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Include Videos in Your Online Marketing Campaigns

Francesca
November 30, 2015

If you spend any time on social media then you’ve probably noticed the increased amount of videos that are being shared, viewed, talked about, etc. It seems like all of the sudden video is taking over social media and we’re hearing some pretty serious statistics about its future, especially for businesses. By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. The play button is being called “the most compelling call-to-action on the web,” according to Andrew Angus.

For some compelling statistics on the state of video marketing, check out this infographic by HighQ.

While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by what might seem like another thing to add to our to-do list, making videos can be fun! You can easily shoot a video from any smart phone and upload it to social media within seconds. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Make it about the story, not the sale

While a majority of the videos you create may be intended to boost sales, that doesn’t need to be obvious to your consumers. There are several ways to build a story around your product without focusing on the sale. Some examples include:

  • Customer testimonials
    *These can range from quick 15 second videos to longer, more in-depth, 3-5 minute videos
  • Product demonstrations
  • DIY/How-to videos
  • Q&A with sales reps in-store

2. Short & Sweet

The best advice we can give to you about filming a video is that in most cases, the shorter the better. Try to keep videos shorter to truly capture a consumers attention and keep it throughout the span of the video. There has been an entire social media site, Vine, built around 6 second videos; not every video needs to be in-depth to prove it’s worth. Shooting a quick 5-7 second video that announces your new arrival of Christmas trees by showing the trees will be more engaging than a text post letting customers know about your new inventory. So why not give this a try?

3. Add a personal touch

This might be the easiest videos you can record and it’s one that might mean the most. Take a video of your team saying “thank you” to all of your customers, especially after a busy season. A “thank you” video would be great to post right after the holidays, thanking your customers for another successful holiday season; once again, setting yourself apart from the big box stores.

You can also film quick videos at events to post during or after the event. This can help to encourage additional attendees for future events and can also serve as as an opportunity to thank everyone for coming.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by videos, but the truth is, there is no right or wrong way to talk to your customers. You don’t need to invest in a lot of equipment and try to shoot a professional video every time you post, you really just need a smart phone to get started. A word of advice, don’t take yourself to seriously! Have fun with this new venture – and, as always, if you’re looking for ideas just ask your Marketing Specialist!

Preparing for the Holiday Season on Social Media

Francesca
September 30, 2015

This year has just completely flown by! It seems crazy to think the holidays are just about upon us, but ready or not, here they come! As you begin to prep your stores for the holiday season, it’s also important to prepare your social media pages as well.

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Social media plays a huge part in the holiday shopping season, in fact in the 2014 holiday shopping season 67% of shoppers purchased a gift they found on social media. When preparing for the holidays on social media, find a theme that matches your store and determine how to create content around that theme. This content may include photos, videos and posts to allow you to interact with customers on social media.

Use social media to showcase new products coming in to the store, upcoming sales and promotions, in-store displays and to show off products (come on, we should all be doing this!).

Here are a few action ideas to kick start the planning process:

  1. Store photos

Easily add a holiday theme to your social media channels by sharing photos of the store decorated for the holidays. This could be as simple as taking photos of holidays lights hung in the store or as creative as building a holiday tree with store items as ornaments.

  1. Gift ideas

This is valuable content that you can share with customers in a fun way! Often times, the hardest part of holiday shopping is just getting started coming up with ideas. This can be especially true when buying gifts for the opposite sex, which may require you to go to stores that you may not be familiar with. Let’s make this as easy for customers as possible!

Work with your Marketing Specialist to develop a blog for the website of a shopping list for “him” or “her”. Put the same products that you mention on the blog post together in the store and take pictures. Easily share this content on social media for an attention grabber and drive traffic back to the website with a link. Providing valuable information like this helps you as a business make your customers’ job easier during this crazy, hectic time.

  1. Get creative

Turn your Facebook page into a countdown to the holiday season. With the 25 days leading up to Christmas Day, you can post funny memes, quotes, exclusive coupons, staff photos, etc.! It’s a fun and easy way to build excitement.

Looking for other ideas? Reach out to your Marketing Specialist – they would be happy to help!

Getting Creative on Social Media

Francesca
July 31, 2015

In a world where everyone and their mother, no really, is on social media, it can be tough to stand out. The space for your business to appear on a Facebook newsfeed is quickly being taken up by baby pictures, #TBT posts, cat pictures, and more. Instead of folding under pressure, let’s get creative and give people a reason to keep coming back.

1. Encourage check-ins

As Facebook continues to build Places pages, it’s important to encourage customers to check in. A check-in by your customers creates brand visibility to all of their friends on Facebook and is tied in with Facebook search.

I recently did a search for “pet stores visited by my friends” because, as a consumer, I want to see where my friends are shopping and if others had enjoyed their experiences there as well.

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Businesses can offer incentives for customers to check in – and it doesn’t have to be an offer that’s going to break the bank! Something as simple as $2 off or a free appetizer is a great incentive!

2. Use Customer Content as Advertising

One of the benefits of social media is the content can be so engaging. Photos are beautiful and we’ve started to see videos pop up more and more. If customers are sharing photos that are connected to your business, share it! This is a great way to get a customer review on your Facebook page and it’s free advertising for your business.

This is an example of a very powerful product promotion post that cost this dealer absolutely no money! A customer sent them a before and after photo from a recent project using a lawn edger. As a consumer, if I had an upcoming summer project this post would certainly inspire me to rent from this store!

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The same idea goes for customers who post photos or videos straight to your page or tag your business in them. Share all of this free content from your customers to increase engagement and give your customers a moment to shine on your page!

3. Give Customers a Reason to Keep Engaging
Something that we love here at NMR is Trivia Tuesday. It’s tried and true and it’s a great way to build engagement on your page on a weekly basis. During the month of July, we had a dealer attach a little incentive to it to really amp up the involvement. Powell Feed gave away a $25 gift card to one lucky winner – all the customer had to do was comment on a Trivia Tuesday post during the month to be entered to win! This increased their engagement like crazy, we typically get between 5-7 comments per week, but during this promotion we had 53 comments in the first week!

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There was a time when simply being on social media was enough to generate buzz about your business. However, given the fact that several social media sites have high numbers of users, a competitive presence is necessary. In the end it comes down to connecting with your customers on social media in a creative, fun and highly engaging manner.

 

 

New Egypt Agway Incentives Employees to Get Involved in Social Media

Francesca
March 31, 2015

As a business owner, you already wear so many hats – and Jamey Bohonyi, owner of New Egypt Agway is no exception. Jamey knew that taking in-store photos was important for social media, but struggled to find the extra time to take pictures to send to his Marketing Specialist, Leeann. Understanding this, Leeann went to work brainstorming ideas to get Jamey’s staff involved with this process.

Jamey, a current customer of NMR, already receives industry related and engaging posts through the social media posts that we take care of for him, but he wanted to take this one step further. Jamey knew it was important for his staff to get involved, so he decided to create an incentive for them to do so! Members of Jamey’s staff are encouraged to send local/store related ideas and photos to Leeann on a regular basis. Leeann, having a marketing background and being an expert on social media, receives the content from employees and chooses which content is appropriate to post to the page and adds a marketing spin to each! For example, if an employee sends Leeann a picture of some chicks, Leeann may include a link to their special offers page on their website with a deal on a chick related item. Leeann is able to schedule posts that she receives from employees at times that she knows works well based on when users are online and to make sure she’s keeping a regular flow of content coming to the page.

Jamey confesses he relies on Leeann to “draw customers in.” He goes to say, “my employees are great with knowing what customers are looking for and what products to recommend, but I wouldn’t have time to review everything before it gets posted. I trust Leeann to give all of the content that comes her way a marketing spin to help grow my business.”

At the end of each month, Leeann tallies up how many employees sent “approved” content (not all posts that are sent are used) and sends the final numbers to Jamey. Jamey then gives $30 to the highest participator, $20 to the second highest participator, and $10 to the third highest participator. This works great for several reasons, but most importantly, it’s a great way for employees to feel like they are a part of New Egypt’s marketing campaign, it creates a good mix of industry related and store related content, and allows Jamey to be confident that all posts that are going through are professional, timely, and reviewed by a marketing professional.

Not all incentives need to include a dollar amount, but incentivizing your employees to work with your Marketing Specialist is a great way to add store related content to your website and social media pages!

Include Your Team in Your Marketing Efforts – Online and Offline

Francesca
October 31, 2014

As a small business you have one MAJOR advantage – your team! You can work together to provide an amazing customer service experience with your customers. Better yet, because members of your team are so dedicated, they are probably “experts” in certain areas and your customers rely on their expertise when making buying decisions!

Think of your store dynamic, do you assign certain staff members to specific locations in the store because of their passion and expertise? For example, if you have an associate who loves to garden, it’s a hobby and they are constantly buying books to learn as much as possible, it’s safe to assume you would have them work in the garden section of your store to help your customers as much as possible! You probably even get great word of mouth marketing by your customers who share their experience in your store with someone who was so knowledgeable and helpful! This concept helps to drive business to your store, so let’s use the same concept online and reach even more customers!

Talk about your team online, mention their strengths and what specific types of things customers should come in and ask them questions about! But don’t stop there! Once you’ve had a chance to introduce your team on social, keep the theme going by having your employees talk about specific products. For example, as we are officially into fall and heading into winter, have a team member who loves gardening recommend a product in a photo or video and talk about the highlights of the product and how it will help your customer by purchasing this item. You can continue this theme into any section of your store. If you haven’t tried posting videos on your page yet, give them a try this month! Videos are a great way to engage with customers.

Having conversations with your team members about what’s happening online is equally as important as talking about them online. You could set up some really great marketing efforts online, but if you don’t talk to your team about what’s going on they won’t be able to carry the messaging through! By now we know it’s important to update your website every month, but let’s take this one step further by printing a copy of your coupons and specials each month so that your staff can talk about them with customers. Staff members can train your customers to visit the website prior to shopping by saying something as simple as “I see you’re buying this item today, we have a coupon online for this! I’ll give it to you today, but be sure to check out our website before you come in next time!”

If you have new members joining your team, be sure to take some time to sit down with them and go through your website. Having a team who understands the values and benefits of what customers can find on your website will only help your traffic grow in the store and online!

Getting Customers Excited About Upcoming Email Blasts

Francesca
August 29, 2014

As a marketer who works online with websites, social media, and email marketing campaigns every day, you think I would be sick of this stuff by the time I get home!

But it’s actually just the opposite. I’m a marketer and a consumer, which means I also benefit from companies who use these tools to their advantage. There are a few companies that I regularly am waiting for their email blast to appear in my inbox each month. As a business, they have trained me to know when the email will be arriving and what I can expect when I receive it.

How did they do this?

This isn’t a crazy new concept, in fact, it may be simpler than you think. Businesses got me excited about their email list by talking to me where I was already engaging with them. This could happen in a variety of places, online, on social media, or in the store.

Email marketing is a great tool for businesses to use to regularly to contact customers, generate sales, and build relationships. You should be using it to your advantage and regularly talking about your email blasts to get people to sign up AND to keep people engaged.

It’s pretty common to talk to people about signing up for your email list. You can ask them at the register, put a sign up form on your site, and have a sign up form on Facebook. Great! Hopefully you are building your list and regularly sending emails to your customers who are asking for you to contact them (hey, that’s what it means when they give you their info!).

But we need to do a better job of reinforcing the value of our email campaigns to customers who have already signed up. Let’s make it a priority to build some hype around our email blasts! When you have a customer at the register about to check out, say to them “Hey, we sent out a 20% coupon yesterday did you get it?” Whether or not they have it is fine, give it to them anyway but make it a big deal. “I’d be happy to give it to you this time, but be sure to check your inbox before coming in next time for exclusive offers to save you money!”

You can use a very similar approach online! Start by creating posts on Facebook and Twitter a few days prior to your e-blast going out. Something as simple as “An exclusive offer will be sent to our email club this Tuesday! Sign up today if you’re not a member yet so you don’t miss this great deal!” Continue posting enticing messages once per day until the e-blast is sent out, but continue to change up the message to keep it exciting for fans of your page. This concept reinforces why people should be on your list and gives new customers a great reason to sign up!

Another New Social Media Site!?

Francesca
July 31, 2014

Remember when you could put an ad in one place and know your customers saw it? Sure, owning a business has changed, especially over the last 10 years! People are tweeting, hashtagging, reviewing, posting, snapping… don’t fret if you don’t know what half of those things are!

As a small business, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed trying to set up a profile on ALL of the available social media accounts.

But what if my customers are on there? I HAVE to be on there!!!

No, you don’t. You really don’t. But as a business in today’s day and age, determining which social media accounts you do want to have a presence on is a conversation and decision every single business needs to be making.

Wait, another social media site has been introduced? That reminds me, I haven’t posted on Instagram in weeks. Oh no, I forgot about my Pinterest account too! How can I do all of this at once?

As a small business, you are already pressed for time. We understand that. The key to determining which social media accounts are right for you, are determining which ones you can do well. Setting up a profile on a variety of different social media accounts and then never going back can actually do more harm than good for your business. If you set up an account your customers will assume you’re there, if they start talking to you and you ignore them, how will that make you look? You can’t be on every social media account out there, it’s just no reasonable.

New Media Retailer can work with you to keep your Facebook and Twitter pages up-to-date for you by creating posts for your business. We also call you to find out how we can add store related posts to make your page specific to you.

But what about the other available social media sites?

Be realistic with your time, like I mentioned above, it’s worse to try a bunch of sites and then leave them outdated. Especially if those sites are linked from your website. Think quality not quantity! Identify what strengths your store has, if it’s regularly taking pictures you may want to try Instagram, about 3-5 posts per week would be great here! If your customers are a lot of DIYers, project seekers, and crafters Pinterest may be good for you, but you’ll need to spend more time on Pinterest than other sites.

Just remember to take your time deciding. Don’t rush into anything. Know your audience and establish goals before you make your decision and you’ll be just fine!

5 Ways to Personalize your Facebook Page (without spending a lot of time)

Francesca
May 29, 2014

Competition for your customers’ attention on Facebook is pretty fierce. Not only are you competing with other brands, you are also competing with their friends for space on the newsfeed. In our conversations with dealers, this is often something we talk about so that we can encourage more personal content from the store. As you know, we take care of 15-20 posts for you on social media, but any page would benefit from more personal posts from the store! The number one hesitation that we hear is dealers know they should, but they don’t have enough time. Well, we’re going to make it easy for you! You don’t have to post anything if you don’t want to, just send pictures with a sentence of what’s going on in the picture to your Marketing Specialist, and they will take care of it for you! Below is a simple checklist of things that would be great to post, you can print this out and keep it hanging in your store so it’s always top of mind.

Text tip: Did you know that if you take a picture with your cell phone you can email it from a text message? Simply create a new text message, attach the photo, and instead of putting a phone number in the To: line, you can put an email address! This is an easy way to stay connected with your Marketing Specialist and keep them up to date with what’s going on in the store.

 

 

 

Sending a few of these a month will help take your Facebook page to the next level! While some of the post suggestions may seem a little vague, here are specific ideas that could go along with each:

1. Make an effort for customers to become aware of sales/products going on in your store to encourage them to come in and shop
a. Product Testimonials – share success stories with your Facebook followers. If you have a customer who used products from your store and give you a raving review – post it on social media! Ask the customer to give a small testimonial or take a picture and email it to you so that you can post it. Customers frequently have similar questions or are looking for similar products each season, this is a great way to promote products in a non-sales way.
b. Sale displays – If you have a sale display set up in the store, take a picture of it and post it on Facebook! This helps bring awareness to the sale and helps drive traffic.c. New products/inventory – Take pictures of new products/inventory you are bringing in to keep customers in the loop and share some exclusive content for fans!

2. Support the community that your store is in
a. Local fundraisers – Have you helped to support any local fundraisers? Continue your support and create more awareness for the fundraiser by talking about/posting pictures on social media.
b. In-store events – If you are setting up for an in-store event, take a picture of the staff hard at work and post the picture to Facebook! Make sure to include a little post with the photo about the event to get the customers excited! Take a few pictures during the event and post them the following day to thank customers for attending.
c. Community involvement - Congratulating local business! Ex: “Congratulations Lindy’s Ice Cream Shop for 30 years of business”
d. Is there anything unique going on in the area? A Farmers market or a fundraiser for the local football team? If so, bring awareness to these to show you are involved with your local community.

3. Product driven post – Is there a huge storm coming? If so, advertise products that will help customers prepare for it. Post a picture of the products to go along with the post.

4. Give your customers an opportunity to connect with your staff. One of the (many) advantages that local businesses have over big box stores is their amazing staff! Customers will drive further to get to your store because they feel comfortable with the staff, know they can ask any questions, and benefit from the personal touch only a local business can provide. For those same reasons, you should be posting about your staff on social media!
a. Introduce your new staff – any time you make a new hire, post a picture and short bio on Facebook so your customers know the new face before they come in!
b. Regular photos of staff in the store – Take pictures of employees in action: Stocking shelves or setting up displays, etc.
c. Staff announcements outside of work – If one of your employees welcomes a new baby to the family, post a picture and share a brief post. Post pictures of your four legged friend to share with your followers, etc.

5. In-store photos of customers – this one may not come up as often as the others, but it still makes for a great post! Something like “Starting off this Monday morning with Bryan, who has been a loyal customer for 20 years! Thanks Bryan!! It’s going to be a great week!” with a photo of “Bryan” at the register would be a great post and creates an opportunity to recognize your customers.

The good news is, we are constantly posting on your Facebook page without any of the above content. But adding personal content from the store would definitely help your Facebook page stand out, especially if your competition isn’t doing these things! As always, if you need help, reach out to your Marketing Specialist for ideas!

Get More Traffic to Your Website from Facebook

Francesca
April 25, 2014

Facebook offers many values to business owners, including opportunities to connect with customers, and reaching new customers! But let’s not forget that it’s also a great avenue to direct traffic back to your website!

A great way to create hype or excitement about a big sale, new product, or coupon is to post a teaser on social media and have customers click a link that brings them to all of the information they will need to see on your website! An eye-catching graphic is a perfect way to get a customer’s attention. But don’t just assume customers will know what you want them to do to find more information. Include exactly what you want them to do! If you want a customer to click a link to visit your website, then include an enticing call-to-action to get them to do so! Also, including social terms such as “like” or “share” to encourage customers to share this post with all of their friends is also a great way to have your post be seen by even more people!

The great thing is your Marketing Specialist can help you track if these posts are working for you! Google analytics provides this information and your Specialist can tell you exactly how much traffic you get from social media sites on certain days!

Introduce Your Employees on Social Media

Francesca
March 30, 2014

One of the many advantages of being a local business is your staff. Not only do you, as a business owner, have an opportunity to work one-on-one with your staff, but your customers do too. When customers feel comfortable with your staff they will begin to open up and share the things they love about your business, things they don’t like, and ask any questions they may have. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about your customers!

Social media can help your customers feel even more comfortable with your staff. Consider adding an album on your Facebook page that’s called ‘Meet the Team.’ In this album, you can put a picture of each employee with a short description! I have seen TONS of examples of businesses doing this. Some businesses get really creative and use the description to talk about everything from a particular employee’s dream vacation to pet’s name to their favorite kind of sandwich! Others just have the employees name and position with the company, which is okay too! The point is to take the staff-customer interaction one step beyond the store and open it up on social media. This also helps for customers who may not yet be familiar with your business; it helps new customers to understand the culture of your store and get to know some of your employees before they even come in.

I’ve had the opportunity to see customers really connect with employees on Facebook through the few hundred social media accounts at NMR. Whether it’s through a post, a review, or a photo, it adds so much value to your Facebook page to have customers personally thank an employee, wish them good luck at college, or specifically refer to them by name when asking a question on Facebook. Consider adding a ‘Meet the Team’ album to enhance your Facebook page today! Your NMR Specialist can help you create the album, upload the photos, and place any text that you send our way!

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