Monthly Archives: September 2013

Social Media Strategy: The Advantages of Utilizing Google+7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Social Media Strategy: The Advantages of Utilizing Google+Google+ has been around since June 2011, but many companies are just beginning to understand its potential when it comes to social media strategy. Creating a new social network profile might seem unnecessary and time consuming, but the advantages of utilizing Google+ are well worth your effort. If you think your company is covered on the social media front, but don’t have a presence on Google+, take some time to rethink this important social media platform.

Most marketers already know that having a strong social media strategy is important and they’ve most likely spent a lot of time developing these platforms for their company. Creating a Google+ business page will not only be a great addition to your current social media strategy, but it will offer you many benefits that other social media sites cannot. In addition to strengthening your social media strategy, and helping you form a stronger relationship with your customers, Google+ also helps improve your SEO rankings, so it should not be dismissed lightly.

Google+ offers the opportunity for more personal and direct relationships with customers and prospects, so if you haven’t already explored the platform, this is an untapped market just waiting to be discovered by your company. Google+ is another way to interact with and engage potential customers on a personal level, which can bring in more business, build trust, and improve customer service. It’s never a bad idea to create another way for customers and potential customers to interact with your company, especially if it can create more engagement with your company. Google+ is currently devoid of advertising, so fewer distractions might help visitors focus on your business page, instead of clicking on ads that will take them to different sites. Although this might change in the future, it still gives Google+ an advantage over other social media sites for now.

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Email Marketing: Understanding CAN-SPAM Laws7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Email Marketing: Understanding CAN-SPAM LawsEmail marketing is a relatively simple and cost effective way to drive in more business and keep your current customers updated on what’s going on with your company. Integrating email marketing into your current marketing strategy will not only help spread the word about your products and services, but you can also reach a large number of people in a short amount of time. However, all of the advantages of running an email campaign will mean very little if you don’t have a full understanding of CAN-SPAM laws.

The main reason you want to properly learn how to run an email marketing campaign is because it’s regulated by Federal law, which is where CAN-SPAM laws come into play. As long as you pay attention to them, you’ll avoid irritating your recipients and unintentionally breaking the law. Understanding how the CAN-SPAM laws work and what they might mean for your campaign is an important step in email marketing. Although you should take a deeper look into CAN-SPAM laws, here are a few main requirements you should keep in mind when you’re building your email marketing campaign.

Avoid Using False or Misleading Header Information

Your “From” and “Reply-To” fields needs to be clear. This means that your recipients need to be able to accurately identify where your emails are coming from and identify your name or business. Make sure your email isn’t coming from a company email address.

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5 Solutions For Your Email Campaign Problems11:03 am

By Kristen Dabrio

5 Solutions For Email Campaign ProblemsSending out an email campaign can be one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers and generate interest in the products and services you provide. Email campaigns are also a great way to build customer loyalty and bring in more business, as long as they’re executed correctly. If you launched your first campaign and didn’t get the results you wanted, there are several ways you can re-haul your email campaigns to effectively drive new business.

If you had a less-than-successful email campaign or you were disappointed by the results, don’t get discouraged. Most of the time, there are simple solutions to your email marketing woes, and you’ll start noticing major improvements once you refocus your email marketing efforts.  Although email campaigns can be sent out quickly, they will most likely take some time when it comes to planning and putting together an email creative. Whether you’re re-thinking your existing email campaign strategies or want to avoid common email marketing pitfalls the first time around, here are some common email campaign problems and solutions to steer you in the right direction.

1)  Your emails weren’t opened.

Getting your email recipients to open your email is the first and most important step when it comes to engagement with your emails. However, your recipients won’t do this if you don’t have an engaging or informative subject line. The subject line might not seem like an important thing to focus on, but it’s the first thing your recipients will see. If they aren’t intrigued by it, they will delete your email without reading it.

In order to create a more effective subject line, keep it short and sweet. A short subject line will quickly get the message of your email across without overselling. Try to entice your readers to open your email by hinting at the interesting content inside. If you’re stuck, pay attention to hot topics, get inspired by other email marketing campaigns in your inbox, and get creative. Don’t be afraid to play around with different ideas. Always ensure that your subject lines are straight-forward and honest; deceiving subject lines usually generate ill-will towards your brand.

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15 Awesome Public Responses to Poor Customer Service6:56 am

By US Data Corporation

People skills are the foundation of any good business, but some companies don’t always get it. When this breakdown occurs, tempers can escalate and some of the reactions produced can be truly memorable. From subtle to hilarious to over-the-top and downright insane, these 15 Awesome Public Responses to Poor Customer Service will probably make you think twice about dealing with the public. As you look these over, ask yourself how far you would go to react to bad customer service.

1. British Airways ‘Horrible’ Customer Service

Twitter user Hasan Syed (@HVSVN) taught British Airways a lesson recently after the company reportedly lost his father’s luggage on a flight from Chicago to Paris. After trying in vain to get the luggage returned, Syed finally ponied up $1,000 to purchase this promoted tweet: “Don’t fly @BritishAirways. Their customer service is horrendous.” As a promoted post, the tweet was targeted at all 300k of the airline’s followers, and soon expanded its reach to the rest of the Internet. Result: according to Fox News, the airline contacted Syed with a delivery date for the missing luggage and an apology. After British Airways acted, Syed took to Twitter again: “I got what I wanted. I win.”


2. Journeys Footwear And Apparel: Reddit Says ‘Read This’

Recently, Reddit user R1y23 posted a photo from the Journeys Footwear and Apparel at the Marketplace Mall in Rochester, New York, that showed the ultimate in employee aggression.

“Dear Jamie, since you decided to say ‘Cancer is not an excuse’ and think it’s OK to swear at your employees like you do all the time, we quit,” said a handwritten sign attached to the store’s front gate. “This is why you can’t keep a store manager longer than a year. You abuse your [role] and staff. Enjoy the fact that you just lost a store manager, co-manager, and key holder in the middle of Back to School. Think next time you treat people the way you do. We aren’t allowing it anymore. Niki, Jess, TJ.”

A number of former Journeys employees later commented on the Reddit thread, detailing their own alleged abuses at the hands of Journeys. Some of these included low pay, long hours, and an environment of fear. While technically the workers weren’t customers, they teach a weighty lesson that many individuals in higher management should learn before it’s too late: In a way, your employees are your customers.

Result: Journeys responded with a brief statement that they would be “investigating” the situation.


3. Abercrombie And Fitch: For ‘Cool Kids’ And The Homeless

Abercrombie and Fitch, a clothing store admittedly targeted at “cool kids,” which only hires “good-looking people,” got its comeuppance from the entire Internet after its CEO Mike Jeffries had this to say:

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he said. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”

During the fallout, one of the best public responses was a video shot by Greg Karber, who decided it was time for A&F to have a brand readjustment. He did this by redefining who the “cool kids” actually were, buying up a number of garments and giving them out to homeless people.

Collectively, the disdain for Jeffries’ comments have resulted in a sales loss of 10 percent over the last 21 months and a share loss of close to 18 percent.

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The Benefits of Integrating Direct Marketing and Content Marketing Strategies10:50 am

By Kristen Dabrio

The Benefits of Integrating Direct Marketing and Content Marketing StrategiesLearning and utilizing new marketing techniques is a must for any business; however, many people only learn to practice those techniques in isolation, without ever understanding how they fit into the bigger marketing picture. Although direct marketing and content marketing are distinct techniques, they each have strengths that complement each other well, and they are most effective when used together.  Say you’re trying to promote your own business. You’ve taken some time to think about different direct marketing strategies. You’ve done a direct mail campaign here or there, you’ve sent out some emails in order to lure in new customers, you’ve even written a few blog posts relating to your products and services—but you’re not seeing the results you want. The problem could be that you haven’t taken the time to fully integrate your content and direct marketing into one cohesive marketing strategy.

While direct marketing is certainly important, a well-rounded marketing strategy shouldn’t focus exclusively on direct marketing. Direct mail and email are both forms of outbound marketing, meaning that you are reaching out directly to people who might be interested in your services. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, means that you provide the content and resources that allow people who need your services to find you. Generally, it’s important to strike a balance between inbound and outbound marketing; that way, you don’t let any potential customers slip through the cracks. So, while you may have a great direct marketing program underway, adding a content strategy to your overall marketing efforts might allow you to reach an even broader audience, and will improve your brand image. Producing frequent content might seem like a hassle, but you will reap the rewards in new customers.

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The Importance of Starting a Business Blog7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

The Importance of Starting a Business BlogIf you are a small company, and you don’t have a business blog already, what are you waiting for? Maybe you’re concerned that it will be too difficult to start and maintain, and you might be asking questions like, “How am I going to produce enough content for a blog?” or “How can I make sure my blog is relevant?” However, the task of creating a business blog isn’t as daunting as you might think, and your competitors probably already have their blogs up and running. It’s easier than ever to start your own company blog, and it’s a great way to bring in more business and drive more traffic to your site.

A business blog is ideal for a various number of reasons—and it doesn’t have to cost you anything. Your company’s blog will establish your reputation as an expert in your industry and will help in building your brand. Another important advantage to running a business blog has to do with SEO purposes. Most search engines, especially Google, reward websites who provide fresh and relevant content. All these factors combined will make your business blog an invaluable addition to your content marketing strategy.

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Five Strange Vintage Marketing Advertisements7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Five Strange Vintage Marketing Advertisements Whenever we hear about the golden age of advertising, a romanticized image of Mad Men and Don Draper often comes to mind. Just like today, marketers back then were hard at work attempting to shape attitudes and behaviors of potential buyers—and they were good at it. Developing advertisements to sell products requires intelligence and creativity. However, reviewing these ads from the past might make you wonder how such bizarre material was ever deemed acceptable. At the very least, these vintage advertisements reveal just how much our society has changed in a mere matter of decades.  Although there are plenty of weird and offensive advertisements today, these might still make you raise an eyebrow. Here are five strange vintage marketing campaigns that will make you glad some things have changed.

Cockroach Racing

Five Strange Vintage Marketing Advertisements

International Mutoscope Reel Company decided cockroach racing would be a good idea sometime in the 1940’s. Since most people are repulsed by the idea of playing with insects regularly associated with filth, it is perhaps not surprising that this idea did not go over too well with the general public; in fact, the company went bankrupt in 1949. This shining example of vintage marketing shows a group of young women having fun watching cockroaches run around, which should not only make you question their sanity, but also the sanity of whoever designed this ad. Luckily, cockroach racing is now (hopefully) a thing of the past. (1)

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Utilizing YouTube to Boost Your Business Through Video Marketing10:29 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Utilizing YouTube to Boost Your Business Through Video MarketingOnline videos aren’t going anywhere any time soon. You know that one video your relatives keep sharing on Facebook, the one with the keyboard-playing cat, or someone jumping from a moving vehicle? People love watching videos. They like sharing them with their friends and family through their social media sites, and they like finding something new to entertain them. YouTube is the biggest and most popular video sharing site, and if you learn how to utilize it properly, your videos might be the next big thing to go viral. More importantly, you’ll be able to drive in more business with a well-planned video marketing campaign, in addition to your marketing strategy.

Video marketing for your business might not be as exciting as producing videos made for pure entertainment purposes, but despite this, big companies have still been able to reach millions through their YouTube marketing campaigns. Even if your videos don’t become insanely popular, you may still be reaching an audience you weren’t reaching before. As long as you identify your target audience, using YouTube for video marketing will boost your company’s social media presence, which will bring in business and keep your potential or existing customers up-to-date about your products and services.

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