Monthly Archives: November 2013

Black Friday Highlight: Companies That are Doing it Right7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Black Friday Highlight: Companies That are Doing it RightBlack Friday is the shopping holiday that many retailers spend all year thinking about and planning for. It takes a lot of preparation for marketers, so it can be extremely satisfying when you see your hard work pay off! Hopefully, most of your planning is nearly over, and you can start to focus on its execution. In order to keep you motivated and in the holiday spirit during this busy time, it helps to review a few companies that have done Black Friday right in the past.

The three companies listed below are very big businesses, but they can still teach small businesses a thing or two about how to run a Black Friday campaign. Whether you have a physical location, online location, or both, these companies should inspire you to push the boundaries of your own campaigns. Evaluating what makes them so successful might get you thinking about what you can do to amp up your own company’s Black Friday campaign.

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Top 16 Worst Facebook Brand Updates of 20136:56 am

By US Data Corporation

Social networking has changed the way we communicate, the way we express ourselves, and the way we do business. Unfortunately, those changes aren’t always for the better, especially when you turn a company loose with a half-baked “social media expert” calling the shots. There is no official accreditation for such a position. You just have to use networks like Facebook enough to get the hang of the etiquette and understand a little about best practices, content creation and audience research.

The company examples you’re about to see in our Top 16 Worst Facebook Brand Updates of 2013 are good examples of bad social media marketing. In these cases, the social media “experts” managing the campaigns clearly need to up their skill level. Whatever you do, don’t make these same mistakes.

1. Crate And Barrel Apple Pie Fail

Crate and Barrel specializes in exclusive home furnishings and housewares for the homeowner (and homebody) in us all. A quick look through their product offerings will reveal a company with a top-tier selection that really knows what it’s doing. The same can be said of their social media efforts, which has helped them accumulate more than 380,000 followers on Facebook. But just because you’re good at something, that doesn’t mean you’re immune to mistakes. This particular update exemplifies the need for a fresh set of eyes before you put something out there for the world to see. In the example, C&B wants to know if anyone said “deep-dish apple pie.” The only problem is they’ve posted a pecan pie.

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2. Samsung Gulf Galaxy S4 Active Challenge

Samsung Gulf stumbled during their Galaxy S4 Active Challenge promotion. If you’re trying to get social followers engaged, it’s better to not insult their intelligence. Have a little faith in your audience. Don’t give them a multiple choice question related to an image where the answer is plastered everywhere. This doesn’t show the utmost confidence in their intelligence, and it discourages them from participating because they figure that answering the question correctly won’t improve their chances of winning whatever it is you’re trying to give away.

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3. Cheez-It Or Cheez-It?

Most Facebook users have several hundred friends they’re trying to keep up with on a given day. Others use the site strictly for business. The rest incorporate an even mix between the two. Point being: there’s a lot to sift through on an average day’s timeline. The more you waste a user’s time, the more likely they are to “unlike” you. Posts like this one from Cheez-It are utter misuses of social media. Playing cutesy with your followers’ timelines will elicit an eye roll at best. And before you try attempts at humor, think very seriously about the possible outcome. Bounce some ideas off other people. Don’t just assume that they’ll appreciate your effort just because they “liked” your cheddar-flavored mini-cracker. As one commenter muttered, “Fire the person who made that up.”

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Online Marketing: 4 Effective Ways to Tackle Cyber Monday7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Online Marketing: 4 Effective Ways to Tackle Cyber MondayCyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, ties up the massive Thanksgiving sales weekend. Black Friday and Cyber Monday go hand-in-hand, so effectively integrating online marketing strategies to tackle these shopping holidays might serve your company well. Last year online sales for Cyber Monday reached 1.5 billion, marking an impressive increase of 30%, so it’s not a day you want your company to miss out on. Tackling Cyber Monday through online marketing is a great way to drive in more sales during this extremely competitive time.

Since many shoppers prefer to purchase online and avoid Black Friday crowds, Cyber Monday was created in order to cash in on this trend.  There are several ways you can approach this busy online shopping day and bring in more business for your company. Utilizing online marketing tactics will help you stay ahead of the curve and promote your Cyber Monday sales to your customers. Here are 4 effective ways to tackle a Cyber Monday online marketing campaign.

1) Promote ahead of time.

Just like you would with Black Friday, promote Cyber Monday in advance. You can combine those two campaigns, considering they’re both similar shopping days, but make sure you continue to remind customers about your Cyber Monday sales. Send out an email campaign that lets people get a sneak peek at what will be available on your site. Do whatever you can to get your potential customers interested.

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Black Friday Email Marketing: Tips to Drive in More Business7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Black Friday Email Marketing: Tips to Drive in More BusinessDeveloping a Black Friday email marketing plan is crucial for any company if you wish to do well during the holiday season. Since Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, a well-planned email campaign for Black Friday will yield more profits and will drive in more business for the rest of the year. If you wish to run a Black Friday email marketing campaign, now is the time to make it happen.

Running a Black Friday email marketing campaign can be a little different from other email campaigns because they’re usually focused on one really big shopping day, instead of an entire season. Whether you have a physical location or an online website where you sell your products, a well-developed email campaign will help you increase your Black Friday sales by putting your company in the front of your customers’ minds.  Here are a few tips to help you organize your Black Friday email marketing campaign.

Offer sneak peeks to your Black Friday deals beforehand
Black Friday email marketing campaigns are a great way to remind people of the deals you’re offering on that day.  Show a sample of what you plan to discount and provide links to your site in your email. This is a good way to show off physical products and give people a taste of what to expect. If you plan to discount services, give a few examples. Remind your customers to keep your products in mind when Black Friday arrives.

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Show Some Appreciation: Build a Customer Loyalty Program7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Show Some Appreciation: Build a Customer Loyalty ProgramMany consumers keep a few loyalty cards in their wallets that they use over and over again at their favorite stores. Designing a customer loyalty program is a great way to show your customers that they are valued and ensure that consumers will continue to return to your store. If your customers feel like you appreciate their business, and you offer them something substantial, a customer loyalty program goes a long way.

Customer loyalty programs are intended to provide rewards to your company’s “best” customers. However, those loyalty cards or memberships will remain untouched if you don’t provide something worthwhile. Customer loyalty programs work the best when your customers are offered great deals and incentives to join. In order for your customer to utilize your program, you must provide them with some worthwhile deals.  You need to give your customers a reason to sign up for your customer loyalty program. They shouldn’t be receiving the same offers and discounts that every other customer is receiving. Truly reward customers for being part of your program and show them that you appreciate their continued business.

If you’re wondering what the point of customer loyalty programs are, here are a few reasons you should consider starting one for your company.

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