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Saskatoon Businesses transitioning from Traditional Marketing to Inbound Marketing

posted by Trio Web Design    |   October 12, 2012 11:13

Once again we had a fantastic week at Trio Web Design! This week we had the opportunity to meet with passionate local Saskatoon businesses that are interested in diversifying their marketing budgets to include online forms of advertising.  A common theme during our meetings was the urgency to transition from traditional forms of marketing to inbound marketing strategies.

Regularly we are asked by businesses in Saskatoon, "how long do I have to keep pouring money into traditional outlets before I can make the transition to online initiatives completely?" Our reply is often quite straight forward, "well that depends on what your marketing strategy has been in the past, is currently, and what you are wanting to achieve in the future."  Many businesses believe that they can completely drop all of their traditional forms of marketing and jump right into the new wave of online marketing. While this might be an option for start-ups, unfotunately, for more well established businesses, this cold-cut strategy might not be well received by their long-time consumers or their staff.

Remember that change can be scary...so in this case patience is a virtue!

To answer some of the questions we received this week I found a great article by Anum Hussain, called "How to Painlessly Transition Your Company to Inbound Marketing", in this article Anum explains how to strategically incorporate inbound marketing strategies with traditional marketing initiatives. 

For anyone interested in further discussing the potential of inbound marketing strategies and how to transition their business from traditional to online advertising initiatives, feel free to give us a call at 1 (306) 716-0680. 

Hope you enjoy the article!

Have a great week. 

- CBB

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How to Painlessly Transition Your Company to Inbound Marketing

Posted by Anum Hussain - Mon, Oct 08, 2012 @ 08:00 AM

INTRODUCTION

We talk to people all the time that are totally sold on the inbound marketing methodology, but there's just one thing standing in their way from becoming a full-fledged inbound marketer ... they can't convince their boss they can switch to inbound marketing without experiencing a painful blow to their current marketing.

It makes sense -- change is hard, and honestly, nobody is going to let you waltz in and, with the snap of your fingers, totally change the way your business and marketing department functions. If someone came up to you and said that the proper way to cut paper is by grinding your teeth on it because it results in higher levels of efficiency than traditional scissors, would you make the swap? Of course not. Even if it was true. (Note: it's not.)

That means if you're really interested in transitioning your company to inbound marketing, it's time get a little sneaky. It's time to integrate your inbound marketing campaigns with your company's more traditional marketing campaigns. Over time, you can not only prove the value of inbound marketing as your campaigns start to generate staggering ROI -- numbers tend to do the convincing for you -- but you'll already have that gradual transition towards more inbound-friendly methods underway! So let's start that transition to inbound marketing together, right now, step-by-step ... here's what to do.

Merge Inbound Tactics with Outbound Campaigns

Many marketers have already started fusing online and offline marketing techniques. According to Marketing Charts, 90% of marketers believe using online data to optimize the offline experience is important. Furthermore, 73% of company marketers say they will be using a cross-channel marketing strategy over the next few years.

Clearly a large population of marketers are comfortable with weaving online marketing tactics with their traditional campaigns. So let's start there. Kindly request to make inbound tactics a part of the outbound promotion. Here's a few examples.

  • Connect Your Commercials with a Social Media Campaign

If you work for an organization that uses commercials to advertise their business, ask if you can get social media in on the action just a little bit. Perhaps something small, like a hashtag? Just look at this screenshot from an Audi commercial, for example.

 

This inclusion enables you to unify your online messaging with your advertising campaign, and gives you the opportunity to go to town with social content revolving around the hashtag. Use it in quotes, to start Twitter chats, when citing stats ... anything that can help unify the messaging from your commercial and the content you're publishing to social media.

  • Attach a Landing Page to Your Print Advertisements and Direct Mail

Your print advertisements may get you noticed, it's the call-to-action part that's difficult. In other words, is there any way to get someone to actually take action when they're inspired by your print ads? Well, when your team sits down to put together their next print ad, ask them for a little space for some copy that points readers to an online destination. This could be through a QR code like Gucci did below, or by simply including a URL.

 

This allows you to create a customized landing page just for this advertisement -- you know, something a little more personalized to the reader and the ad you created than just your homepage.

Simulataneously Run Inbound Campaigns Alongside More Traditional Campaigns

Now that you've started to integrate digital and print campaigns, ask if you can run a few additional "inboundy" campaigns of your own. Make this easier by promising you'll still complete your routine tasks -- these additional campaigns will be tests you're running in addition to those. While this will require more of your time for a bit, it won't require more of your budget, making it easier to sell your boss and colleagues on the subject. Here are some quick campaigns you can run to include in your ultimate portfolio for convincing your team.

  • Repurpose Existing Content to Create Some Lead Generation Offers

If you've been in business for a while -- even just a year or two -- you've likely accumulated a bunch of content and expertise without even knowing it. And if you want to do a test drive of an inbound marketing campaign, you're going to need that content and expertise. Gather your current sales and marketing collateral -- case studies, testimonials, brochures, whatever you got -- and start reworking it to spin it into offer content that you can put behind a form, and/or share across social media channels.

  • Set Up CTAs and Landing Pages

See if your boss would be alright with you making some website tweaks. You're not going to redesign the skin or anything, but you could improve upon what's already there ... and make some key new additions.

First, create a call-to-action that lives right on the homepage. It's easy, you can even make them in PowerPoint! That CTA should lead to a new landing page that houses one of those awesome new lead generation offers you just created. Make sure you consider what type of offer visitors to your home page might be interested in -- if the bulk of your traffic is coming in on branded keywords, for example, something a little further down your sales funnel, like a case study or product-focused whitepaper, might be most appropriate. When your sales team starts to see people "raising their hand" to talk about purchasing your product or service, you can bet they'll want to try more of that inbound marketing stuff.

  • Create Visual Social Media Content

Put on your creative hat and think of a cool new idea for increasing engagement on your social media channels. Can you create a series of memes around a common industry fad? Can you create a few visual representations of important stats and data in your field? You don't need Photoshop to do this, either. Just head over to memegenerator.net or use PowerPoint to whip up some visuals that can be easily shared, helping you generate more fans and followers and increase your overall social reach.

  • Create and Share Your Blog Content Strategically

Start writing posts on your company blog -- and if you don't have one, set one up! But be strategic. You can't just write a post and hope the world stumbles upon it. Instead, start sharing that post with advocates of your brand or others who would find it valuable. And yes, that includes your social media fans and followers. You also need to make sure search engines can find it by writing about topics germane to your company and industry. It would also help to start writing guest blog posts for other related sites so you can get some of those coveted inbound links that help your site rise in the search engine rankings!

Collect and Compare Metrics

Now that you've got some campaigns up and running, you can start collecting metrics that speak to their effectiveness. Collect every metric humanly possible. Generate reports that show you the number of times your hashtags were mentioned on Twitter. Look at your website analytics to see how many users were sent to your customized landing pages or landed on your website because of your blog posts. See which keywords drove the most traffic to your website. You know, see what didn't work, what did work, and what really, really worked. These metrics will show impact you can tie directly to business goals like generating revenue and closing new business.

Then it's time to organize all your results into a clear, succinct, and educational presentation so you can prove the ROI of inbound marketing to your team. And when you use data based off of recent campaigns -- data that you can tie directly to leads and customers generated -- you don't have that difficult of a case to make!

What tactics have you used to convince your boss and colleagues to invest in inbound marketing?

Image Credit: IT Tech News

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Online Promotional Strategies

How to use Facebook for Event Marketing in Saskatoon

posted by Trio Web Design    |   April 30, 2012 14:30

Website Design in Saskatoon is booming! Over the past two months our Trio Web Design team has been working hard to complete some fantastic Website Designs that we will be launching next week in Saskatoon. Be sure to check-back next week to see the new website designs. 

In the last month I have received a number of comments and questions from local business owners regarding social media platforms and whether or not they need to be on every social website out there. Our philosopy at Trio is that every customer group is different and businesses need to be on the social platforms where their customers hangout.

For those of you who are on Facebook and have created a Facebook Page for your business, this blog post will be of great value to you, especially if you have an upcoming event that you want to promote!

Just recently one of our Saskatoon clients wanted to create an event on their Facebook Page, the problem was, with all the changes to Facebook they weren't sure how to make the most of promoting this event. 

I found a great article posted by Steve Toth, from TechWyse Internet Marketing Toronto, titled "8 Killer Tips: How to use Facebook for Event Marketing". Steve breaks down creating an event step-by-step.  

If you need help creating engaging graphics for your event call us at (306) 716-0680, we would be happy to assist you in creating the graphics you need to promote your event on Facebook.

Enjoy the post - I hope it helps!

- CBB

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Facebook can be a powerful medium to help drive event ticket sales. This post will take you through some best practices when marketing your event on Facebook.

Tip #1 Create a Facebook Page for your event

If your event happened twice a year, keep the same page and simply adjust the cover photo and profile image to reflect the upcoming show. Make sure to keep your page title and URL generic, and not specific to one year. Let’s say you’re a band who’s got an upcoming tour. Simply use your band’s page to and add the events app.

CBB Insight: You must have a Facebook Page for your business prior to creating an event.  If the event is not connected with any particular business, you can create a Facebook Page specifically for that event. 

 

Tip #2 Add the Events Application - This is really easy, just follow these simple steps:

CBB Insight: Remember that you must be logged into your Facebook Page in order to complete the following steps. 

Step 1

 

Step 2

 

 

Now you should see the events app appear on your timeline:

 

 

The thumbnail image for your event will be drawn from the event’s profile image. The dimensions for the app thumbnails are 111 x 74 px. Try shrinking your profile image down with Photoshop to 111 px wide and make sure the area you want visible sits above the 74 px mark.

Next you’ll want to customize your cover photo and profile photo to promote your event.

 

Create visually appealing imagery that’s appropriate for your event. Be sure to include event information like venue name and date. Also include a link to buy tickets in your timeline’s about section.

 

Tip #3 Do a Giveaway

Here’s a really simple tip that Toronto’s Bridal Show did for their upcoming event.

Upload a photo, for every Like a person is entered into a draw, if a person comments it counts as two entries, and for every share the person gets 5 entries. There is one caveat. Only publicly viewable likes, comments and shares count as entries. This is simply because private shares, comments, and likes aren’t viewable by your page. This is a really simple way to generate organic word of mouth for your event.

See the example below:

 

 

Tip #4 Create Facebook Ads for your Event

We’ve had a lot of success with Facebook ads for Toronto’s Bridal Show. Instead of creating an ad for your page or website, try creating an ad for your event. The benefits are a higher click through rate and the ability for people to invite their friends directly from the ad. This makes it super easy for people to make plans around your event!

Another critical element is taking advantage of Facebook precise interest targeting. For Toronto’s Bridal Show we targeted people with the following ad. Notice the target: engaged women, 18+, within 80km of the venue’s city.

 

With this ads we saw a 0.088% CTR (that’s very high, 0.040% -.0050% is considered average). The end cost to Toronto’s Bridal Show was $3.30 per person replying to the event. Not bad, especially when you consider most people don’t attend events alone. The key here is finding an engaged audience (pun intended). Another example would be targeting a group of people who like similar things e.g. if i were promoting a U2 concert, I might want to target Coldplay fans. A strong call-to-action in your ad will also help, in this case “invite your friends & RSVP today!” helps to drive home the desired action.

 

Tip #5 Create Multiple Admins and Have Them Invite Friends

If you have a group of people working at your event, invite them to become page administrators. That way they can invite their friends to the event fanpage. Facebook does not allow you to send invitations to your existing fans, so your best bet is to post about it often and invite as many people as you know. Check out this post that will show you how to increase your Likes by inviting your LinkedIn and Outlook contacts.

 

Tip #6 Treat your Event Wall Like Your Page’s Wall

Be sure to add your address, info about your event, the date and post links, photos and videos on the event wall. Facebook doesn’t yet allow for a whole lot of customization for event pages, so an active wall is probably your best selling tool once people land on your event page.

 

Tip #7 Create Messages for Attendees, Maybes, and People Who Haven’t Replied

This is simply the idea of following up. Just like the dentist will call you a day or two in advance, so should you before your event date arrives. You may wish to create different messages for different groups. Let’s say you’ve go a few people who’ve haven’t replied to your invite; why not send them a message with a ticket coupon discount, or a buy one get one free offer.

To send invitees a message just follow these simple steps:

 

Now select which group of guests you’d like to send a message to:

 

 

Tip #8 Have fun!

Post lots of photos and videos during your events. Create signage with your Facebook page URL. Ask people to post on your Timeline during your event and be sure to participate in the conversation.

Advertising on Facebook: Drive traffic to your website and Fan Page

posted by Trio Web Design    |   March 7, 2012 15:45

The online advertising trend continues to grow with more businesses turning their attention and focusing their marketing budgets to include pay-per-click Ads on sites such as Google and Facebook.  This morning I came across a great article highlighting strategies that businesses should consider before running a promotion on Facebook.

If you would like more information about running a Facebook promotion or need assistance in creating the graphics for a promotion contact us - we would be happy to help you drive more traffic to your Facebook Page and your website!

Enjoy the article. 

- CBB

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This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

Facebook has become a no-brainer for small business owners looking for an easy way to promote and interact with new and regular customers. But before a small business owner launches a promotion on the platform, there are several things to consider — and a couple things to keep in mind after the launch.

North Social‘s managing partner David Brody, who specializes in promotion strategy and creative concepts, says that a small business owner should always take the time to craft the right objective, strategy and motivating value-based idea.

“By thinking through your promotional effort from start to finish, you’re giving your promotion the best chance at achieving social success — sounds simple right?” he says. “But you can’t imagine how many promotions fail because they didn’t have a smart plan in place.”

 

Building a Better Promotions Strategy


Before you rush to put a promotion in place, yourself these simple questions:

  • What am I trying to achieve?
  • How do I plan on achieving it?
  • First you need an objective — do you want fan growth, someone to sample your product, purchase, data collection or usage?

Brody says there are three common strategies to achieve your goals: added value, price discounts and merchandising. More specific examples of tactic would be coupons, product samples, sweepstakes, contests and downloads.

Once you’ve mapped this out, you can determine the type of Facebook application you’ll need. Keep in mind that there are a lot of promotions guidelines set by Facebook that small business owners might not know about. One common violation, Brody says, is using Facebook features or functionality as a promotion registration or entry mechanism.

“The act of ‘liking’ a Page cannot automatically enter you in a sweepstakes or contest,” he says. “You must also not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than ‘liking’ a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app.”

If you’re not sure whether your promotion is compliant with Facebook rules related to “like-gating” and entry collection, you could use a Facebook-approved promotion app. You can read the complete Facebook promotion guidelines here.

 

Are Contests For Everyone on Facebook?


“The ultimate goal of a running a promotion on Facebook is to inspire action — not squander away your valuable page traffic,” says Brody. “But in order to inspire action — Likes, shares, engagement — you’ll need to first serve up a meaningful experience or offer up something of value.”

Keep your audience in mind when planning a prize. Small business owners don’t necessarily need cash, cars and vacation trips to entice consumers into your Facebook promotion.

Instead, focus on what’s valuable to your audience — informative and entertaining content. Brody suggests digital goods, such as coupons, group discounts, samples, VIP invitations and video previews.

 

 

Things to Avoid When Running a Promotion

 

Always remember that simplicity is key — entry to the promotion should be as simple as possible.


“The more hoops you make them jump through in order to have a chance a receiving or winning something, the less likely they’ll participate — or tell their friends about it,” Brody says.

Also, don’t rely solely on the fans you already have to push new customers to your promotion. The best-constructed Facebook promotions can still fail without the help of other traffic drivers. It is unlikely, even among the hundreds millions of consumers on Facebook, that users will stumble onto your Facebook Page unless you give them directions, along with an easy way to navigate once they do find you.

Brody’s advice is to consider the following: “Outside of Facebook ads, which are extremely powerful at delivering new fans, what other marketing touch points do you have at your disposal that could create more buzz for your promotion?”

For example, if you sell a product or service offline, you could print a Facebook-only offer on your paper receipts to attract more fans. If your store is online, your packages could include a strong call-to-action, asking customers to join you on Facebook to discover special offers.

“Don’t assume your current customers already follow you on Facebook,” says Brody. “In fact, most of them probably don’t.”

Finally, keep in mind that the Facebook promotion itself is not the end goal. There’s an ultimate goal behind it.

“Your first goal should always be to get a visitor to take action by ‘liking’ or sharing your Facebook Page, but your second objective should be to get them to return to your Page and interact with your brand or business on a regular basis,” says Brody.

Examples Brody suggest are to entertain and inform — filling their news feed with thought-provoking and valuable messages that entice them to participate with your business.

“If you don’t deliver ‘high perceived-value’ on a regular basis, you could find your fans using their own thumb to hitch a ride to your competition’s page,” he says.

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Online Promotional Strategies


Trio Web Design
Trio Web Design