Marketing Mistakes to Avoid (Pt. 1)

 

We have all been there before, where we come up with a great new marketing plan but end up having a hard time getting a strong response rate. Chances are that we are committing one, or multiple, of the following common marketing mistakes:

Weak Written Material:

Having strong writing skills is a crucial part in communicating with your target audience. In order to fully get through to your customers and motivate them to take action, you must first move them with your words. This can only be done through strong written content. The content should interest your readers.

Forgetting about SEO:

SEO is important in marketing for company visibility. When creating any marketing materials, do not forget to incorporate important industry keywords, tags and Meta descriptions to help your business rank high on search.

Repeating others Content:

Every now and then we all get stuck or seem to run out of new ideas and look to others for inspiration. However, while doing this, we end up repeating content every now and then. Doing this can make it difficult for your target audience to remember you. Write in your own point of view and incorporate your own experiences and inspirations into your work.

Not Self-Promoting:

Whenever you think about self-promotion, you probably think about something along arrogance, but it does not have to be this way. The truth of the matter is that if you’re not promoting your content, how will your audience know what your company has been up to? Promote your business’ greatest achievements and invite others to the celebration!

No Call to Action:

Not having a call to action is a big mistake. All your messages and marketing materials should end with a call to action. Connect your marketing materials to your brand and finish off with an instruction on what to do next and how to do it.

Learning from our mistakes is important. If you need help developing a marketing plan that works, contact Sperling Interactive for help!

Tagline vs. Positioning Statement

When you think “tagline” what comes to mind? What about when you hear “positioning statement”? Do you know the difference between the two? If you don’t quite know what the difference between a tagline and positioning statement is, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many people tend to get the two confused all the time. Today, we will clear up some of the difference between the two and their soul purpose. Follow along to get a better understanding.

Taglines:

Chances are that when you think “positioning statement” you may actually be thinking about the tagline. A tagline is made to express the value of a product or service to help improve the appearance and position of a brand. Its duty is to help portray what the company does and who they are.

When creating a tagline, you want to make sure that you can answer the following questions:

  • What do we do for our customers?
  • How do we better our customers’ lives?
  • What is our unique selling proposition?

Once you are able to answer these questions, it’s time to put it all together into a clever statement. A tagline should be clever and witty, so don’t be afraid to use a play on words. It should definitely convey your company’s personality, as well. How else will you make your business memorable?

Positioning Statement:

A positioning statement is much more complicated than a tagline. It requires more information in just as a memorable way as a tagline. The components of such statement are:

  • Target audience
  • The solutions it offers
  • Comparison to competitors
  • Unique selling proposition (USP)

Here is a template to help get you started:

“[Brand’s name] is for [target audience] looking to [explain the services] unlike others [related industry]. [Explain why your business is unique in, at least, 3 points].”

Are you having trouble coming figuring out how to position your brand? Contact Sperling Interactive for a consultation.

How to Create Brand Positioning?

Brand positioning is the most important way to get your business and products out there. In order to maintain a great business running, the business’ brand needs to be recognized and remembered in a positive light. The goal in brand positioning is to create an image about your brand in consumers’ minds so that they can remember your products in a specific way. Because this is so important for your company, we have put together some guidelines to help you create an appropriate brand positioning.

Before you create a plan for your brand positioning, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

         How is your brand currently positioned?

         Who are your competitors?

         How are competitors positioning themselves?

Once you have found the answers to these questions, you would be able to have a better sense of which direction you would like to take your business -competing alongside your competitors, or divert from them completely.

If you want to differentiate your brand from that of competitors, the best way to do so is by focusing your brand position on the features your company has to offer that competitors don’t. If you and your competitors offer very similar services/products, you can focus advertisements on those features that competitors are not expressing in their advertisement. Many times, businesses tend to overlook some of their services without realizing how those services can be of priority to prospective consumers. Pay attention to what competitors are saying about their businesses to help determine the direction you want to take.

If you are interested in competing alongside competitors, determine what makes your service better than theirs and have your brand positioning revolve around that.

Ways to Get your Content Shared

Posting informational and helpful materials on your social platforms means nothing unless people are reading and sharing that content with others. In order for the content to be deemed as valuable it needs to be viewed, but with so much being shared on social media, it’s easy to have materials go unnoticed and get buried under other status updates and video sharing. Because of this, we have developed a set of tips to help create value to your content. Read along to learn how you can get your content shared.

Some basic points to keep in mind are headlines, the type of social network the content is being posted in and the purpose of the content.

Headline:

Build a strong and interesting headline for your content. The title should give an idea of what your content is about and create interest in what you are sharing with others. Play around with different headlines to see which one sounds best.

Type of Social Media:

Each social network is different and should be treated as so. Just because some content did well in one platform, doesn’t mean it will do well in all platforms, at least not if it’s presented in the same way. Tailor your content to the social media you plan to share it on. For example, Twitter expects short and to the point information, unlike Facebook where more details are shared.

Content’s Purpose:

What is the purpose of your content? Are you trying to inform others on a certain subject? Are you trying to entertain your audience? Whatever it may be that you are sharing, make sure you are not sharing the same kind of content consistently. You don’t want to bore your followers. Remember that you want to be interesting to your followers in order to get your content shared.

Aside from content-specific tips, here are some other alternatives to also incorporate to help get your content shared:

Ask Influencers and Employees to Share:

Build a relationship with other social influencers and ask them to feature your content. If you build a strong enough relationship, you may not have to even ask. Doing this, as well as asking employees to share the content, can help get your content shared by others while also increasing your company’s visibility.

Happy Posting!

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce

 

The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most effective business-to-business network in Merrimack including Andover, Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover, Greater Haverhill, Greater Lowell, and Southern New Hampshire. There are currently over 1,000 chamber company members benefiting from their many programs, services and events, including us! We have been members of this network for 3 years.  There are 100+ events hosted by the MV Chamber of Commerce each year. In the past there over 7,500 people have attended at least one of these events.

If you have thought about becoming a member of the organization but haven’t yet, here are the many reasons why you should join:

  •      They provide group rated health & dental insurance opportunities.
  •      They connect businesses and government affairs together through their business government affairs program, annual breakfast events, and more.
  •      They hold networking events to such as the Business Networking Mixer, Women in Business events, and their Annual Holiday Party, among many other events, to help promote businesses.
  •      They help small business start-ups with Free Business Counseling, Assistance to Start Up, Assistance to Women in Business, The Next Generation Leaders Program for young business men and women, and more.
  •      They provide members with mailing and promotional publications, like their “Membership Matters” quarterly newsletter, among others.
  •      They host family and sporting events exclusive to MV Chamber members, and more.

These are only a few of many membership benefits and events held by the MV Chamber. To find out more about their benefits click here http://www.merrimackvalleychamber.com/Membership_Benefits/). If you are interested in becoming a member, click here.

Industry Specific Social Site: AVVO

Are you an attorney trying to get your services out to the public, or are you a citizen looking for an attorney to help service your legal needs but don’t know who to reach out to? Avvo may be the solution to your legal needs! It is a legal service website where attorneys can offer a specific service with a fixed price and users can search and review lawyers the specific services they offer and pay the full price right on the website.

As a user, you are able to find the best attorney for you by clicking on the service gallery that matches the service you are looking for. There are multiple legal services offered on Avvo, some including:

– 15-30 minutes legal advising sessions

– Reviewing of legal documents, including immigration application

– Applying for US citizenship

– Create residential leases

– Filing for divorce

As an attorney, here is how it works for you:

Lawyers must select at least one service they would like to offer along with the fixed fee for each service. After being selected for your service, you must pay a per-service marketing fee for each completed and paid service. All attorney participation in the Avvo website are governed by Avvo’s Legal Services Term.

When a user searches for a specific service, they are required to click on their geographic location. This way, only local attorneys show up. Each client is local to the lawyer’s area. Unfortunately, attorneys are not available in all states. Here is a list of states where services are available:

      Arizona

      California

      Colorado

      Florida

      Georgia

      Illinois

      Massachusetts

      Maryland

      Michigan

      Minnesota

      Missouri

      Nevada

      New Hampshire

      North Carolina

      New Jersey

      New York

      Ohio

      Oregon

      Pennsylvania

      South Carolina

      Texas

      Utah

      Virginia

      Washington

      Wisconsin

If you are an attorney interested in joining Avvo, click here to visit their website.

Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads

Google AdWords is changing their format! The text ads will have an expanded text format, which will include two headline fields with more characters (30 characters) as well as an expanded description fields with 50 percent more ad text. The new changes are meant to give advertisers more control over their message and give users more information before they click ads. Overall, its new design is made for a “mobile-first world.”

Are you wondering what changes this will bring to your current ads? Well – good news— expanded text ads will still be available on the Google Search Network as well as Google Display Network. All AdWord tools that support text ads will also support it. The new design will also brings two optional path field and the display URL will be the domain website’s URL. The bad news, however, is that the old format will no longer be editable after the switch is over. This means that, even though the old ads will still run, advertisers will no longer be able edit them after it has been switched into the new format.

When getting started with the new AdWords design, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of the switch:

  1.     Use headlines that will attract prospective clients and give them enough information to persuade them to visit your site.
  2.     Be strategic with your headlines so that it is displayed in the best way possible. On search, headlines are combined with hyphens, which can cause the headline to go beyond the first line on mobile view.
  3.     An expanded description means you can communicate more with the audience; take advantage of it.

If you are thinking about getting started, click here for details on how to do so.

Tips for Nonprofits to Stand Out

As a nonprofit organization, you may find that you struggle to get views or interactions on social media. Maybe you have very important information to share with your audience but find that a very small amount of your followers have actually seen your posts. Luckily, we have put together a guide to help nonprofits stand out in the midst of all the memes and live feeds on social media. To learn about what technical and strategic steps your organization should make in order to gain views and followers on social media, keep on reading.

Technical steps:

In order to be found more easily, you want to make sure that your page’s information is completed. This includes your organization’s address. A full address can be helpful on social media to help clients check into your page and find out what your organization is about.

When using  Facebook, activating your location allows for followers to save your page as a place they have visited or are visiting, which also allows your organization to be viewed by other potential clients or donors.

When creating Tweets, it’s important for them to remain in the 100-115 characters and include an image. By doing this, the chances of having that tweet retweeted and viewed by potential clients are increased.

If your organization includes multiple service departments, you are able to create showcase pages on LinkedIn for each service department in the business. This way, each page could have its own message and audience. Users would be more likely to follow the specific pages that are relative to themselves rather than a general page with a ton of information they are not interested in.

Strategic steps:

When sharing information on social media, you want to make sure your posts are less “salesy” and more informative. It is very easy for a non-profit to use their social platform as fundraising platform. Instead, you want to be more useful and, even, entertaining. Otherwise, you would be pushing your followers away.

On that note, you should also stay away from broadcasting. As a social platform, you should actually be socializing with your followers. Building relationships with your customers is important for business and social media is the platform to help you do just that.

Being consistent is key when developing followers and gaining views. Even though posting about events and campaigns can be informative to your followers, don’t just share on social media whenever an event is going to occur. Be consistent in your postings and think out of the box when it comes to posts.

A creative way to share posts, stories and information is by using visuals. Share images in relation to your organization or that tell a story about it and go into details in the caption section. Many times, images speak for themselves and are perfect for getting followers attention.

Industry Specific Social Site: ActiveRain

If you are in the real estate industry, you may have heard or already have an account with ActiveRain. This social channel is the world’s largest and most active professional network in the real estate industry boasting 285,233 members. If you happen to be in this industry but haven’t thought about signing up for an account, then read on to find out all the reasons why you should.

First and foremost, ActiveRain provides users with one of the industry’s largest real estate specific content library with over 4 million blog posts. This is due to members sharing their best practices from sales strategies and marketing to technology. Members are able to create and share blog posts onto the site to help teach and inform one other of real estate related topics. Through all of these helpful blogs, members are also able to build professional relationships with other real estate professionals around the United States and Canada, which can later help with building a national referral network.

These services can definitely help real estate professionals build a greater following; especially since other ActiveRain visitors are able to see member blog posts. The more people recognize your name and work, the better it will be for business.

Signing up to be a member of ActiveRain is completely free. In order to do this, click here! If you would like your blog posts to be seen and searched by the millions of ActiveRain visitors, you could upgrade your account to become a “Rainmaker”.  As a rainmaker member, not only will you be able to share your blog posts with millions of users but, you are able to create Hit Router and Home Search Campaigns using your IDX. To learn more about Rainmaker and its benefits visit here.

Advertising Trends

New advertising trends are always developing and evolving over time. From print to digital, there have been many trends. With all the many rapid changes in trends, it can certainly be difficult to keep up with them, but we are here to help! We have developed a list with explanation about the newest advertising trends to help guide you in your next campaign. If you are interested in finding out what they are and how to go about them, continue reading.

An incredible amount of advertising occurs on digital media. This is, of course, no news since everyone is always hooked on some type of digital technology and happens to be all around us.  This brings us to our first trend…

Video Advertising:

According to research, mobile ads specifically have resulted in growing revenue. People are constantly looking at their phones or tablets to pass time or to avoid awkward situations, which is why many advertisers are placing their focus on mobile video ads. Over the past year, advertisement videos have accounted for 30 percent of all online video consumption.

Keeping it Short:

Everyone is constantly on the run or moving onto the next task. Because of this, short video advertisements have become a popular trend. Snapchat, for example, has become a popular advertising platform especially for targeting young millennials. Videos are usually 10 seconds long and can appear in random randomly throughout while browsing through live stream videos or going through the discover section.

Chat Advertising:

Advertising on chat apps have also become the popular thing to do since people are constantly communicating through instant chats. Examples of these apps are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.

Entertaining while Informing:

Because people, especially millennials, dislike seeing “salesy” posts, the advertisements have become more entertaining while still being informative. Of course, this can be done with videos but also with infographics as opposed to lengthy blog posts.