Holiday Marketing

Posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Holiday Marketing

 

Holidays are major players when it comes to marketing. Typically, there are big sales that are associated with each holiday that provides marketers with the opportunity to up their game in order to avoid getting caught in the shuffle.

Firework display over downtown Houston
Firework display over downtown Houston

 

We have compiled a list of the best tips and tricks to make your campaign stand apart from the rest.

 

Use What Makes You Different

 

When it comes to marketing, unless you are a major corporation, competing with the Coca Colas of the world is going to be a hard feat. We suggest focusing on marketing your niche products to a highly targeted audience. This will eliminate spending your marketing budget on reaching people who will not give you the ROI you need. Targeting your audience will help you create a detailed campaign that will result in leads and sales.

 

If you’re a smaller company, emphasize that each of your customers will get a unique shopping experience with exceptional customer service. When they come to your business, they are an individual and not just another number.

 

Promote, Promote, Promote!

 

During any holiday, people are being flooded with an astounding amount of information. They’re getting emails, advertisements and announcements in their inbox and on their newsfeed. If you want to reach them, you must promote your sale or special as often as possible.

 

Social media is a great tool that you can use to promote any sale, and most of the features are free. Change your Facebook or Twitter profile covers with an interesting graphic that will show off the sale. You can also create Facebook events and use a hashtag campaign to connect with other users!

 

Track Your Efforts

 

Make sure all of your marketing efforts are traceable! The goal of any marketing campaign is to be able to see which of your efforts work and filter out the ones that do not for your next year’s campaign.

 

Holiday marketing can be a great tool for success if you focus on your company’s individuality, promote through your online and traditional platforms, and track results!

 

Holiday Marketing

Posted on November 13th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Holiday Marketing

The holidays are here and marketing is spreading the cheer. Everywhere you look during the holidays, businesses get into the spirit and change up their traditional marketing to a more spirited campaign. Here are a few tips to follow to get you through the festivities.

 

Prepare your website

If you sell popular items on your website, prepare the system for the heavy traffic flow that is to come. The last thing you want is for your site to crash! Test your website often leading up to your big-rush sales.

 

Log onto social media

Use social media to get your items out there. People will be surfing on sites like Pinterest looking for the perfect gift. Here is a list of ways to get your social media ready for the holidays.

 

Offer perks

‘Tis the Season for sales and free shipping! Nothing excites customers more than scoring a great deal. The holidays are the perfect time to roll out a discount campaign to get business in the door. Run a social media campaign where your customers can win a gift card. Be creative with the promotion, make it  fun and interactive, your customers will enjoy!

 

Spread the cheer

If your company is giving back this year, let your customers know about your gift of giving. If it is something they are also passionate about, it is possible they will spread the news of what you’re doing. There is no better marketing than word of mouth. If you’re donating to a local toy drive, such as Toys for Tots, let them know the locations so they can donate too.

 

Be on time

When strategizing for your promotions, go simple and stick with the holidays occurring at the present time. People like to enjoy the celebrations and stretch the holidays as long as possible.

 

Remember that not everything has to change; your usual methods of marketing will still work. But by adding a little holiday cheer, you will ensure your customers get into the spirit.

 

 

Are you using Google+?

Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Are you using Google+ ?

If you haven’t heard, the latest movement hitting the social networking world is Google+. The networking service was created in 2011 but is just now gaining the title of the “next big thing” in the digital world. In early 2013, Google+ had close to 360 million active users and is projected to grow even more. If you are not on Google+, here is why you should be.

Circles

You can place people into different circles and manage who sees what. You are able to converse with each group on separate topics, making your engagement more personal. In your business you might have certain messages to relay to different target audiences, and this feature allows you to do so without posting a one-for-all message.

Communities

Imagine a place that allows you to interact and meet people whom all share the same interests; communities does just that. It connects users with others who are posting about the same topic. You can use this to benefit your business by reaching out to those who already show an interest in what you are offering. You can also plan events within this feature, making it easy to send out invites to just the right people.

Hangouts

Hangouts are where you can catch up with your followers/friends with video, voice calls or share photos. You can have up to a 10-person conference call from all around the world (for free), and share photos and emojis in your conversation. Another great thing about the video aspect is you can pre-record your videos to post to the web at a later time.

Bonus

Since Google is the creator, your business’s Google+ profile will always pop-up on the top right of the search results.

With the unique features offered, it is no wonder it has millions of users and is the next big thing! Google is creating a new way of communicating with its easy-to-use, engaging social networking site. Now is the time to join, the media buzz surrounding the site is bound to draw in many more users.

Public Relations Tactics: Old and New

Posted on September 18th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Public Relations Tactics: Old and New

Public Relations is a strategic management function used by many businesses to accomplish their goals and follow their vision. PR professionals use many platforms to reach their target publics. Some fall under the traditional route and some are in the digital world.

 

Traditional PR

 

Traditional PR is all about the basics, press releases, email pitches and making phone calls to pitch a story.

  • A press release is a written news story sent to the media in hopes that they will run in it on air, in a newspaper or on the radio. Your press release should be news worthy and interesting to captivate your public’s attention.
  • An email pitch is an email that you write and send to a journalist or reporter pitching your story. It can include nice images to catch the journalist’s attention. Be short and to the point and write a great pitch, journalists may have hundreds of emails to read.
  • Phone calls to pitch a story are very personal. The extra attention may make a difference in your story getting picked up. Prepare what you want to say beforehand and practice out-loud.

 

Social PR

 

Social PR works in the digital world. It is all about engaging your publics through social networking and online blogging.

  • Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great outlets that make it easy to reach your target audience. Keep your postings relevant to what your publics want to read and straight to the point.
  • Blogging is becoming a popular way for PR pro’s to stay interactive communicating with their publics. Write something useful, it will keep your readers coming back for more.

 

When deciding which outlet to use for your business, it is important to take your business’s goals into consideration. The mixture of both practices is a great way to keep your business in the loop online and maintain personal relationships with the media.

 

Maintaining A Relevant Blog On Your Website in Important

Posted on September 11th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Blogging relevant, professional, quality and currant content is highly successful on attracting followers through (and to) one’s website. Today people have so many apps, social media, blogs and company or brands to keep up with in addition to maintain their own personal pages.

 

Why Do Blogs Matter?

 

Maintaining a blog regularly offers many benefits including attracting new leads, usable content quickly and allows you to drive traffic to your website via social media. They are also extremely useful SEO tools. If you want to be on the top in Google, updating a blog regularly will help achieve this.

 

How Do You Keep Their Attention?

 

After carefully planning out what you want your blog to say, keeping people interested long enough to read it can be difficult. These tips will help make your blog more exciting:

 

Images – Adding Images will keep users interested

 

Content – Make sure the content you are writing about relates to your company. If people are on your site, they are already interested in what you do.

 

Hyperlinks – Links your content to different pages throughout your website. This will help keep customers on your page longer.

 

Where Should You Post It?

 

Keeping your blog relevant is more work than writing great content and posting it. Blogging is a way to drive traffic to your website, therefore it should be shared on all social media platforms that you use with a fun status in order to grab a reader’s attention.

 

Updating your blog regularly will ensure that you stay current, are constantly providing customer’s with new content and will help you find new leads.

Intern Spotlight: Stephanie Laucho

Posted on August 14th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Stephanie Laucho has been a wonderful addition to The REFUGE Group team over the past couple of months. Consistently improving and putting forth her best effort on a daily basis, Stephanie was determined to learn as much as possible.

Social Media Super Hero

 

Stephanie Laucho

Our clients’ social media pages felt the impact of Stephanie’s superb work while at The REFUGE Group. We quickly noticed increased engagement and new fans and followers once she learned the ropes. Once she learned what is appropriate to post, what prompts engagement and the idiosyncrasies between posting on different social media sites she soared higher and higher. Engagement increased on many of our clients’ social media sites under Stephanie’s command.

 

Analyzing Reports

 

Stephanie began to appreciate the usefulness of report analysis from the start. She learned that reports should be created and analyzed on a weekly basis in order to determine what type of posts tend to increase engagement and which ones do not. It is also a way to conduct marketing research because you have an idea of who is your audience. As Stephanie analyzed these weekly and monthly reports, she altered her posts accordingly, which as noted earlier, were a great success.

 

Blogs

 

Over time, Stephanie learned how to write in the casual writing style used in a blog and support her thoughts with credible sources, often with the use of hyperlinks. The complexity of her writing also improved as she discovered words to avoid and began to treasure the thesaurus as many bloggers do, myself included.

 

We will certainly miss having Stephanie as part of the team and appreciate all the hard work she did during her summer internship. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors and hope she keeps in touch.

How to Succeed on Your Marketing Budget

Posted on July 17th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Marketing StrategyDeciding how much money to spend on your marketing plan is essential. Your main goal is to invest in productive marketing strategies that will bring your business the biggest ROI. You need to establish a marketing budget before diving into your business marketing goals for the next year. Having an estimate on how much money your company is willing to spend will help you decide what marketing efforts to use. After creating your estimated budget, then it is necessary to narrow it down to the essentials and what you can realistically afford.

 

Understand Your Business

 

Determining if your business is financially stable is critical. Overspending becomes a serious issue if you are not paying attention to your financials. According to Forbes, a realistic marketing budget should focus on income exceeding expenses, rather than the total incoming revenue.

 

Splitting the Budget

 

Once the marketing budget is set up, it is time to plan how and where to spend the money. Consider the size of your budget, your current projects, and additional marketing channels that will attract new customers.

 

If both your business and budget are small, choosing the most effective resources is the key to your success. SEO, pay per click, email marketing, social media, public relations and direct mail marketing will garner positive results without a huge monetary investment comparatively speaking. Click here to learn which forms of marketing attribute to negative results.

 

A Continuous Effort

 

Tracking your marketing plan in order to understand what is (or is not) working will help reduce the amount of money wasted. If you choose to use pay per click advertising and see insignificant results, consider changing it and choosing a better form of advertising like Facebook or Twitter advertising.

 

Planning your marketing budget effectively will help your business avoid overspending. Keep in mind, when deciding what marketing strategy to use; ultimately your customer’s needs must be met to ensure success.

Lead Generation

Posted on July 10th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Finding leads is manageable, but peaking their interest and maintaining it in regard to your brand proves to be a challenge. Today, buyers have the ability to do their own research before deciding what they want to purchase. With the popularity of the Internet, their resources are unlimited. A new generation of consumers means that businesses need to be increasingly innovative and unique through their online presence in order to find customers that will see the value in your products and/or services.

 

The new era of educated consumers can actually benefit your business given the right exposure. The question becomes, how do you make your business stand out with a sea of competitors?

 

Make the Customer Aware

 

Building and maintaining an easy-to-use website that spurs consumer interaction should be priority number one. Consumers decide whether they want to invest in your business by browsing a web page, meaning this is an opportunity to convert casual Internet browsers to leads. Excite the audience by offering coupons, appealing information, and creative layout. Remember, the purpose is for the target market to become a customer, and a repeat customer at that.

 

Strategically Advertise

 

It is important that you place advertisements where maximum exposure is guaranteed. Websites related to your product, or pages that you think potential leads would spend time on are ideal for ad placement. Social media and blogs will also allow you attract the right audience. Selecting the right medium for advertising is crucial when building brand awareness.

 

Events Expand Exposure

 

Hosting events is an important part of acquiring leads. They afford you the opportunity to establish personal connections with potential customers that might have been overlooked through website and advertising. Compelling people to attend an event can be done via social media or local media websites like houstonpress.com

 

Moving  leads through the sales cycle can be achieved by effectively managing those possible clients.  Using websites, strategically advertising and hosting events are other tools to attract and retain potential customers. To learn more about this click here.

 

Increase Online Interest in Your Small Business

Posted on July 3rd, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Websites are a dominant marketing tool in business in recent years compared to the 1990’s due to an increase in new businesses and the increased Internet usage by consumers, according to Creative Market. Most businesses create a website to expose their products, engage with consumers and create awareness. As a result, one of the maincomponents on which businesses compete is achieving the most website traffic. But this is not as easy as it sounds when there are a lot of competitors doing the same thing.

 

Attention-grabber websites are ones that study their target market and know the optimal tools to attract old and new customers. In order to achieve this there are a number of ways to market your website and increase traffic.

 

Create a Social Media Presence

 

Social media rapidly changed the world in terms of the way in which we communicate with each other. It is one of the most effective tools to achieve engagement with new or existing followers. The strategic use of social media is essential for your business’ image. In order to bring in new customers, increase sales and provide a customer-business relationship it is important to engage the public by sharing interesting and exciting content. How? It is not easy. Businesses need to encourage people to talk about their content and interact with it to create a sense of loyalty. People like to be involved in discussions that are relevant to their products and services. One of the main purposes is to let your audience know that you care about their wants and needs. Engaging your fans with your brand through rewards, offers or creative fan-initiatives are a few of the successful ways in which your business can create better communication with consumers. For further information click here.

 

Advertise Worldwide with Google

 

Google ads help your business to increase sales, leads and new customers. A powerful tool that helps businesses gain exposure. Google Adwords runs advertisements that show up at the top of search results related to your target market. Make sure you have your website prepared to encourage engagement. Finding the right keywords is the key to success. Google’s keyword tool will help you find the most popular keywords and the keywords your competition is using.

 

Don’t Forget to Test

 

Even though these tools work well, businesses should test their progress. This way you will know what activities are successful with your target market.

 

Millennial Marketing

Posted on June 28th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

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The Millennial Generation is “the most talked-about, researched, marketed-to generation ever,” according to Melissa Lavigne-Delville, Vice President of Strategic Insights and Culture Education at NBCUniversal. Presently, small businesses must focus on real-time content and deliver a big impact upon consumers in the Millennials’ world of social media and digital devices. It is becoming harder and harder to stay relevant for modern businesses, so we’ll offer a few tips to success at marketing to the Millennials.

 

Keep on Talking

 

Your business has the opportunity to connect with customers on a whole new and faster level through online real-time interaction. Social media is a great way for businesses to reach personally and emotionally on tablets, smartphones and computers at all times.

 

Social media is a double-edged sword.  When a consumer comments on your business’ Facebook page, asks you a question on Twitter or emails you, then they expect a fast response. Your business must deliver at the sake of hurting their image as a prevalent business.

 

Leverage the Data

 

It is now possible to analyze real-time data, such as “retweets” and “likes” and use it to evaluate information at an astounding rate. By doing so, you can find your business’ place in the conversation and stay culturally relevant. For instance, “If you’re selling autos, you might be tracking how many times you generate a test drive in a dealership,” remarks Jay Palter, a content marketing strategist and personal brand. Read more here.

 

#Profit

 
Gaining followers, friends and “likes” is only important in the long run if it somehow affects your business’ ROI. We can now see how people got to a website and what they went on to do online afterwards. If we can quantify that, then we can we can measure it against our goals. The key is to develop a clear social media campaign with specific objectives, maintain an online presence and target your actions according to the results!

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