Showing posts with label small business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label small business. Show all posts

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Creating Social Marketing That's Actually Social

Image courtesy of
Creating Social Marketing That's Actually Social

The above blog post by Ryan Darby and Jake Herway explores why businesses don't succeed on social media and how to get better results.  It may sound like SOCMED 101 but we all need a refresher on the fundamentals every now and then.

Ryan and Jake report businesses doing the best with their social outreach:

  • Set unambiguous expectations on why they are on social media.  They have not blindly wandered into the social media space nor are they there to do everything.  They go for a clearly defined business purpose - it could be to sell, provide customer service, tap the mood of the market or simply share information.
  • Engage the engaged.  Rather than going for volume they go for quality.  They use social media to reach out to those who already understand or like what they do, keep them informed and encourage them to spread the word to their networks.

  • And they are simply social.  They appreciate social media was born to connect people to family and friends.  So they share and converse, and scrupulously avoid blatant advertising.  

They get it and instinctively know command and control communications and banging a broadcasting drum don't work in this space. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Content Marketing for Smaller Players

I've been in the US in recent weeks, so it's some time since my last post.  So let's start back with something good.

My Canadian colleague Martin Waxman recently gave a presentation on content marketing, storytelling and start-ups.  Here's Martin's simple but very effective approach.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pizza Partnership Hits 10 Years

My friend Scott Anthony owns a Pizza Shop in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and holds an annual fund raiser for the local  fire department.

Scott donates the proceeds of all pizza sales one day each year to the Punxsutawney Fire Department.  Last year his efforts raised $30,000.

He has now been doing this for 10 years and everyone benefits.  The fire company receives much needed donations for new equipment, pizza buyers make a contribution to essential services in their community and Scott gets tons of positive media attention which puts him top of mind with customers when they think about takeaway food.

That's a triple win situation, so congratulations Scott on the 10 year anniversary of this innovative business idea.  


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Get Content Get Customers: Book Review

Get Content Get Customers: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett
‘Content is king’ is an old marketing maxim.  According to US authors Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett, content is now the undisputed monarch when it comes to successful marketing.

With so much choice and so little difference between many product and service offerings, the best way to engage and keep customers is to give them valuable information that will enrich their experience with your organisation.

Internet-savy customers look everywhere for information before making their buying decisions.  Selling to them has become more difficult and traditional media channels are less influential.  Pulizzi and Barrett are urging companies to take advantage of new digital technologies to become their own publishing houses and deliver high quality editorial content to the people who matter most – clients and customers. In over 250 pages of delightfully simple to understand language they show the reader how to develop and follow through on a content marketing mindset.

A content-based approach starts with knowing what customers want, similar to traditional marketing.  Who are my customers and what do they need from my product now and in the long-term?  What and when is the best way to engage them are questions that demand better answers than merely reaching in the bottom drawer for another tired advertising schedule. In today’s environment it is totally about ‘them, not me and you.’

Pulizzi and Barrett identify how companies can deliver information straight to customers.  Their communications menu includes websites, on-line forums, social media, e-books, white papers, webcasts, digital magazines, blogs, podcasts, videos, road shows and face to face contact.  Corporate magazines and newsletters get a new lease of life under a content marketing strategy and the authors identify 15 tips to repurpose information from a traditional company magazine to increase the return on investment on each story.  

One of the book’s real strengths is the 15 case studies showing companies in different industries using content marketing to drive sales and increase market share. They include a couple of Australian examples, a rare find in US marketing books. It seems Melbourne-based, website developer Bitemark is using content marketing to create leads and drive sales and giant American manufacturer has strengthened ties to Australian customers through a print and on-line program that bridges business cultures.

Marketing instinctively know the importance of credible information.  Get Content Get Customers shows how to develop that information and deliver it directly to customers to get short and long-term impact.   

Get the book because this is a worthwhile read.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sponsorship And Small Business

Small businesses often get approached for sponsorship, whether it is for the local sporting team, craft show or another business’s seminar. Although money is tighter this year, no doubt many of you will still be approached and in certain cases utilising sponsorship can be an effective marketing tactic.

Before you decide to be a sponsor consider the following:

Relevance for Your Customers

Choose sponsorships that are relevant to your brand or business and appeal to your current and potential customers. Try not to choose sponsorships that only interest you or a particular employee. It is no use sponsoring the local football team if the players or spectators are not your target market.

What Are You Getting for Your Sponsorship?

Make sure you discuss with the organisation or event organiser how you can maximise your sponsorship dollars and get in writing what exposure your business will receive.
Some questions to ask are:

• Where will my logo, brand or business name appear?
• How and how often will my logo, brand or business name appear?
• Is it an exclusive sponsorship or is it shared with other businesses?
• What additional benefits will I receive for my sponsorship?
• Insist on approving all material featuring your logo.
• What marketing activities are being done to promote the event and the sponsors?
• Will I have access to the customer database?

Check past Sponsorship Results

If there have been past sponsors, ask why they are no longer sponsoring the event or activity and if possible speak to the past sponsor. Although information may be confidential, see if you can access the results that have occurred from past sponsorship deals.

Cost Versus Benefit

Analyse the cost of your sponsorship versus the estimated results you want to achieve. Compare your sponsorship costs to other marketing tactic costs to determine if your money could be better spent on an alternative marketing tactic. For example, if you sponsor a luncheon how many leads do you hope to generate from the sponsorship? Would you generate more leads from a direct mail or email campaign to the same customer base?

Setting a Budget

Set a budget for how much you want to commit to sponsorship. Plan in advance what event, organisations etc you wish to sponsor for the year and stick to your plan.

Tracking Results

Tracking of sponsorship tactics is often difficult due to the wide audience they have the potential to reach. Some ways to track your sponsorship results include:

• Measuring the media exposure from the sponsorship eg. mention of the event and your sponsorship in the local newspaper, on the radio station etc
• New customers that have come from your sponsorship involvement eg. asking customers where they heard about you or undertaking market research which analyses customer recall of where they saw your brand or business name.

Sponsorship can be a great marketing tactic; however it is always wise to work out what it will do for your small business before you commit to spending your valuable marketing dollars.

(I came across the above article recently. I can't remember the author but I'd be very pleased to attribute it fully if it was you and you let me know).