Marketing Mistakes to Avoid (Pt. 2)

This blog post is a continuation of the marketing mistakes 2 part series where we review the many popular marketing mistakes we are all guilty of doing at some point in our business. Here are some mistakes to watch out for and avoid:

Using the Wrong Platforms:

It can be difficult, at first, to decide on the appropriate platforms for promotions or simply to share important content. The best way to decide on a platform is to find out where your target audience spends most of their time and find out what are the best ways to contact them. Try sharing content on every platform available and keeping an eye on the analytics of each one to see which results in a high response rate. This will help you weed out the channels that are of no use to you.

Spending a lot Too Fast:

Chances are that, if you are spending too much too fast, you are not giving you and your company enough time to test out different platforms and strategies and are, instead, doing a lot at a time. It’s important to test out different strategies to see what works best and what doesn’t before spending all of your money.

Not Measuring Results:

Measuring your results is a crucial part of developing a successful marketing strategy. This is the only way to track whether your strategy is giving you the best results and tells you whether you should keep spending money on it or move on to something different.

Not Expanding your Network:

Networking is one of the many important components of marketing successfully. A large network means more promotions for your work. Word-of-mouth spreads like wildfire and are a trusted way of getting your business “out there” and gaining more clients.

Following in Competitors Footsteps:

Think about it; when you see competitors sharing similar marketing efforts it can be boring and eventually confusing as to which brand did what. Avoid replicating your competitor’s marketing strategies. What may work for them, may not work for your business. In addition, many times their marketing efforts may only look like they are working when, in reality, it could be a failing technique.

For help in avoiding such marketing mistakes, contact Sperling Interactive!

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.

Networking Organization we’re a Part of: BNI Massachusetts

 

Business Network International (BNI) is the world’s largest international referral organization, with chapters all around the world. Their members include all types of businesses, from local to global networks. We have had members in multiple BNI Massachusetts chapters for the past 3 years, which is why we have decided to highlight them as this month’s Network Organization we’re a Part of.

BNI’s overall mission is to help members promote and grow their businesses through structured, positive, and professional referral marketing programs. Through networking opportunities, the goal is to help develop long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals. As the largest referral organization, BNI members have passed 6.6 million referrals last year, which –according to their website –has generated $8.6 billion worth of businesses for all members world wide.

The reason for this organization’s great success is because of their strong belief in, “If I give you business you’ll give me business and we’ll both benefit as a result.” Because of this, their benefits make joining the organization worth it. Some of BNI’s benefits are as follows:

  • Increased exposure to other professionals
  • Substantial increase in business through referrals
  • Various workshops
  • How to effectively communication about your business
  • Sharpen presentation skills
  • Member Success Workshops
  • Advanced Education program
  • Participate in networking meetings (52 of them per year)
  • Receiving SuccessNet newsletters with educational materials on networking, public speaking and businesses.
  • Leadership Team Training
  • And more…

If you are interested in becoming a member or in learning more about BNI Massachusetts, visit here.

How to Gain Quality Followers

It is everyone’s goal to gain a large following on social media, but it can be very hard to keep those followers after you’ve gotten them. Because of this we have gathered details on ways to gain and keep a large following.

Enhance your Profile:

The first step is to focus on the social network where your following is more likely to be and enhance that profile. You can do this by using an identifiable name and image with a clear and concise description. In order to figure out which social media is the most popular for your following, you should research buyer’s personas by asking clients which social media they are more likely to be found, conducting an anonymous survey, or use share data.

Promote Social Presence:

Even though it’s important to focus on a specific social network, it is also important to still have a presence in other social media networks, as well. After getting a profile in all the important networks, you must promote it anywhere you can; this means on your website, your print advertisements, your business cards, your email messages, and even on social media.

Share Valuable Content:

Once you have your profiles set up and some following, the next step is to offer valuable content for your followers. Your content should be relative to your company and industry. However, you should be careful not to be too self-promotional. Your content should be fresh, interesting, and engaging. Adding visual content, personal posts, and hashtags can also optimize your content.

Build a Relationship:

Building a relationship with your followers is the best way to keep with around. You should interact with your followers whenever they mention or tag you into their posts. Following and building relationships with others in your industry is also important.

Making your social network one worth following is the goal in order to gain quality followers.

Industry Specific Social Site: Doximity

For the second blog in our Industry Specific Social Site series we are highlighting a social site that could save your life! We are talking about Doximity, the number one social platform for healthcare professionals. Currently, over 60 percent of doctors and thousands of nurse practitioners and physician assistants can be found on Doximity.

If you’re thinking, “Oh great! Now doctors are going to be distracted at work,” think again! This site is exclusively for healthcare professionals in order to help them communicate quickly, urgently and securely about any medical issues they may come across. Because healthcare is an industry that has always been highly dependent on technology, this social site is simply another way to simplify the daily task of these professionals. They aim towards creating a community where healthcare professionals can collaborate on patient treatments, grow their practice, and discover new career opportunities.

Doximity has connected over half a million U.S. healthcare professionals in three years and has developed many beneficial features. One of their newest features is DoxFax. This is a free and secure digital fax and messaging service accessible through any computer or mobile device. When signing up, Doximity users are assigned a lifetime fax numbers and can even be used to communicate between offices and pharmacies.

Aside from a communication tool, Doximity also serves as a professional profile page where profiles are searchable and viewable to the public. It also serves as a news portal and, essentially, a digital doctors lounge. Most importantly, though, Doximity also serves as a digital continued medical education (CME) tool. Because of this, medical students are also allowed to have an account.

If you are in the healthcare industry as a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, we recommend that you build a presence in Doximity. For more information on Doximity, click here.

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

This month we are highlighting the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, a networking organization we just recently became a member of! The Greater Boston Chamber currently supports over 1,500 organizations from all industries and of all sizes in the region. Their mission is to develop an economic growth throughout the greater Boston region as well as a vibrant and inclusive business community. By joining the organization, businesses are able to benefit from, not only networking opportunities but also, advocacy, leadership development, and innovation initiatives.

Strategic Networking Opportunities:

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers networking events with top businesses and political leaders speakers in order for members to build professional connections, meet prominent business and government leaders, and engage in issues relevant to business community.

Business Advocacy:

The Greater Boston Chamber gives businesses a voice in economical and political situations through legislative efforts and policies, which help improve the region’s business climate and competitiveness. These advocacy efforts take place through the public policy committee, the “Advocacy Pulse,” a monthly update for all members, and “Growth Tracker,” an online resource with comprehensive economic views.

Leadership Opportunities:

The Greater Boston Chamber cultivates programs for the region’s business leaders. These include the Executive Leadership Institute, Boston’s Future Leaders, Women’s Leadership Program, and the Chamber Intern Connect, an internship website.

Innovation Initiatives:

Along with this, the chamber creates initiative designed to foster and promote the growth of the region’s economy. They also take initiatives towards showcasing innovative companies, and innovation-related advocacy.

Among all of these services, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers many other services. To find out more about the benefits and services available through this organization, visit their site here.

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce

Cape Ann was founded by pilgrims in 1623 and was named after England’s Queen Ann. Currently, Cape Ann offers big-city culture while maintaining a small-town charm, and its four communities consist of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-sea, and Rockport. With such an amazing location and so much to offer, it’s no wonder why we have been a part of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce for two years.

As a member of this organization, we are able to express the great benefits that come from being a member – from networking and training to adding value to your business. The following are just some of the many benefits Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce offers:

In their membership directory (both print and digital), help coordinate ribbon cuttings for special business occasions, host networking events (seminars, speaker programs, board meetings, etc.), sponsor and advertise business events in publications or online.

Gain insight into their affinity program. Here your business can save up to 25 percent on constant contact discount and gain access to a variety of health plan options and providers through Health services Administrators. Your company can even save on credit card processing!

Contribute to the community. By being a member your business can contribute to Business Education Collaborative to enrich the education and career development of students, to Businesswomen’s Committee that helps create a strong network group for women, to Government Affairs Council in creating a healthy business climate for the community, and to the Tourism Council, which works to promote Cape Ann as a premier visitor destination.

Gain access to other exclusive benefits like access to over 900 chamber members, office referrals, Cape Ann certificate program, and Discounts on local media advertisements.

To find out more about these benefits, or others, or if you are interested in being a member visit their website here

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: North of Boston CVB

As a continuation of the Networking Organizations We’re a Part of, this month we are highlighting North of Boston Convention & Visitor Bureau (NBCVB). This is a private, nonprofit, membership based organization. They are mainly responsible for promoting the Essex County as a travel destination to prospective tourists. The organization has been in existence since 1955 and was established by legislation as one of the 16 regional tourism council in the state. Their mission is to develop effective marketing strategies in order to increase the number of overnight visitors in Massachusetts.

Sperling Interactive has been a member of the North of Boston CVB for about 3 years, now, and we have benefited from many of the services they offer. As a member of the organization, there’s a ton of benefits that come from the organization:

Get your business listed for free in 150,000 copies of the North of Boston Visitors Guide and online flipbooks. This includes an online descriptive listing with hyperlinks, photos, social media links, and group information, and online calendar to inform members of events and exhibits.

Access to the bi-weekly newsletter, which gives members information on ongoing initiatives. With this your business can also get the chance to publish your news and events. This includes e-newsletters, which get sent to the thousands of tourist subscribers.

Exclusively use the North of Boston logo to endorse your business as an official member.

Nonprofit organization mini-grants are available for nonprofit members each year.

Get access to events like free committee meetings, monthly luncheons, evening events and more.

There are many more benefits that come with being an official member of this organization. If you’re interested in learning more about the North of Boston Convention & Visitor Bureau, or want to become an official member, visit their site here.

Marketing Using Snapchat

Today it seems like everyone is constantly taking pictures and videos of anything. Even walking down the street you probably come across someone making ridiculous faces in front of his or her cell phones in a very casual matter. If this is the case, chances are those people are posting on Snapchat. If you are not already familiar with this social medium, it is a social app where anyone can send instant pictures or videos that can last up to 10 seconds and then “disappear.” If you wanted your image or video to be seen by all your followers, you can post them on your “story,” which will allow for your content to be live for 24 hours. Other features include drawing and text tools to customize your image, and fun filters.

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media networks today. There are currently over 100 million daily users with 400 million of snaps being sent per day. The users range from 18 to 34 years of age (source: SocialMedia Examiner). Because this age group is a target for many businesses, Snapchat makes for one of the best places to begin marketing your company.

First thing to take notice if you’re considering marketing on Snapchat is that you have to make every second count. Since this platform is more relaxed and wicked casual, you want your postings to not be too professional and more personable. Your posts should be fun and not “salesy.” You want to be seen as approachable and actually interact with your customers.

Overall, Snapchat is the perfect platform to get your customers exited about your company. Posting back stage content is a perfect way to do this. It gives your customers incite to what seems as an exclusive part of your company. This also allows your customers to get to know your brand and what it has to offer. Another way to get your audience exited is by releasing teasers on a new product or service your company will be offering. It also gives you a great platform to host contest and partner up with social influencers who may even know a whole lot more about Snapchat than you.

In the end, using this platform can be a fun experience for both your company and customers.