users.
Users need a way to find your posts, and the best way to help them do so is to create keyword enriched content. Keywords are words used to describe your business or products in a search engine. Including these words and phrases in your content can easily connect you with your audience. Do not mistake this for keyword stuffing, which is when titles, descriptions and page listings are filled with an excess amount of keywords to trick search algorithms. This dangerous practice will ultimately ruin your ranking because search algorithms will identify your page as spam.
Link new and old content posts to one another, along with product pages too! This will be helpful to users who are browsing for relevant content and encourage users to trust your business as a source.
The stats say it all... Having a mobile app can only benefit your business. Watch your brand grow once creating an app, we can help you do so!
Differentiate Your Business by Marketing to Women With These Tips
Even though the majority of household financial decisions are made by women, marketing campaigns tend to target men. By focusing advertising efforts on women, brands have an opportunity to create connections with an underutilized market.
According to a Forbes article, companies need to focus on ways to appeal to both genders, not just males. Women look for deeper connections, such as exceptional customer service and excellent quality of products. This means businesses need to highlight these strengths in their messaging. Customer service especially, remains a key element of sales.
Forbes states that storytelling is the most critical component for the success of nearly every brand. This method gives marketers the opportunity to differentiate themselves over competitors and create an emotional connection with buyers. This is especially important to e-commerce since most consumers do their shopping research and purchasing online.
By focusing marketing efforts on these key elements, brands can increase their appeal to women. This vital demographic could be key to increasing brand loyalty and sales.
Make sure your marketing efforts are adaptive to your customers. Find out how each social media platform can be utilized for your business to communicate with your target market.
Everyone and their moms are on social media, literally! The average user checks their phones 17x a day. If you are not utilizing social media, you are long overdue! But where do you start?
Social media can open the door to connecting with your customers. The way you communicate with customers on social media is a direct reflection of your brand. If your customers are highly engaged with your business online, that will help build a positive reputation and encourage brand loyalty.
The majority of Instagram users are millennials, are you reaching your desired target audience? Millennials are on the road to being the majority percent of consumers. Instagram is the highway to connect with these upcoming (and present) consuming market. Create a unique #hashtag and @handle that users can easily remember and want to share with their photos with.
Users are more likely to engage with video content. It is vital for your business to capitalize on videos in order to provide content your audience desires. Keep videos short and sweet! Consumers will be more likely to watch, and share your videos. A picture says a thousand words, but a video says a million.
It's that time again... #TopArticlesoftheWeek
1. Is your brand utilizing Snapchat?
See why Snapchat is worth the marketing effort here.
2. Resourceful Tools to Create Images for Social Media
3. Create your Social Media Marketing Plan
Make sure you are utilizing the social media platforms that matter most to your audience. Figure it out here.
4. Are you reaching your target market on Facebook?
Access the information you need here.
5. Do Facebook Campaigning Right
Check out these helpful tips on being successful with Facebook ads here.
Instagram Made Easy!
Tips to simplify and optimize your Instagram business profile
1. Don't forget the #hashtag
Even if you do, just go back and edit your post to add the hashtag in. As marketers, we all know it's all about the keywords.
2. It's all about timing
Between the hours of 9pm-8am are Instagram's most popular hours, therefore it would be most effective for your business to post during those times.
3. Share your Instagram photos on other social media platforms
Trust! We all know you are the World's Greatest Photographer. So when you post that amazing photo on Instagram, make sure to select to share it to Facebook and Twitter.
TIP: If you decide that you want to share a previous Instagram photo you posted, just click the "..." (3 dots) at the bottom of your image and click "Share". (Yes, it is that simple!)
4. There is such thing as bad publicity
If your business is tagged in a less than flattering photo, untag yourself! Social media is a way to present yourself and what your brand stands for. Don't build a bad reputation for yourself.
5. Utilize Instagram for the #filter
If you love an image but don't want to post it on Instagram, you can still utilize Instagrams filters. Here is the old trick of the wise: Set your phone on airplane mode and do your thing. When it comes time to post, it will save to your camera roll instead of posting on Instagram!
6. One filter to rule them all...
When in doubt, use the Mayfair filter. Users are more likely to interact and engage when you post an image with the Mayfair filter.
TIP: For the most engagement, stick with #nofilter.
If a user or comment is inappropriate, feel free to delete it! All you have to do is swipe left and you're set.
8. It's all about the #hashtag
Keywords are important in any context of marketing, hashtags are just another form of it! Make sure you are using the most popular hashtags to gain visibility and engagement.
Get to gram-ing!
Qinghua Lao & ERC team