Category: Inbound Marketing

June 29, 2016 / / Inbound Marketing

One summer day, my mother piled us into the car and said we were going someplace “different.”  My little brother didn’t skip a beat and said, “I hate different.”  My mother answered, “I know you do, Steve.”  But that day “different” meant going to the beach. Different wasn’t so bad.

We talk to a lot of small business owners about marketing.  We know that the way people choose products and services has changed dramatically over the last few years.  This is, in large part, due to technology and the growing numbers of people, who have never known a time without the Internet.  (Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers; they are entering their thirties with children of their own.)  We also know that even Baby Boomers see the value of the Internet and social media when seeking the best purchasing options. In fact, social media is the first stop for 93% of shoppers. read more

February 29, 2016 / / Digital Marketing

Social Media has come a long way.  What started out as a place for teens to “connect” has become a serious and important marketing and advertising tool for business.

With 72% of online adults using the Social Sites, 91% of Millennials using Social Media and the fastest growing demographic of adults 65 and older Social Media is not just a place for teens to hang out anymore. (Pew Research)

Just 5 years ago there were only a handful of Social Media Professionals and only the big companies had employees devoted to Social Media.  Flash forward to today and Social Media Professionals are everywhere.  Businesses of all sizes are hiring Social Media Managers or Consultants, marketing firms now specialize in Social Media and many of the big manufacturers are providing Social Media service programs to their vendors. read more

February 25, 2015 / / Advertising

65-85% of people describe themselves as visual learners.  Facebook posts with images get 7 times more likes and 10 times more shares that those without.  Twitter now encourages tweets with images.  Psychological tests prove that when presented with an image and text, the image gets most of the attention, but the text also gets more attention than text without an image.

The almost instant (and growing) popularity of visual platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat is testament to how important visuals have become in the online “Social” world.   Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn encourage people add images to their Timelines, and to their ads. read more

February 11, 2015 / / Digital Marketing
  1. Can you make this go viral

We have no control over what goes viral.  It is the audience–the internet user–who makes something go viral.  A post that is catchy and timely may go viral.  If we could figure out what people are going to go nutty over we would be kings!

  1. Can you guarantee me $10,000 in sales each month

No, just because Social Media Marketing and Advertising is a new platform the rules don’t change.  It is still Advertising and Marketing. Sales depend on whether your product is in demand.  It is no different than Target or Walmart being unable to predict if your product will fly off the shelves.  The only thing we can do in any campaign, old or new, is put it out there creatively and try to convince people that your product is one they should buy. read more

August 22, 2014 / / Content Marketing

I recently watched a video of a large bear in a rushing stream grabbing salmon as they swam upstream, and I was reminded of the aggressive salesman I recently encountered.  He practically grabbed me by my shirt front and demanded that I buy what he was selling – a ham fisted approach that apparently works on some people.

The next day I watched a cormorant glide across the pond behind my house.  Cormorants are duck-like birds found in ponds and lakes. It looks like they are just enjoying swimming with the fish – until they make a quick dive and come up with a fish and you realize they were fishing all along.  These birds remind me of people who attend networking events.  They circulate through the crowd, making small talk, not really selling.  However, you may hear a sudden “snap” as they find a potential customer. read more

As marketers, we look at a lot of websites and social media sites.  After a (very unscientific) review, we have found that companies seem to fall into several categories when it comes to their social media  efforts, which could answer the question:  Why are some companies succeeding while others are not?

The Pretend Facebooker.  The “F” icon is on the website, but there is no Facebook Page.

Many DIY website templates have social media icons in the design. However, if the links are not added, clicking on the little blue F does no good. read more

January 10, 2014 / / Content creation

I can’t quite figure out the flurry of articles and blog posts that have been posted in the last few weeks either telling us that 2014 is the “Year of Content,” or heralding its “death.”  The fact is that marketing has always been about content.  From the time the fur traders sat around the campfire at the local fort and tried to sell their pelts (and I’m sure even before that) we have tried to spin stories that helped us sell the goods and services we possessed to people who we believed could use those goods and services.  Those stories – whether told around a campfire, written on a leaflet, published in a newspaper or emblazoned on the side of peddler’s wagon – were content. read more

January 6, 2014 / / Inbound Marketing

After meeting the owner of an IT company at a networking event, he asked us to meet with his marketing manager.  He wanted us to explain the Social Media Marketing and website design services we offered.

When we met his marketing person, it was almost immediately apparent that he was not going to be interested in anything we had to offer.

The website was not easily viewable on mobile devices and didn’t well explain what the company was offering.  We suggested a Responsive website with a content makeover that would help potential customers understand what the company was offering.  The marketing person did not believe that people would look at the website on mobile devices and didn’t think an update was necessary. old vs new read more

December 4, 2013 / / Inbound Marketing

As a marketing professional, I spend my time trying to get people to buy the products and services my clients have to offer.  However, I can only hope that my clients are living up to what I have promised in their name.

When my refrigerator broke down a few days before Thanksgiving, I needed a refrigerator – fast!  I had just seen a commercial for Lowe’s, and was impressed, so I started on Lowe’s Website. The website noted that the refrigerator I wanted was available for next day delivery. I ordered it and received email confirmation that the refrigerator would be delivered the next day.  A few hours later I received a phone call, giving me my “delivery window” for the next day. read more

October 16, 2013 / / Digital Marketing

Off-line Social networks have been around since cavemen gathered around a fire and told stories to each other. Networking events have been popular with Chambers of Commerce and other business groups for many years.  In the mid-1990’s organized networking or “leads” groups became popular.  These groups met on a regular basis, got to know each other tried to understand what other group members did in order to be able to give and receive referrals.  The idea behind all business networking groups is simple – to increase the reach of the company and generate more business. read more