As business owners; it isn’t anything new to have a “plan”. You plan what you will need to order next for inventory and/or supplies to create your product. You plan out your employee schedule in advance to ensure your productivity is covered. You even plan pricing, as well as sales events. The questions is; how far out do you plan your marketing? Yes, this needs to be planned in advance. Just as you take a close look at your budget and determine at what price you should set your product, and at what time would be best to have that sale to boost business, you also need to compline this plan with your marketing.
When you have a solid plan in place the process of getting the word out is easier, and in fact more cost effective. Most media outlets have specified times each year they offer special rates, as well as offering fantastic discounts for placing your campaigns in advance as annuals.
Utilizing an agency can also be a budget booster, as they can negotiate additional discounts and terms for you. Your agency can monitor the progress of your campaign, and ensure you are getting exactly what you placed, when you placed it, as well as what you have contracted to pay. Therefore ensuring you remain within that budget you had planned in advance. With the New Year approaching, now is a great time to start making those plans!
One of the first things to remember is just as with any form of marketing; timing can play a big role in success. Try to share your social media posts at the best times possible.
Recent studies have not confirmed exact times that are optimal for posting, but there is data gathered by the data analytics firm SumAll that give a guideline for Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and more. Google+ tends to lead off the day with optimal posting time between 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Twitter and Facebook are at their best when you post mid-day from 1p.m. to 4 p.m. followed by Instagram closing out the business day between 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Lastly Pinterest and Tumbler are best suited to post between 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Keep in mind each social media platform has their own definitive audience. We may all utilize more than one platform, however we tend to be more loyal to the platform that best suits our personality and interests. For example; those who use Facebook tend to prefer pictures and short messages, and loyal Google+ users are passionate about brands, as well as keeping up to date with industry trends.
Don’t discount E-Blasts just yet. Continue to grow your email list, because it is still a viable communication tool.
Email is still a preferred form of communication within all types of business and is still a major asset for your marketing strategy. You can grow your email list easily by simply providing a sign-up form on your website and Facebook. Creating these are easy with many app options available. You can also boost subscribers by offering incentives such as contesting or exclusive offers to those who join your email list.
Learn more on social media strategy from Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235906
John has just landed his first introductory meeting with a potential client he has been prospecting for nearly six months now. This client could potentially tip the revenue scales to a significant level, as well as bring to the table a generous amount of future prospective relationships. John hands the prospect his business card with this year’s new logo design. But when he shares his profile kit, it is composed of documents with the old logo, various fonts and layouts, as well as documents with an old color scheme and a font used from materials prior to 2010.
Does this sound familiar? If so; now is the time to consider a collateral makeover.
If a company is using materials with different versions of their logo and has a wide array of design schemes without a specific purpose; This can communicate to a prospective customer “this business doesn’t really have their act together”. Or “they don’t have a clear sense of what their business actually does or offers”. Potential clients / customers want to know they can count on your company to provide them with consistent service and support. Your collateral is a visual presentation of your sense of consistency.
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression” – Will Rogers
Take a step back and take a quick inventory of what you are currently presenting on a daily basis. This not only includes your company profile kit, but it also includes; business cards, letterhead, envelopes, website, social media sites, signage, and yes even that really cool company vehicle wrap. These are your “First Impressions” and with all things, first impressions do count. Then take the next step and ensure your consistency moves forward into your sales presentation, board presentation, investor presentation and any other area your business presents itself and portrays the image you wish to portray.
“The customer’s perception is your reality” – Kate Zabriskie (Author)
Of course we strongly suggest utilizing creative professionals to assist you in ensuring the high quality visuals and materials your business truly deserves. And of course; enlisting the help of a marketing firm can help guide you towards the strong business image you desire.
We all want to make our mark in business, and to make sure our business gets noticed. But what makes a successful message, and what is really “too much”? One very notable publication addresses these issues; and here is our highlight of that article. INC. Magazine tells us there are 5 important “sins” that businesses can commit when attempting to get their message out there:
- Vanity; don’t make the message all about you all the time. Engage your potential customers with issues that they may feel will directly affect them.
- Authority; avoid just presenting your business as the authority on a subject or service. Make sure that your reach out to your potential customers on a more personal level. They need to feel a connection with your business, rather than just the facts.
- Insincerity; Stray from making promises your business cannot keep at this time. Never “cry wolf”, or your respect and trust from your customers are quickly lost, and harder to regain.
- Puffery; Is your message based on reality? Or is it just a bunch of fluff and hype to make your business look cool? Again, if you do not honestly present your business you will lose the trust and respect necessary to grow your business.
- Finally Gimmickery; everyone enjoys a good laugh. Just remember that trying too hard to be funny could backfire. Try to avoid making every message contain a “gag” of some kind.
These are just a few highlights of a great message at: http://www.inc.com/minds-zetlin/5-deadliest-marketing-sins.html we invite you to read more.
My experiences from working with the Media Link Software (MLS) have been those of shock and aw. The sheer complexity that coincides with the creation of such an amenity is something to marvel at. This software deserves the description of complexity meets simplicity. What may sound like an oxymoron is at the same time very true. The reason I say this is because the complexity of business and staying ahead of the competition goes deeper than who you, the owner, knows. In fact, it more accurately goes along with who knows you and your business. Media Link Software takes that aspect of the business world and roles it all into one. Not to the point where it becomes complacent with one type of advertiser. This is important. The software covers all the unique aspects of different companies. Just like every person on this earth has a distinct fingerprint and every snowflake has its own shape, so it is with companies as well. A software needs to be flexible especially in the area of advertising. That is what makes Media Link Software so unique, it is developed BY an advertising agency FOR advertising agencies. Who better to understand the trade than another participant?
Working with this software has helped me to better understand what advertising agencies are all about while being able to work with the tools of the trade. All of the planning, checking, re-checking, and approval that goes along with working for an advertising agency is, at times, overwhelming. Luckily there exists this tool to simplify all the craziness. That is the core of my overall description of the software which, again, is complexity meets simplicity. No matter how confusing things may look on paper, they can be easily input into the software. From there it’s a piece of cake. Without Media Link Software, the grind of office work would be much more tedious and arduous. Basically, it makes the task simpler and that is what tools are supposed to do.
As a Marketing Consultant with Media link Inc; Ronna Walker-Johnson brings over 25 years of media marketing experience. Getting hr media starts interning in a small radio market and eventually moving into both on air and sales positions simultaneously, she quickly developed a love for media marketing. Over the years, Ronna has taken on roles with both local companies and other companies in the Region; working in the fields of newspaper, broadcast television, cable networks, and web. Ronna has also contributed 3 years (as both a board member and organization director) to “Grace Place” a non-profit organization serving both teens and women in crises. This experience adds fundraising, publicity strategy, and event coordination to her overall portfolio. Ronna’s significant base of knowledge in this field is invaluable and gives our clients a better edge in their marketing efforts.
These days there are so many ways to advertise. There are the more traditional routes, TV, radio, newspaper and billboards. Then there are the newer additions such as car/bus vinyl wraps and signs, digital/online and text messages. Account reps for each advertising medium come calling, touting their method as the best based on their statistics.
With so many choices, it’s difficult to determine what is best for your business. While it may be tempting to want to DIY in advertising rather than paying an agency, it is important to consider the extra costs you may be spending on an advertising buy that gets little or no results. Trial and error to determine what works may also be adding more expense than you were anticipating.
Using a well-qualified and experienced agency can save money long-term. As an added bonus, an agency can take all of those sales calls for you, leaving you free to do the important work of tending to your business.
One of our staff members saw a post on a friend’s timeline that commented on the service of a local business. The status update remarked about how nice it was to be recognized, warmly welcomed, asked about family members who weren’t on the shopping trip and then thanked for their business.
The same staff member also witnessed an interaction at a local grocery store. A customer walked up to a busy customer service counter and stood there while a couple of difficult transactions were handled. The employees behind the counter could have easily glanced up, made eye-contact and apologized for the wait. Instead, they never acknowledged the customer. After several minutes, he turned on his heel and walked out of the store.
The human element is something that can’t be bought like radio ads or billboards. Make sure your company doesn’t overlook the proper hiring and training of those employees who interact most with your customers. A company can spend thousands or millions of dollars on self-promotion, but ultimately, the customer experience will increase or decrease your sales.
Our ad agency began in 2001 and we have used a few different media planning software systems along the way. We found those systems to be lacking in a number of ways. We found ourselves creating work-arounds to get the results we needed to make accurate media buys. These systems were also upwards of $10,000 a year for a license. In 2009 we began the process of planning and developing the launch of our own media buying software. In the fall of 2011 we made that plan a reality and Media Link Software was launched nationally. We currently sell affordable licenses of this software to other advertising agencies across the country.
Media Link Software developer, Natalie Linville-Mass, has expertise and knowledge acquired from having been in the media field for more than 25 years. Prior to opening her business, she worked throughout the Midwest in radio and television stations holding positions like commercial producer, DJ, reporter, editor, producer and account executive. Because of this background, she was able to develop our software based on the knowledge of both a media company and an agency point of view.
Media Link Software offers live web-based demonstrations of the cloud-based system free of charge. To schedule your demo, contact Courtney at (207) 212-5465 today!
The holidays are behind us and 2014 is already out of the gates and running. What will you do with your business to make the change you’ve always wanted, to hire that additional person you need or to bring your marketing efforts in line with the caliber of the rest of your business? We’ve stepped outside of our comfort zones and made some staff readjustments here at Media Link and we wanted you to know. In an effort to use our employees’ talents more wisely; we’ve divided the tasks up a bit differently.
Courtney Boothe will continue to be the first person you see when you step into our office, but now she’s also taking the lead in Media Link Software sales and service. Laura Van Barg continues to be our Government liaison and now will also help us with Public Relations and copywriting tasks, including traditional, digital and social media content creation. Both Courtney and Laura will continue manage their own Media Link accounts as well.
We think we will be better poised to serve our clients with our realigned staff duties for the coming year and beyond. Contact us today to find out how you can break through your road blocks in 2014!