Tag: marketing

How to produce creative content for your small business newsletter 24 May

How to Produce Creative Content for Your Small Business Newsletter

Special Delivery:  Attracting readers for your newsletter may seem like the biggest struggle when building your subscriber list, but how about ways to keep that subscriber base active and engaged? If you’re at a loss for how to maintain your current subscribers, we have a quick list of some creative ideas to keep your newsletter fun and engaging.

Start a series

A series is a great way to build both trust and anticipation with your readers. Not sure of what to include in your series? In general, a series should be a way for you to share information that builds your reputation as a trustworthy professional in your field. To do that, you can either create an all new series to highlight a particular facet of your field, or you can reformat some of your older blog posts to fit the purpose (which is an awesome way to drive traffic back to your site).

Share information from another source

This might sound a bit backwards, given that you’re trying to drive business and engagement for your own company. But, from a reliable source, it can lend credibility to you and your business. For example, you might share a published study or news story that’s relevant for your readership. That’s an excellent way to demonstrate that your company is in the business of helping its customers — beyond the scope of your products or services.

Hold contests

Holding a contest can have multiple benefits. It can boost engagement with your customers and serve to highlight your products or benefits. For example, if you have a clothing business, holding an “outfit of the week” contest can show off your clothing line and drive traffic to your social media channels. It’s also a great way to have fun and build a strong community between your customers and your business.

Tips, tricks, and FAQs

Offering a bit of inspiration in your newsletters can also help to increase customer engagement. Going back to the clothing company example, offering tips or tricks for styling certain outfits can inspire your customers to try something that they may not have tried otherwise. Along with that, a quick list of some common questions that you’ve received is an excellent method of providing information to your customers in an easily-digested format.

Tell a story

What better way to prove how awesome your product is than to share how it made a difference to another customer? Or, you might tell behind-the-scenes stories about your business, such as how you overcame a big struggle or why you opened a storefront in your hometown. Sharing stories and testimonials in your newsletter can build trust in your business by personalizing it for readers.

Conduct polls and surveys

Get your readers involved by using your newsletter as an opportunity to ask for feedback. Solicit your subscribers’ input about new products, ways to improve, even blog post ideas. Their opinions can help you better your business — and simply asking for that feedback will make your readers feel like their opinions matter.

Ready to get started? Use this list of creative newsletter ideas to produce content that will keep your readers coming back for more.

About the Author: 

A regular contributor to the GoDaddy Garage, Stacey Hartman has been with GoDaddy for more than eight years. She loves helping customers with SEO and business distribution via GoDaddy’s Search Engine Visibility and Get Found tools. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, gaming, reading, and baking award-winning cheesecakes.

 

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Great logo design: It’s not weird science 15 Dec

Great Logo Design: It’s Not Weird Science

Chances are, unless you’re as obsessed as I am with John Hughes films, you don’t think “weird science” when you envision coming up with a logo for your small business.

Well, it might not be weird, but there’s definitely science involved in great logo design.

Take the iconic Nike logo. You know exactly what I’m talking about, right? That’s not entirely due to Nike’s mammoth marketing campaigns. As it turns out, an effective logo such as the Nike swoosh — which suggests movement, like LeBron on a fast break — sticks with you because it evokes an emotional response and tells a brand’s story at a glance.

That’s not easy to do. It’s not impossible, either, even if you don’t have a Nike budget. By thinking about the science behind logo design as you plan your own logo, you’ll be well on your way to creating a logo with long-term impact.

Take shape

Different shapes can produce a wide variety of emotional responses in viewers. An excellent article in Creative Bloq recommends thinking about the values and attributes you want your logo to convey, and then using shape and color to bring your logo vision to life. In a nutshell:

Circular shapes evoke positivity, friendship and femininity.

Squares and triangles convey stability, strength and efficiency.

Triangles also are associated with masculinity and disciplines such as law and science.

Do a little research into shape psychology, and use your findings to design a logo that leverages the emotions and associations specific shapes bring forth in viewers.

Consider color

In addition to shapes, colors can help you tell your brand’s story through your logo. What color(s) come to mind with products or services you offer? What color(s) might represent your mission statement?

As with shapes, choose colors for your logo that are meaningful for your brand — while keeping the science of color theory in mind.

Color emotion guide for when you're redoing your logo

A word of caution: While certain colors do broadly align with certain traits — such as pink for femininity, green for eco-friendliness, and red for excitement — there’s no guarantee that a specific color will evoke a specific emotional response. Factors such as our personal experiences and cultural differences influence our responses to different colors.

That said, a number of studies on the role of color in branding and marketing — like this one and this one — have found that color plays a critical role in branding. It seems that the most important thing to keep in mind is whether or not people will think the color(s) you choose to represent your brand are appropriate for the products or services you offer.

Just some fun logo facts

Now that you’ve got the basics, here are some fun facts about logos to make you feel even smarter.

  • “Logo” is derived from the ancient Greek term for “word,” so a logo is essentially an idea expressed as an image.
  • On the Amazon logo, the smile reaches from the letter A to Z. Ergo, Amazon sells everything from A to Z.
  • On the FedEx logo, look between the letters E and X. The arrow you see in the white space represents speed and accuracy.

Want to learn more? Check out “How to design your own logo” and “Make your do-it-yourself logo look like a pro’s” in the GoDaddy Garage.

About the Author, Issac Irvine:

Isaac IrvineA cheerleader for small business owners and buying local, Isaac Irvine is a communications manager at GoDaddy. He loves the heart and soul that local businesses put into their products and services, and is especially interested in sharing tips for boosting productivity and efficiently building a business.

 

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Take Social Media Seriously in 2016 9 Dec

Take Social Media Seriously in 2016

If you thought that social media and digital marketing were a fad when you first heard about it, I certainly hope that you now realize that social media is not going away and everything is going digital.Social Media is here to stay. Resistance is Futile!

Resistance is Futile

Remember the Borg? OK, that’s something sci-fi fans will recognize from Star Trek the Next Generation. Their line:

You will be assimilated.
Resistance is futile.

Well, digital marketing is similar. If you don’t assimilate it into your business, you are going to be left behind in the dust. Resistance is futile and very unwise.

So what do you have to do to take your business to the next level in 2016? Make a decision. And it all stems around your budget. Now’s the time when you should be thinking about your business plan and budget for 2016 – so it’s vital that you include social media marketing as part of your marketing plan.

There’s two ways you can approach this.

Hire someone to do it for you or learn how to do it yourself.

If you want to hire someone to do it for you, your choices are contracting with a social media services company or an ad agency. This takes a hefty budget. Depending on their experience, anyone worth their salt charges from $500 – $2500 a month depending on what needs to be done.

The other option is hire someone to do it in-house. Here you have to factor:

  • Education – has this person been trained how to properly and effectively market on social media and by whom?
  • Experience – how long have they been on social media? Just because they are young and know how to post on Facebook and Instagram doesn’t mean they know how to market on social media.
  • Time – are they going to be full-time or part-time? If part-time, do they have another job that may be conflicting? If full-time, take into consideration salary, benefits, etc.

Yet another option is to train one of your current staff members on to marketing properly on social media. This person should be creative, somewhat tech-savvy and eager to learn. Think about how he or she is going to incorporate their current tasks and social media along with blogging 2-3 times a week. You can also rally a team of different people with various skills which would require a comprehensive strategic and tactical plan and someone to be the leader.

OR you can learn how to do all the social media yourself. Here you’ll have to carve out the time to:

  1. Take classes to learn how it all works and how to do research, planning and analytics as well as when, where and what to post on which networks.
  2. Do research to get to know your target market, find out which networks they frequent and what their interests are.
  3. Learn the culture and lingo of each of the major networks.
  4. Learn how to use the tools to curate content, schedule out posts, blog and monitor your social messages.
  5. Analyze your efforts each month to see what’s working and what’s not working, if you met your goals and to plan for the next month.

It’s your choice, but you cannot afford to ignore it any longer. Why?

  1. No one is going to find you on Google search
  2. Your competition is going to beat you out
  3. No one is going to know you exist

What do you want to do next? Not sure? It wouldn’t hurt to talk to a SCORE mentor – especially when it comes to budget/cash flow, business & marketing planning. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session.

I’ll also be happy to give you a free 30-minute phone consultation and analysis of your current efforts. Click here to schedule yours.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and offers Social media classes at the new AZ Social Media Training Center. 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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Holiday Candles 30 Nov

Use social media to showcase your brand’s holiday spirit

No matter what winter holiday you celebrate (or don’t celebrate), you can tap into the holiday spirit to benefit your small business.

‘Tis the season for intense shopping and searching for the perfect gift, and for giving back to individuals and causes that matter. That’s an ideal opportunity to use social media to showcase your brand in the light of giving and receiving—and promote the stuffing out of it.

The key? Be AUTHENTIC. People are getting sold so much they don’t need one more brand trying to convince them to commit to something they don’t want or need. Make your business stand out among all the holiday noise by:

  • Focusing on helping your customers, instead of selling to them.
  • Giving them sincere advice, related to your brand, that will help them survive and thrive during the holidays.
  • Connecting with them on a more personal level via any and all social media channels you use.

If you are familiar with social media, you understand that each type of social channel has its own unique personality. Here are a few holiday marketing ideas for some of the most popular social networks:

Facebook

Use your business’s Facebook page to show your followers what the holidays really mean to you by featuring people in your company. It gives your followers and inside look at your business and makes your brand feel more human. It is also a great time to showcase philanthropic events your brand is participating in; make sure to post pictures and videos of the event! Encourage others to join in on the generosity as well.

GoDaddy Cares Facebook post

Instagram

Instagram is all about the visuals! Host an Instagram contest that features your customers and how they spread cheer! Ask your customers how the celebrate the holidays and have them share their photos by tagging your brand and including a specific hashtag in their caption. Reward your followers with a worthwhile prize and watch the pictures pop up in your feed! You can even repost the customer-curated images throughout the season. Bam!

Twitter

Twitter is a conversational platform that operates in real-time. To get the convo going, create a themed hashtag to spark a discussion between you and your customers. Host a twitter chat about holiday tips and tricks. This lets you connect with your followers AND provides an opportunity for them to learn and share.

Pinterest

Pinterest is the place people get inspired! Pin pictures of table settings or how to get your holiday meal prepared with no stress. Create boards that will help your followers keep calm and collected during this often stressful time. Use Pinterest’s buyable pin feature to slip in a relevant product or two.

Pinterest holiday contest

Whatever social media networks you choose to leverage for your small business this holiday season, just remember that the holidays are about more than gift-giving. Give your followers and opportunity to see your brand in authentic, generous light. By doing so, you’ll be sure to inspire others with your brand and truly stand out in the crowd!

Greater Phoenix SCORE regularly holds classes on marketing and social media. Click here for upcoming class schedule.

By Jillian Johnson for GoDaddy

About the Author:

Jillian Johnson with GoDaddyJillian Johnson is a social media specialist at GoDaddy. She’s committed to contributing bold and innovative ideas for sharing brand and personal narratives online, and believes that a carefully crafted digital identity can be a game-changer for both businesses and individuals. In Jillian’s world, there’s a GIF for every emotion and a dance battle is the best way to settle a conflict. In her spare time, she is exploring Seattle, one local spot at a time.

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Big Data - how to use it to learn about your target market 17 Nov

Big Data: Where to get info on your Target Market [Infographic]

One thing that technology, social media and the new digital marketing has given the marketer is Big Data.

Every time someone likes your Facebook page or shares your post, it gets recorded. On your website, your site stats can tell you how many people visited, where they came from, what they clicked on, and how long they were there. When a user searches for something, it’s recorded.

There are 3 components of Big Data:

  • Volume
  • Velocity
  • Variety

This infographic from Asigra touches on some “data” from earlier this year:

Big Data Infographic

There’s actually too much data! So where do you go to learn about your target market?

Well, first you need to Define Your Target Niche – who are they, what do they like, what don’t they like, what are their pain points?

Once you’ve clearly defined your target, then you need to do a little research. Most of these sites offer free information, but they have paid areas with more, in-depth data.

One of the sites that I like is eMarketer. Click on “Articles” then search for keywords pertaining to your target. They’ve got lots of charts and articles that tell you what devices they use – desktop, laptop or mobile, which social networks they frequent the most and what they do online.

If you’re local and B2B, your local business journal can help you tremendously with the everything from who’s who to the largest companies in any given field or industry.

Marketing Sherpa offers case studies. These are very useful to learn what other businesses like yours are doing and what’s worked or what hasn’t.

Facebook has expanded their “Audience Insights” with the purpose of attracting advertisers, but you can use the tool for free. Choose your target audience by age and gender, location, their likes, what other pages they like, etc. Then you can see how they use Facebook – what types of posts they like, what brands they follow the most, their purchasing habits, household income, how they engage with the brand pages and posts – liking, sharing or commenting.Facebook Audience Insights

Here are some other of my favorite sources of social media news.

All this helps you get to know your target. Each network also gives you analytics and insights on your followers (“fans”). This is crucial information so you can see:

  • If your followers really reflect your target
  • What posts got the most engagement so you can feed them more of them
  • What other things interest them

The more you get to know your target, the easier it is to put yourself in their shoes and think like them.

What are they going to enter into the search box to find you?

Don’t let Big Data scare you. Infographics help alot. Many companies use them to help showcase important data. Do a Google or Bing image search for an industry or topic and add the word “infographic”. You’ll get a variety of pictures.  Note: always check the date and source of the data to make sure you have the most current information from a reliable source.

Start here. Download the free “Define Your Target Market Workbook” to help you identify your perfect customer. Then you can shape your marketing plan to meet their likes and needs.

A SCORE mentor can help you with this vital step. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session.

By Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and offers Social media classes at the new AZ Social Media Training Center. 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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Branding on LinkedIn

You want to be a LinkedIn All-star with a completed profile
You want to be a LinkedIn All-star with a completed profile

LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool that most people think is just a place to have your resume when you’re looking for a job. It’s so much more than that!

LinkedIn is the largest professional network.

Do you belong to a chamber of commerce or association? Well, LinkedIn is live networking on steroids and online. It’s where you can literally toot your own horn, give advice, get known as an expert in your field, meet people who can give you referral as well as start building relationships with potential customers.

LinkedIn gives you several opportunities to brand yourself or your company by allowing you to upload files and videos, both in your summary and in your experience. Everything you put on your LinkedIn profile page is part of your branding:

  • Picture
  • Headline
  • URL – the web address for your personal profile (get rid of the numbers!)
  • Summary
  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Education
  • Projects
  • Writing for LinkedIn’s blog – yes anyone can!

Your LinkedIn profile heading is crucial.

You have a few seconds to catch someone’s attention. Your headline appears next to your name and picture every time you share a post or link on your LinkedIn updates. This video from LinkedIn gives a cool tip on how to stand out from the crowd with your profile headline.

So go right now to change that LinkedIn headline!

We’ve got a “LinkedIn: Beyond the Resume” class coming up, that’s given regularly, you’ll learn everything you need to have a completed profile, how to build a company business page, what to post where and writing for LinkedIn. Check the class schedule here.

LinkedIn, like all the major social media networks, is a powerful branding tool – learn how to use it properly and effectively!

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and offers Social media classes at the new AZ Social Media Training Center. 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

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