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Integrating Your Marketing Strategies

mabbott
September 21, 2012

Social media marketing is essential to your business’ success in this day and age. Social media helps your business in numerous ways that you may not realize. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others are all searchable and appear high in Google results, which allows your website to be seen in more than one capacity. The goal of social media marketing through such applications as Facebook and Twitter is to let people know more about your business and to build relationships with customers. By posting pictures and information about community events, in-store events, sales and more,  you are helping your customers associate with you and your business. This is essential because people buy from people they like and from whom they trust!

However, it is important to continue to focus on other advertising/marketing mediums as well. In order to ensure that you are reaching all of your customers, you must find a healthy balance between print and online marketing. Use your established print advertising channel as an opportunity to draw traffic to your website and social media sites.

In order to stay relevant to all of your customers, it is important to stay active through print and online marketing. There are many benefits to both. This will afford all of you the opportunity to advertise in more than one market, allowing for a greater opportunity to get more traffic on the web. In contrast, you now have the capacity to post your print advertisements on your Facebook and on your website! Also, include a call-to-action on your next print piece to direct traffic to your website or Facebook page! That way, all of your bases will be covered!

As social media marketing continues to grow, it is essential to your business to grow with it. Social media is a great opportunity for businesses, but works best when you can promote it through currently established channels. As a small business owner it’s important to learn to include all aspects of marketing into your advertising campaign.

Dealer Spotlight: Livery Feed and Ranch Supply delivers on email marketing

mmottice
September 21, 2012

Email marketing is going strong!  At NMR we have seen great results using email to promote a dealer’s website along with their coupons, special offers, blogs, events, and products.  For our new dealers gathering email addresses can take some time, free candy bars, and a little coaxing —  but not for Steve Perry of Livery Feed & Ranch, a Purina dealer from Ramona, California.

Steve, along with manager Dena Hickman grew their email list in no time and sent the very first Livery Feed & Ranch email to over 146 subscribers!  Not bad considering they had only been live for a month! Imagine the reach; this is approximately seven times the standard list size of an initial email campaign.  How did they do this, you ask?

Shortly after Livery launched their website, Steve decided the easiest way to gather emails would be by setting up a computer near the register.  As customers were checking out at the counter, the cashier would ask if they had seen the new website yet and if they would like to receive email notifications from the store.  Interested customers entered their email address directly into the email field on the homepage right there in the store! They also had the opportunity to navigate through the site and ask questions about the features.  As an added incentive new subscribers were entered to win a gift card.  One gift card was awarded weekly for four weeks.

This method worked for several reasons.  It placed the new website in front of customers, immediately engaging them.  It gave them the chance to interact with it at the checkout, instead of just hearing about it.  The likelihood of someone returning to the website a second time is greater than a person remembering to logon from home afterwards.  The gift card incentive illustrated that Steve and Dena were willing to give back to their customers and invest in their new marketing plan.

If you need to grow your email list please consider this as an option.  Contact your NMR specialist today to see how to get started!

Fighting hunger, One store at a time.

cbutcher
September 21, 2012

Holidays inspire all sorts of feeling in a community, many want to spread cheer and give back, but that is not always an easy task for a store, especially in the midst of one of the busiest consumer times of year. Well here is a traditional idea so easy, kindergartners can not only manage it, but are successful with it… a food drive!

Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza, winter holidays just are not holidays without a good meal. A few cans of food may not seem much to everyone, but it is a great way to spread the holiday cheer and give back to those in your community. As a store owner, manager, or employee, there isn’t much up-keep to this kind of project, as it mostly includes a sign of some sort, and a container to collect the food in! Although you may want two containers, one for canned goods and one for boxed goods.  A local charity should not only provide you with a location to drop off the food, but also provide you with a list of needed items to post for your customers.

For those of you that may want to be a bit more proactive and involved, there are several options to tie into this idea. Many organizations dedicated to fighting hunger offer several different donation avenues, you may be able to collect a certain amount to sponsor a family for the holidays, for example: Donate $35 to feed a family of 4 for four days, etc.

You could make it promotional within your store, for instance; make a $40 purchase and the store will donate a can of food. If you wanted to get creative you could post somewhere in the store all of the families that have donated!

A great way to drive traffic for your food drive is using your social media. Start conversations, post reminders, and let your customers know what you need the most of. Document your progress with pictures, post ones of customers bringing in food, or dropping boxes off to your local charity. This certainly makes promotion easier, and this is the perfect event to get your customers talking.

Of course, there really are numerous ways to hold a food drive, how you gather is a matter of personal preference and the amount of time available to devote. However the gift of food is a no small feat, and is always appreciated by those in need.  Let the holidays begin!

Twitter:The Basics Explained

cbutcher
August 28, 2012

For many of us out there, Twitter is this mysterious force that everyone seems to talk about, but no one really explains. Here today, we will unveil the mysteries and make this social media tool, a user friendly adventure.

What is Twitter?

As defined by Twitter themselves, it is an information network compromised of 140 character Tweets.  This is oriented as a way to receive bits of news and updates that apply or are important to you as an individual by deciding who to Follow.  To Follow someone is to become a subscriber, or sign-up for their Tweets or updates.

What is a Tweet, and how do I use one?

A Tweet is a 140 character message that you want to share with your Followers. To Tweet, you simply log-in and enter your message in the box that says “Compose a new Tweet” and click on the Tweet button. This will immediately show up on your home timeline, it will also show up on your profile page, and on the home timeline of anyone who is following you.  There are different types of Tweets, such as Mentions, and Replies. To mention someone in a Tweet, you use this symbol “@”, and type in the Twitter username of the individual or group you would like to Mention. This will show up on your timeline, your profile, and on the Recipient’s Mentions & Interactions tab.

To Reply to a Tweet, you hover over the Tweet you would like to reply to, then click on “Reply”. A box will pop up with the “@” symbol and the username of the original Tweeter already entered.  This will appear on your profile, or if it is someone you do not follow, it will also appear on your home timeline.

There are also Direct Messages, these are messages that are only visible to you and your correspondent, and will be removed should you or your correspondent delete the message.

Retweets, are a re-posting of another individual’s Tweet, to recognize a Retweet, you simply look at the bottom of the message. You can turn off the ability to see Retweets and also prevent others from Retweeting your Tweets.

A timeline you say?

Twitter defines a timeline as a Twitter term for a collection of streamed tweets seen in real-time order. Your home timeline will list all the Tweets of the individuals or groups you’ve chosen to follow. On your home timeline will allow you to interact with the Tweets that appear, and expand to see photos, videos, or additional information that has been provided with Tweets. Timelines will also appear in lists or search results.

What are Hashtags?

Probably one of the most mysterious trends of Twitter are hashtags displayed as this symbol “#”.  Hashtags are used to categorize Tweets, which allows them to be found in search results. When a word is hashtagged, and you click on it, it will show you other Tweets that have that hashtag listed. The words that are hashtagged  are key words that apply to the content of what you are Tweeting. For instance, “I love when our boss brings in #donuts”, this Tweet will now be categorized by the word “donuts”. Popular hashtags are usually Trending Topics, and allow you to follow conversation occurring about topics that interest you.

To get more insight on links and linking, and how Twitter can help your Business, check back next month. Twitter also offers information and even a glossary to help get you started, to get this information and more go to: http://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics# .

Video SEO

mmottice
August 27, 2012

YouTube is an excellent way to market your business.  You have the opportunity to post entertaining videos about your products and how best to use them. Using description and title tags, each video you post to your channel will appear in search results under common keywords associated with your business and location.  The goal is to increase traffic and rank high in search results so customers can easily find you. Take advantage of all that YouTube has to offer through proper search engine optimization (SEO) by following these simple steps:

  1. Keywords –Decide on keywords you want to be found for in the video title, along within the basic text information.  These should be common words or phrases relevant to the subject matter of the video, your business, location, and products. Five to seven relevant keyword tags are ideal for YouTube.  Successful keywords will aid in generating additional views from people watching similar videos.  You can implement keywords when you upload your video.
  2. Quality Content – Content is ALWAYS key.  Think of featuring your best-selling products, demos, and tips you can offer customers.  This information will be invaluable to them, especially if it is fresh, new, and interesting.  In turn, they will recognize you as a resource instead of just a retailer.  A business that is willing to explain the latest trends and products; what’s working and what is not.  People tend to share with family and friends, which result in more traffic.
  3. Popularity  – You can never have too many friends or followers! You should always be working on expanding your network.  The more you have, the higher ranked your YouTube channel will be and the easier it will be to find. Generate as many ‘thumbs up’ ratings and comments as you can by sharing your videos on Facebook, Twitter, and in email blasts.  An embedded video on your website, for example in a blog, is another way to expand your following.
  4. Inbound Links – Inbound links are links from other websites to your website, or in this case your YouTube video.  Any embedded video serves as an inbound link.  If more websites link to your video it will rank higher in search results.  These can be tracked under the Playback Locations within YouTube Analytics.

YouTube is a great place to market your business through video. Follow these key SEO tips for increased traffic and high rankings in any search result.

Using Homecoming to your Advantage

nfoote
August 21, 2012

Fall, school, and football season is here and there are plenty of activities around your area to help promote your business and get involved with your community. Homecoming is one of the biggest events as the fall season kicks off. Students all around are playing in the football game or participating in the homecoming parade.

The float is the main stage for Homecoming. Get your name out there and show support by donating materials to a class who will be building one for the parade. This is a great way to show how you care and are willing to help those in your community by participating in such a big event for the season.

Another way to help your business along with gaining community credibility is hold a store fundraiser that would raise money for the school and proceeds made during that time would go to something that is needed for the Homecoming event. It could be something as simple as covering supplies for the concession stand or even sponsoring an entire float! This will surely gain the attention of people in your community.

The last, and most important, thing you can do is make sure the event is on your website. Let the people know that you are supporting the Homecoming parade and all of the other events that go along with it. If it’s on your website, all of your visitors have a greater chance at seeing what you are promoting!

Carving Your Way To Sales

mabbott
August 21, 2012

As summer draws to an end and fades into fall, cool breezes and falling leaves should not be the only thing on your mind. Now is the perfect time to start planning fun, in-store events to boost sales and generate business while also getting the community involved in your store. The iconic symbol of Halloween is the pumpkin. October provides the perfect opportunity to combine a weekend sale with the creativity and excitement of a pumpkin carving contest. Here are a few simple ideas.

A pumpkin carving contest is a great way to get people into your store and can take place over a few days. If you choose to do a weekend you can have pumpkins dropped off by contestants on Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday with the judging held at a time on the last day you so choose. You can have numerous categories for pumpkin carvings ranging from best overall, scariest, funniest, most creative, most original and more!  The judges should be your employees with the winners of each category receiving a gift card to the store.

Though the point of the pumpkin carving contest is to have fun and to draw customers to the store, give them a reason to stay once they show up to drop off their pumpkins. Offer some snacks and beverages appropriate for the fall season. This may include some complimentary apple cider and cookies. The main attraction, however, should be a BIG FALL SALE. Choose this weekend to correlate with the pumpkin carving contest because many people will be in and out of your store while dropping off their pumpkins and viewing the other contestants work. This is the perfect time to have some great sales throughout your store.

With a couple of months to prepare for your fall blowout sale, you will be able to select the items you wish to have on sale based on need for the time of year and advertise the sale for a few weeks! This will gain notoriety not only for the pumpkin carving contest, but for the sale itself. Take the time to have some fun, enjoy the fall season and make some money while you are at it!

 

Shake Hands with a Local Business

alidell
August 21, 2012

Businesses, especially in today’s economy, should always be striving to find creative and successful ways to get their name out there.  Have you ever considered approaching other local business owners to see if they are interested in cross-promoting?  Asking local retailers to partner with you is a terrific way to gain exposure and gain access to more client potential.

Cross-promoting involves two or more parties who set up a program where each party helps promote the others’ products and services.  It is a new way to build awareness around your business, your products and your services.  Cross-promoting is simple and easy (aren’t we all looking for that these days?) It takes little time, some networking, maybe some printing costs and that’s it!

A great example of this would be one that took place in my home town; a local small tent company partnered with a local pizzeria to gain likes on Facebook.  In this specific example, the tent company wanted to hold a contest.  In addition to the tent company’s promotion of their contest, the pizzeria promoted the contests through their own Website, Facebook and in-store signage.  The winner of the tent company’s contest received a gift certificate to the pizzeria.  Both businesses now have access to each other’s customers.  You can even make the deal sweeter to customers by exchanging 10-15% discount on products or services for each other’s customers “Mention that you saw our flier at the pizzeria and receive 10% off”.  Each business owner is happy and traffic has increased!   Your reach will expand even further while also bringing in more revenue for the company.

Follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Identify Potential Partners—Same type of customer but you both provide a different service. Become their customer and build the trust and loyalty.
  2. Sell Your Idea—Present your ideas to the business
  3. Run the Campaign—Simple and easy!  Sweeten the deal to give an extra reason to keep the customers coming back to both businesses.
  4. Repeat—Run another campaign 5-6 months down the road to keep the relationship alive and strong.

Partnering with another local business, even a local advertising group, can be solicited in many creative ways.   Cross-promoting can thoroughly utilize your marketing efforts simply, efficiently, timely, and productively.  You can build your website clientele, e-mail list, in-store traffic and MORE!  BEST OF ALL: You are attracting FREE customers to your business! I’ll shake to that!

 

It’s as easy as…

Francesca
August 21, 2012

We have an idea for you to build your email list that is so quick and easy you may have already thought of it and not even realized it!

Where is the one place in your store that without a doubt you are already talking to each customer that buys something? If “the register” just came to mind, then pat yourself on the back, because you’re right!!

Of course it’s the register! The register is the one place that at least one person from your staff talks to each and every customer. While you have customers there, why not get their email address in a quick way. Here’s how:

  1. Check the settings on your P.O.S. system to see if there is a way to generate a prompt to ask the customer for their email address while you’re checking them out.
  2. If you don’t have a P.O.S. system, consider creating a script to keep near the register as a reminder for employees to ask customers while they are checking them out.
    More on that here: http://newmediaretailer.com/blog/2012/06/reaching-out-at-the-register/

Keeping a reminder at the register is a great way to take advantage of an opportunity to collect email addresses! It’s simple and by using your P.O.S. system you won’t forget to ask customers!

Gathering Emails with a Basket Raffle

cbutcher
August 15, 2012

Building your email address list will be quick and easy when you offer your customers a nice gift basket in exchange. Offering a themed basket would be a great way to get the ball rolling. Conveniently we have a plethora of fall events, such as harvest season, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, even Homecoming if you have a lot of community sports fans! Really it depends on what your business does best and what you think your customers would really be interested in.

Gather some materials, sale items, season specific items, or items that you simply know your customers won’t be able to resist. Get some feedback from your cashiers, as they are helping your customers every day, they may have some feedback in what your customers may want to see. Using a basket, or even a plastic pumpkin bucket (should you decide to go with the Halloween theme), are cheap and easy ideas, to contain your email gathering bait. Then set out to collect your email addresses.

Notify your cashiers, use your P.O.S. system, or do it the old fashioned way, and offer strips of paper (be sure they include their name as well as their email address) and throw them into a container. Set a raffle date, and voila! Not only is it now an easy way to notify the winner that they won, but you’ve got a bushel of potential sales into your email list!

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