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Improving the effectiveness of your marketing to Millennials

If you prefer to listen to this article please click the link Improving The Effectiveness of Your Marketing to Millennials

The Millennial Generation was born between 1977 and 1998 and is just beginning to enter the workforce. Members of this 75 million person group are being raised at the most child-centric time in our history and the impact to marketers is undeniable.

In general, it is said that this group displays a great deal of confidence. This could be the result of focus they receive from parents and high expectations placed upon them – not to mention their newfound independence with the advent of cell phones, the internet, and other electronic forms of communication. This is truly the first generation to grow up completely online and as a result, the marketing mix used to target them needs to evolve. As you might expect, this group is technically literate like none other.

Socially, Millennials are different as well. They are typically team-oriented, banding together to date and socialize rather than pairing off. They work well in groups, preferring this to individual endeavors. They are also good at multi-tasking and were the ones studying while listening to the radio or watching television - all the more reason to ensure that you utilize cross-media marketing and ensure consistency among your communications.

From an academic perspective, they are the group that was able to play a sport, attend school, and engages in social endeavors. Millennials believe in going green and supporting endeavors that are good for the environment.

When it comes to working, Millennials seem to expect structure. They acknowledge and respect positions and titles, and want a relationship with their boss. Millennials are in need of mentoring and they'll respond well to the personal attention. When considering the management of Millenials, be mindful that they appreciate structure and stability. Mentoring Millennials should be more formal, with set meetings and a more authoritative attitude on the mentor's part.

How to Market

Now that you understand a little more about the target you are seeking to attract, consider the places they go for information and the way they behave. Millennials are logging into their Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat accounts 3 – 4 times each day, sending instant messages to friends, and uploading their videos to YouTube. Are you there?

  • Listen to the conversation. Where many businesses are failing today is that they are not listening to the conversations that the Millennials are having about their products or their company. Sign up for Google Alerts, visit Technorati and see what individuals are blogging about.
  • Create accounts on FaceBook and Instagram and other Social Media. Put your name out there. Make sure that your company has a space among social media outlets. One thing to keep in mind though is to not be overly commercial. Millennials can see right through it. Rather, be genuine and let your prospective market understand what you’re really about and what you stand for.
  • Communicate on a personal level. Create a two-way dialogue with your audience. Give them an opportunity to speak to you. Whether you let them rate your products, share comments, or share their experience with friends, providing a forum to socialize is essential.
  • Focus on consistent messaging. Regardless of which media type you use (email marketing, direct mail, Adwords, etc.), keep your messaging consistent. If you say one thing and do another, or change your messaging frequently, you will not be building the trust necessary to ensure lifetime customer value.
  • Be creative. When your marketing is creative, it can very quickly gain momentum. With the advent of YouTube, Flickr, and Delicious, messages are quickly shared and distributed. Don’t force the issue. Rather, create something meaningful, fun, and worth sharing. Before you know it, the Millennials will be sharing and distributing information about your and your brand.

Improving the effectiveness of your marketing to Millennials is no small undertaking. To be truly successful, you need to understand the social dependence these individuals have when communicating and the value they place on the opinion of others. Although much of Millennial marketing needs to happen online, don’t lose track of some tradition media like direct mail. As much as marketing has changed, traditional media can still be effective – just make sure it has a social component.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Marketing Testing

If you prefer to listen to this article please click the link Marketing Testing

One of my colleagues recently asked me, out of all the aspects of marketing including online marketing, marketing strategy, Web 2.0, market research, etc., what was the most important?  Without hesitation, I replied, "Testing".

Many of my marketing friends might argue and profess that if you don't have the right message, reach the right audience, the right timing, or the right offer, you won't succeed. And to that, I say ABSOLUTELY! In fact, those are the very elements of a successful campaign that can be identified through proper testing. So how do you know that your message is optimized or that you're reaching your target audience in the most effective way possible?  Only proper testing can give you that information.

When someone on my team says that a particular campaign was a success I ask, "how do you know?"  The answer often has something to do with metrics around campaign performance. But this information is merely relative. If your click-through rate was 20% and your conversion rate was 0.35% for an online campaign, it may have generated a positive return, but is 0.35% the best we could have done? Did we test the campaign to set expectations before full launch?

By testing multiple landing pages, post cards, direct mail packages, keyword campaigns, and other marketing campaigns, you can find what resonates best with your audience and set proper expectations for performance. Once you've established a baseline, continue to test and experiment with different messaging, timing, and offers and compare your results against your baseline. Then, when someone asks you how well your campaign performed, you can say good, bad, or indifferent based on real data.

A great example of this was a recent email marketing campaign completed by my team. They tested 3 subject lines - everything else remained the same (the list, the email creative, the price, the timing, etc.). During our test, one subject line outperformed the others 3 to 1.  Wow!  What a difference this made in our overall campaign performance when we sent the email to tens of thousands of potential customers.

Ongoing measurement and testing are essential for marketing success. If you're not testing your marketing campaigns on a continuous basis, you're missing out. Of course, once you establish a solid control (baseline), you'll have a hard time outperforming it. In general, you'll only improve your success rate about 10% of the time. But continue to test, test, and test some more and you'll see your knowledge and results increase.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Psychological Triggers that Win Sales and Influence Customers

If you prefer to listen to this article please click the link Psychological Triggers that Win Sales and Influence Customers

Sometimes, sales slump or fall into a rut. The causes may be economic or seasonal. But putting a deadline on your offers is a sure-fire way to put some pep back into your company's sales.Whether you're making cold calls, following up with regular customers, writing ad copy, or starting a direct mail campaign, a cut-off date can be motivating.

Whether you're making cold calls, following up with regular customers, writing ad copy, or starting a direct mail campaign, a cut-off date can be motivating.

Many people procrastinate after they decide to buy something. They may be shopping for a better deal, waiting for you to lower prices or just worried about the economy. The longer they delay, the more likely they'll forget or simply not make the purchase.

Avoid this by rewarding customers for acting now. Make them aware that they'll lose the benefit if they put off buying. But you should link the deadline to a special deal. On their own, deadlines may not work. Here are some ways to connect your deadlines to offers that can't be refused:

Give them a bonus. Tell customers that if they act now, or before a certain date, they'll get a deep discount, cash rebate, prize or an add-on.

Limit the offer. Let the customer know that you aren't making this offer to everyone. Knowing that they are among an exclusive group can prompt customers to spend.

Form business relationships. Make deals with other local companies that involves each of you selling related products or services to customers. For example, if you are selling rugs, you could offer a deal on rug cleaning services.

Furnish a guarantee. Tell customers that if they purchase your product by the deadline, you will extend a guarantee.

Restrict an offer for just one day. Tell prospective customers that the deal is good for one day only. But be sure the offer is worth the urgency. Otherwise, you could lose credibility. For example, a 25 percent discount would work better here than a 10 percent discount. Don't however, make the mistake that some businesses do, which is to state a fake deadline that rolls over with each new day. That may prompt some visitors to act, but anyone who returns to the site another day will figure out the gimmick and will get the impression that you underestimate their intelligence... a huge mistake.

Set appointments. If you are sending a quote to prospective clients that is time-sensitive, tell them you are ready and can meet them tomorrow or the next day to discuss the details. Deadlines not only prompt a rise in sales, they also help you wean window shoppers from strong prospects. The key is to pique your customer's interest with a special deal that's linked to a need for action

Deadlines not only prompt a rise in sales, they also help you wean window shoppers from strong prospects. The key is to pique your customer's interest with a special deal that's linked to a need for action

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

How To Use Article Marketing To Improve Your Website Ranking

If you prefer to listen to this article please click the link How To Use Article Marketing To Improve Your Website Ranking

Article marketing is one of the most popular ways to improve your search engine optimization efforts. With the introduction of article submission tools, the task of distributing your articles across the Internet is easier than ever before. There are a number of rules you should follow if you want to get the most from your article marketing.

Here some article writing and submission guidelines that I've personally used to enhance the overall impact of my submissions and guarantee that articles are placed on web pages with a high Google page rank.

The advantage of article marketing is that your article content has a life well beyond a single web page. Website owners visit article aggregation websites to find relevant content for their website, blog, or ezine. Your article can be published for quite some time after it's submitted and posted. The real value of article submission is when third party sites provide a link back to your website in exchange for the content you have provided them.

Make Sure Your Article Is At Least 500 Words. Too often I see valuable content that contains a few words short of the minimum required. Many article submission websites have a length requirement of 500 words or more. I like to exceed the minimum threshold by at least 35 words so that websites that do not count prepositions still measure more than the minimum.

Construct Your Article Around A Specific Keyword Phrase. When you write an article about a particular topic, select a keyword phrase that helps to promote your website or service. The result is that search engines find your content easily based on the keywords you've used.

Create A Strong Headline. By developing a catchy headline, readers are pulled into your content and take notice. Even though your primary purpose is content distribution and building inbound links to your website or blog, don't lose sight of promoting your content in a valuable way. Article submission works best when your headline requires individuals to stop and take notice. This leads to greater awareness and action among webmasters seeking content.

Submit Your Articles To Top Article Directories. In order to get the most from your article marketing efforts, find top ranked article websites using an article submission tool, software, or application that can give you an indication of a web sites age or Google PR. By doing so, you'll be able to spend more time submitting to websites that can provide value to your online marketing efforts.

Automate Your Process With Article Submission Software. There have been a tremendous number of improvements in article marketing during the last few years. It's easy to find a number of article submission tools that can automate or semi-automate the submission process. Although nothing can truly replace developing your own article content, article submission can be automated with the help of article marketing software and technology.

The use of article marketing is paramount to improving your online search engine rankings. Now that online tools and software have been developed to enhance the effectiveness of your article marketing, significant time should be spent finding the right tool for you. This eliminates the need for wasting significant time writing and or submitting articles to the right directories and getting the results you're looking for.

Article marketing is a fantastic way to improve your websites Google ranking. With the help of distributed content and links back to your website or blog, search engines take notice and assign your website a great deal of value.

Article marketing is an important part of everyone's SEO strategy. What's most important is that you develop content for a specific niche or area and teach something to those who read it. Individuals wishing to learn and improve upon their work. By providing something of value, your content will be shared and distributed throughout the web.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

MAKING YOUR WEBSITE SEARCH ENGINE COMPATIBLE

If you prefer to listen to this article please click the link Making Your Website Search Engine Compatible

Is your website search engine compatible? Despite all the misinformation out there, it's very easy to design a website that search engines will love. All you need to do is follow 3 simple steps:
1. Obey the Search Engine Guidelines

Nearly all search engines publish their own guidelines regarding the submission of sites, the type of sites they will accept and recommendations for optimized content. Google recently updated their Webmaster Guidelines which cover the most common forms of deceptive or manipulative search engine behavior that they consider to be 'spam'. They also published SEO Guidelines - advice for webmasters to heed when choosing an SEO. Google was the first search engine to publicly acknowledge search engine optimizers in this fashion.

2. Don't Use Spammy Search Engine Tactics

Often, webmasters will use search engine spam techniques without even being aware that they are doing so. Or worse, website designers can - advertently or inadvertently - integrate techniques that could cause a site to be penalized in the site's rankings in one or more engines, without the site owner's knowledge of such penalties. The key to avoiding spamming the engines is research.

Keep track of the various search engine guidelines via the links above. Watch for any changes they make to these guidelines and tweak your site accordingly. Trawl the various webmaster and search engine forums regularly to ensure your site doesn't use any of the latest optimization methods that appear to be penalized. If you suspect your site has been penalized, remove the offending content, contact the engine concerned and ask to be reinstated.

Google actually encourage you to file a re-inclusion request via their Help Center.

Alternatively, here is a sample email template you can use instead:

---------------
Sample Re-inclusion Request Email

Dear [search engine name],

I am the owner of [your site URL].

I did not realize that participation in [spammy method] and
[spammy SEO name] programs could cause problems for my website. I was
assured that these techniques were search-engine-friendly by [your source for using spammy method].

I now understand that the practices used are not acceptable. I apologize for having allowed them to be placed on my website. I've removed the questionable pages and links from the site. I promise never to repeat such mistakes.

I am asking you to please consider reinstating my website,
[your site URL] into the [search engine name] Index.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
--------------

To assist them to provide a high-quality service, search engines encourage people to report search results they are dissatisfied with. If you happen to spot some spam content or techniques that are clearly in breach of the search engine's public guidelines, you can report it using these links:

* Google spam report or via search-quality@google.com
* Yahoo spam report

3. Build Your Websites for Visitors Rather than Search Engines

The methodologies may have changed over the years, but the same principles have always applied to "good" or "white hat" SEO. Build sites for humans, not search engines. Make the site as user-friendly as possible, avoid the bells and whistles and include high quality, relevant content.

Wherever possible, include text-based content and navigation menus with simple, descriptive, well-written copy designed to convert your visitors into customers. Include keywords and phrases your audience would logically type into search engines to find sites like yours. Only link to sites that are relevant to your target audience and spend some time on usability, making sure all your forms and shopping carts work.

Remember that what pleases a visitor is almost always what pleases a search engine too

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Change Your Marketing To Be More Receptive To Women

If you prefer to listen to this article please click the link Change Your Marketing To Be More Receptive To Women

I know there are still some skeptics out there who may not understand why you should change your marketing to be more receptive to women. Do men even matter?

Let me start by saying, OF COURSE, THEY DO. What I'm going to share with you about marketing to women will only ENHANCE your relationship to your male customers. It will make your marketing much stronger without having to invest more money in what you already have.

Let's jump right in. I'm just going to throw some numbers out at you.

  • American women spend about $5 trillion annually . . .
  • Women head 40% of all households . . .
  • Women represent 50% of Internet users and buy more online than men . . .
  • Even though many households are a dual paycheck, women still spend 80% of both combined incomes . . .
  • 70% of all new businesses are opened by women . . .

Nearly 3/4 of all mothers are in the labor force. Even among mothers with young children, 70% work outside the home

Women hold 49.5% of all managerial positions at Fortune 500 companies

Women hold 12.5% of corporate officer positions

54 of the Fortune 500 companies report a woman as their top earner

89% of women are someone involved or completely in control of their car's maintenance and service

90% of American women have veto power over all vehicle and consumer purchasers of their own households and buy 65% of all cars

Fun stuff, huh? But it wasn't always this way, and it's important for YOU as a marketer to understand what's changed so dramatically over the last century so you can get into the psyche of the new market.

So sit back and indulge me while I give you a brief, but an important history lesson. Ready?

Okay, adult women living in 1925-1942 were called the "silent generation." If they went to college it was to meet a man. They were expected to stay home and take care of the household while the men worked. THIS IS IMPORTANT: This is also about the same time many of the advertising methods still used today were born . . . obviously targeting the market with the paycheck - MEN.

Then during World War II, women were encouraged to join the workforce as a support for America. For the first time, many women were making money. When the men came back, things were never quite the same. Of course, that's what literally gave birth to the Boomer generation (1945-1964) who are a huge market by themselves today.

By the 1980s, it was commonplace for women to work - even a little odd if they didn't. Married households got hooked on two incomes. Today women have choices they didn't have then:

  • More education - women take home 57% of college degrees, giving them more earning power;
  • Ability to choose whether or not to have a family and WHEN - access to birth control. No more keeping them barefoot and pregnant;
  • Divorce is more socially acceptable - women no longer can rely on men as the sole providers. A man is not a plan.
  • Access to credit - believe it or not, in 1973 a woman couldn't get a bank loan without her husband's or her father's signature;

The right to own property - as late as 1981 many states wouldn't allow a female jointly own property. Only the male would be listed on the

So that's WHY the face of marketing as changed so drastically today, and why women have so much more buying power.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Google Issues Warning About Guest Posting to Build Links

If you prefer to listen to this article please click the link Google Issues Warning About Guest Posting to Build Links

Google has issued a warning about the dangers of publishing content on other sites to build inbound links. They aren’t against guest posts or syndicated posts in general but have seen an increase in spammy links in these types of posts. Hence this sudden warning from Google. Distributing content on a large scale to build links to your own site is strictly prohibited under Google’s guidelines on link schemes. Google does allow guest posts and syndicated posts that “inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your cause or company.”
Google explains other article writing and distribution practices that are against its guidelines:

  • Placing keyword-rich links to your site in guest posts/syndicated articles.
  • Publishing guest posts/syndicated articles across many different sites; or having a large number of guest posts/syndicated articles on different sites.
  • Guest posts/Syndicated article writers who aren’t knowledgeable about the subjects they’re writing about.
  • Using the same or similar content across guest posts/syndicated articles; or, duplicating the full content of articles found on your site.

Google says being caught publishing guest posts/syndicated articles with spammy links could affect the perceived quality of your site and thus negatively impact rankings. Site owners should be vigilant when selecting guest posts, and nofollow all questionable links.

A reminder about links in large-scale article campaigns

Lately, we've seen an increase in spammy links contained in articles referred to as contributor posts, guest posts, partner posts, or syndicated posts. These articles are generally written by or in the name of one website, and published on a different one.

Google does not discourage these types of articles in the cases when they inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your cause or company. However, what does violate Google's guidelines on link schemes is when the main intent is to build links in a large-scale way back to the author’s site. Below are factors that, when taken to an extreme, can indicate when an article is in violation of these guidelines:

  • Stuffing keyword-rich links to your site in your articles
  • Having the articles published across many different sites; alternatively, having a large number of articles on a few large, different sites
  • Using or hiring article writers that aren’t knowledgeable about the topics they’re writing on
  • Using the same or similar content across these articles; alternatively, duplicating the full content of articles found on your own site (in which case use of rel=”canonical”, in addition to rel=”nofollow”, is advised)

When Google detects that a website is publishing articles that contain spammy links, this may change Google's perception of the quality of the site and could affect its ranking. Sites accepting and publishing such articles should carefully vet them, asking questions like: Do I know this person? Does this person’s message fit with my site’s audience? Does the article contain useful content? If there are links of questionable intent in the article, has the author used rel=”nofollow” on them?

For websites creating articles made for links, Google takes action on this behavior because it’s bad for the Web as a whole. When link building comes first, the quality of the articles can suffer and create a bad experience for users. Also, webmasters generally prefer not to receive aggressive or repeated "Post my article!" requests, and we encourage such cases to be reported to our spam report form. And lastly, if a link is a form of endorsement, and you’re the one creating most of the endorsements for your own site, is this putting forth the best impression of your site? Our best advice in relation to link building is to focus on improving your site’s content and everything--including links--will follow (no pun intended).

Posted by the Google Webspam Team

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Improving Your Email Marketing

If you prefer to listen to this article please click the link Improving Your Email Marketing

The success of your email marketing campaign is often based on a set of complex factors. However, a number of these issues can be proactively managed to ensure an optimized response. When developing your next email campaign, consider the following guidelines.

1. Your list.

Certainly one of the most important aspects of any email marketing campaign, your list is directly correlated to your success. Are your names recent? Have they agreed to be marketed to? Have they shown an interest in products or services similar to your own? Make sure that you are using a house list (names you collected on your own) or have been purchased from a reputable broker.

2. Your subject line.

Getting a user to open your message is paramount any email marketing campaign. The best way to determine the subject line that works best is to break your emails into three random yet equal groups. Measure the response to each email and use the highest producing one as your control. In follow up emails, try to beat the response rate of your control email.

3. Your sender information.

What information appears on the sender line of your email? Will your prospects recognize it? Do they want to hear from you? Often times, emails are deleted without ever being opened due to an indiscernible sender name. Your sender name should be brief and easily understood.Track your results.

4. Track your results.

Tracking allows you to determine who opened your message and clicked on a link or multiple links within your email. By determining what worked and what didn't, you can replicate success on your next email. As described above, tracking is particularly important when testing subject lines, embedded links, and other direct response vehicles.

5. Make sure your unsubscribe method is in place and working.

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires that all email messages contain clear directions on how to opt-out from subsequent mailings. Provide an unsubscribe mechanism that allows those receiving your email to send you an email and indicate their desire to opt-out from receiving further emails from you or your business. If recipients no longer want to hear from you, it's in your best interest to remove them from your list.

6. Your images are correctly referenced and you've used alt tags in each image.

Improperly referencing your images can cause them to appear broken when you send your message - the dreaded red x. To ensure the image is referenced correctly it must appear as, img src="http://www.yourdomain.com...." rather than, img src="/images/picture.jpg". Alt tags are another important part of your images. The new security features on almost every email client these days disables images automatically. Having alt tags in place allow your reader to identify the image and determine if it is safe to enable.

7. Test, Test, Test!

No matter what your involvement with email marketing happens to be, it is essential that you follow the guidelines above for successful results. In addition, the key is to test, test, test! After each email campaign, measure your opens, click-throughs, and purchases. Document the specific date, time, list, subject line, and content used to produce your results. Refer back to your documentation prior to your next campaign. Email doesn't have to be a complex form of marketing. There are many best practices you can follow and some simple rules that ensure effectively delivery, open and conversion. By following the simple rules presented in this article, you'll not only deliver and effective email campaign, you'll discover a consistent method for generation revenue for your business.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

5 Tips to Help you Build Your Ecommerce Brand

If you prefer to listen to this article please click the link 5 Tips to Help you Build Your Ecommerce Brand

While there is no definitive number of e-commerce websites (or even an approximate one, for that matter), it is safe to say that we are talking about millions of stores from all over the world, all trying to find a place under the sun and attract a portion of the limited number of online shoppers.

The majority of e-commerce stores are just an attempt at a quick buck and those stores are all but doomed to fail. Still, there are plenty e-commerce business owners who know what they are doing and who understand that their e-commerce endeavor needs to be a brand.

So, how do you build an e-commerce brand? Well, here are 5 tips to help you do it the right way.

1. ADOPT A VISUAL IDENTITY

Like with any other type of branding, your e-commerce business will need to have a union visual identity that will be present every step of the way. From the home page to product pages and even the About Us page, your visitors need to understand they are visiting the same website with the same brand message.

Your e-commerce brand will need a color palette that will make sense for the type or products you are selling and you will also need a logo that will make your store stand out. This is where agencies like Fivenson Studios can help with years of experience and a team that understands the importance of visual identity.

You need to keep this identity present whatever you do besides your website. For example, your email marketing efforts need to be visibly yours and if you should venture into physical retail in any way, you have to accompany your presence with your visual identity too.

2. IDENTIFY WHAT SETS YOU APART

Depending on what it is you are selling, you will be more or less able to really identify what it is that sets your e-commerce business apart from the competition.

If you are selling your own products, this will not be a problem. Identifying your unique selling proposition will be as easy as sitting down and doing a bit of mulling over your product and the way you actually manufacture it. There will always be something that is not like what the others are doing and your brand should revolve around it.

If you are selling stuff that other manufacturers' produce, you might find it somewhat difficult to identify your USP. Still, in most cases, it can be done. For instance, you may be geared towards festival-attending crowds as a clothes seller; or you may be focusing on dads as your customer base; perhaps you are only producing 100% green and sustainable products.

Finding the thing that sets you apart and making it the cornerstone of your brand is always a good idea.

3. USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Online shoppers use social media. It is one of those internet truths that even little children are aware of. Many online shoppers will talk about their purchases and their purchasing plans on social media. They will also spend time researching online shops on social media, trying to find out more about various e-commerce brands and what they can expect from them.

This is the market that you cannot afford to lose. In other words, your e-commerce brand needs to be present on social media and it needs to be smart while doing it.

For one, you will not simply be selling on social media. In fact, you will be doing very little of direct promotion. Instead, share your content, interact with your followers and share their social media posts in case they mention you in any context.

Do a search every now and then and find out what people are looking for. If it is something you sell, approach them, but not aggressively.

Also, make sure to use images and videos. Without photos and vids, your social media branding efforts will fall on deaf ears.

4. DO SOME SEO

In a perfect world, you wouldn't have to do SEO in order to build your e-commerce brand, but since we live in an imperfect world, you will need to do some basic search engine optimization, if nothing else then because most of your competitors will be doing it.

We are not saying that you should spend thousands of dollars each month on SEO, but make sure to cover the bases. Make sure your website is up to SEO code, so to say – that you do not have duplicate pages and content, that your alt tags, title tags, and meta descriptions are taken care of and that you write your own product descriptions.

Make sure your blog is at least half-alive. Feature customer comments on your website. Build a few links every now and then. Don't make spammy links.

5. VENTURE INTO THE PHYSICAL WORLD

It may seem silly to take your e-commerce business into the physical world, but it actually makes a lot of sense. While many people are perfectly okay with shopping online, there are still many people who prefer to have a physical contact with what they are buying and what they are considering buying.

Perhaps the easiest way to attract such people and to bring your e-commerce business into the real world is to set up a pop-up store from time to time. Find a space that you can rent out for a limited time, set up everything, hire a sales team and start promoting your brand.

Once again, you will want to feature your brand's visual identity prominently in your pop-up store and you will also want to make sure everything else is synchronized across your website and your physical store. For example, Shopify recently introduced a swipe reader that eCommerce business owners can use to seamlessly sell as part of their pop-up store experience.

With a pop-up store, you might just reach customers that are traditionally uncomfortable about purchasing online.

It can be a great thing for your e-commerce brand.

James D. Burbank has been involved in the world of marketing for almost 15 years. He is currently splitting his time between Australia and Europe and working only when he has to. You can check him out on Twitter - @JBurbank2019

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Growing Social Media Audience for Startups

If you prefer to listen to this article please click the link Growing Social Media Audience for Startups

Regardless of your startup size, sooner or later, you have to consider promoting your business. With social media spanning all the spheres of life today, there is hardly a better place to win hearts and minds of customers. If you look at the numbers – there are around 500 million tweets every 24 hours, and as far as the engagement of the audience is considered, Facebook is an absolute leader since people aged 18-34 spend more than 1000 hours per month on it. The question remains: how to grow the audience on platforms like these? These four tips will give you some ideas.

PROVIDE QUALITY CONTENT

You can set the stage even before you open for business. Share quality content that is related to your products or services, which will attract potential customers. If you aren’t sure what kind of content, think about interesting articles about the industry you are in or instructional how-to videos your followers can learn from. Soon, posts like these will attract a wide audience and you could help people learn about your business. This, however, doesn’t mean that none of your posts should be promotional. Just bear in mind not to overdo with advertising in the early stage, as people will start labeling those posts as spam. Remember that you need followers who share your content.     

TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE

Among many benefits of promoting through social media, probably the most important one is the ability to communicate directly with your customers. For example, if you are on Facebook, it’s recommended that you follow comments on your posts so you can reply on time and be an active participant in the discussion every time. If people like your replies, and especially if you answer their questions, they will be more prone to share links to your page and help you get more followers. On the other hand, if your followers are asking for instructions, you can always respond by sharing an instructional video or article that you have on your website, or one you shared earlier. Still, in order for your audience to share your website, it needs to be well designed and easy to use.

INVEST INTO VISUAL CONTENT

If you scroll up and down through your history of likes, most of them will be posts that have some kind of a visual content attached to them. In the same way, if you want your posts to be noticed, always strive for sharing photos, videos, interesting infographics, maps, and illustrations. Just make sure that the photos you are sharing are in compliance with copyright laws. Lucky for you, Google image search will provide you with tons of images that are labeled for reuse. Similarly, YouTube is full of instructional videos for every niche. Also, hiring a company that specializes in high-quality and content driven corporate video production is an engaging way of raising interest in your business.    

CROSS-PROMOTE BETWEEN PLATFORMS

Once you have amassed a large audience on one platform, it is only natural to expand onto a few others. This is actually much easier than it sounds. For example, if you already have a Facebook presentation, you don’t have to do anything more than asking your followers if they have a Twitter account and if they’ve already liked your page there. What is more, some platforms let you link your social media pages. Pinterest, for example, allows you to link your Facebook and Twitter, making promoting visual content on those platforms much easier. Growing your audience on multiple social media platforms is only possible through cross-promoting your pages. Besides these billion-strong platforms, remember to include niche platforms as well.  

If you follow these tips, your social media audience will increase. Bear in mind, though, that quality content and regular updates mean little without a friendly company face that shares them.  

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and a regular contributor to Technivorz.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

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