The Services Sector and the Coronavirus – First Steps in Developing a Communication Strategy

It comes as no surprise that industry pundits have concluded that the services industry will have changed beyond recognition once the pall of the Coronavirus has lifted. The major differentiating factor between the services industry and manufacturing (where supply of a physical object is the end result of the customer interaction), is that the services sector has traditionally relied on direct interaction with customers in order to deliver on their brand promise.

The services industry accounts for nearly 85% of private sector employment in the U.S. At the beginning of the pandemic, 94% of jobs lost were from the services industry. Needless to say, the challenges brought about by self-isolation during the age of the pandemic have caused those companies active in the service industry to drastically rethink how they do business.

It becomes extremely difficult to provide services to gym members or services related to airlines, banks, computer service bureaus, movie theaters, law firms, dental care practitioners, childcare, plumbing repair companies and management consulting firms in an age where human interaction is basically verboten.

It’s a situation that is not simply going to resolve itself once masses of people are released from the lockdown the virus has caused. It seems almost certain that the Coronavirus will be responsible for changing the way the service industry does business for decades to come. In fact, it may never be business as usual, at least in terms of the pre-Coronavirus world.

The latest figures from the U.S. Department of Labor put the unemployment rate at 7.9%, down from nearly 15% in April. While the drop in the unemployment rate is a good sign, many companies are realizing that changing their business strategy is not only urgent, but necessary for long-term survival. Exactly how is the service industry changing to cope with the ongoing pandemic?

Online is at the Frontline

The pandemic is already changing the way people work, shop and socialize, perhaps permanently altering the way many service industries operate. Consumers will think harder about the health implications of going to a crowded restaurant, shopping mall or movie theatre. The result is that the move to online shopping will accelerate, and more businesses will accept the advantages of employees working from home.

The data suggests that those companies that are able to pivot to a more online-orientated business model are those that will weather the Coronavirus storm most effectively and be in a position to more effectively leverage online marketing and communications.  

Questions to Ask Before Moving Forward

Before getting to the tactical implications of a new business model, the services company needs to ask some searching questions. The answers to these questions will dictate how exactly they proceed with their communications efforts.

1. Do we fully understand our business?

A services business is different from a product-oriented business and the difference depends on the specific type of service business.

The traditional definition of the service business is that the service is “invariably and undeviatingly personal, as something performed by individuals for other individuals,” said economist Theodore Levitt. However, this is not necessarily true.  Think for example about automatic car washes, automated banking services, or even vending machines. These are just three examples of service businesses in which the service is provided by machines. The strategic requirements for these businesses are different from those in which people perform services for other individuals, although those types of business also need a carefully structured approach to communication.

2. How can the business defend itself from competitors? 

Service businesses often require different competitive strategies from those of product-oriented companies. If the service business is to stand the test of time, attention must be given to the management of economies of scale, proprietary technology, and reputation of the company. The last is of overwhelming importance when it comes to developing a strategically sound communications strategy where brand identity and positioning will be pivotal to the ongoing survival of the business

3. How can we obtain more cost-efficient operations? 

Manufacturing companies can improve operating leverage, often by purchasing faster or more reliable machinery, but most service businesses are different and other methods need to be explored. One of these methods is by leveraging the power of online marketing and communications to increase the reach of messaging, and make it more effective in maintaining customer loyalty and attracting new customers.

4. What is the rationale for our pricing strategy? 

Pricing services can be challenging. Cost-based pricing is often difficult to determine, and there are few formulas for effective value-based pricing. It is important to think about the economic and psychological effects of a change in pricing strategy and how best to communicate that change in a way that encourages the perception of ‘value-added’ service, not merely one that that is cheaper (or more expensive for that matter). What can a services company do online to ‘sweeten the pot?

5. What process are we using to develop and test new services? 

Every company depends on its ability to reinvent itself. In the age of the Coronavirus, the service-oriented company must pay particular attention to this area because the sheer competitiveness of the online environment can make it challenging to protect competitive positions. The process of new service development and testing becomes fundamental to the survival of the business entity, but how is this to be accomplished without alienating current stakeholders and customers?

Conclusion

At iNA, we recognize that the current business environment is more challenging and competitive than ever before. The articles in this series are designed to both provoke thought and provide an element of guidance to those who are aware that structured and thoughtful communication are the keys to thriving in a post pandemic world.

The current business environment is one that will reward careful communication planning and the establishment of strategic partnerships that will add value to ongoing operations. iNA provides world class content that is aligned to your business objectives—even in times which call for out-of-the-box thinking. “You can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them,” said Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. “By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

The current global business environment calls for bold thinking. iNA is committed to partnering with companies that realize that amidst the chaos, there is opportunity. To learn more about iNA and how we can help your business create content tailored to your specific needs


The Marketplace – Why You Should Visit Regularly

Many clients turn to the iNA Marketplace when they’re looking for top quality, ready-made content. The Marketplace is where the heavy hitters of the iNA writer pool post articles that are often the result of years of experience in a specific area. But, it’s also more than that. Writers who post in the Marketplace must meet certain criteria, including writing more than 500 articles for iNA, and scoring consistently high ratings on content they’ve written through the iNA Dashboard.

The importance of SEO has been established as pivotal to the success of any company that wants to score highly on the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages), and there are numerous SEO-rich articles in the Marketplace covering an incredibly diverse range of topics. However, the Marketplace also offers something more.

As previously mentioned, the Marketplace is where the cream of the crop of INA article writers come to express opinion and cover topics with which they are intimately familiar. The Marketplace offers in-depth articles and analysis into topics that not only capture the attention of readers, but that will position the client as an expert in a particular sector.  

These articles can be longer than the average—some are thousands of words long—and include long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are tremendously useful for organizations in niche markets, and attract more quality searches from pre-qualified search engine users than shorter SEO terms do.

However, there are other reasons using longer articles featuring long tail keywords can help your business. First, longer articles generate business leads for a longer timeframe. This is because they attract backlinks and organic traffic from Google over a long period of time, organically making it evergreen content.

Second, an expert article leads to the perception that the organization is an authority in a specific industry. Audiences appreciate comprehensive posts that delve into intricacies of their chosen interest areas.

The Marketplace also offers a large number of standard length articles, many of which are SEO-optimized in a way that will garner exceptional results as far as increased visits to a company website. The advantages of visiting the Marketplace to source quality pre-written articles are numerous. It allows organizations to instantly source material to bolster their online communication efforts.

For more information on how the Marketplace operates, and how it can benefit your organization, visit https://www.ineedarticles.com/marketplace/ and click on the video.


The Coronavirus – The Challenge to Businesses Grow Even as Lockdowns Ease

As much as it has become an almost knee-jerk reaction to ask people how they are faring during the increasingly stressful days of the global pandemic, there is another question gnawing at business owners and consumers worldwide: Will the world ever be the same again?   

Even as more states in the U.S. and countries around the world move to ease restrictions on businesses, an uncomfortable realization is dawning. We may never again see a business environment like we saw before COVID-19 swept the globe.   

Shaun Roache, Asia Pacific chief economist at S&P Global Ratings, said “lockdowns have a disproportional effect on small and medium-sized enterprises. These firms have less access to credit to help them ‘bridge to the recovery’ and can also struggle to meet the requirements for opening up.”

Roache said while manufacturing could recover reasonably quickly from the virus, service sectors would have a harder time bouncing back. “This is important because service industries are the largest employers in most economies,” she said.

Even as restrictions in many places are eased and schools and businesses open, there is also a worry about gathering in tight spaces where crowding and close proximity to others is normal, and social distancing is nearly impossible. This is especially concerning given the likelihood of a second wave.  

Not All Doom and Gloom

However, as worrying as the situation is for small and medium-sized businesses, these organizations likely have the scope to increase their market share amidst the daunting times they are facing. As Sun Tzu, in his seminal work ‘The Art of War,’ said, “In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.”

For those businesses that can reinvent the way they reach consumers with effective messaging and are able to control inventory and manage the supply chain, the Coronavirus may not spell the end of the road for them. In fact, businesses that are nimble enough to cope with the crisis may emerge stronger and even more competitive than they were just a few months ago.

In this edition of the newsletter, we will examine the services sector and how this particular branch of the economy can both weather the Coronavirus storm and emerge from the tempest stronger. This will be the first in a series of articles that focus on best communication practices for a particular business sector in the age of COVID-19. Each article will focus on how effective and focused communication can provide a competitive edge, and how iNA can help by creating effective, focused and original content.

Let us know your comments below or shout it out and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Marketing Ideas That Will Make You A Star On Black Friday

Marketing Ideas That Will Make You A Star On Black Friday

Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays of the year for most. While the turkey dinner is more than enough to excite many, others love the day because it means they are that much closer to Black Friday shopping. Every business needs to try their best to market well on this day since everyone else will be doing the same. Here are some great ideas that will boost your business while helping you stand out from the crowd.

Offer Afternoon Deals

It will not be surprising to anyone if you decide to offer deals and discounts on this day since so many others will have the same thought process. One way for you to set yourself apart would be to offer deals that do not start until the afternoon. Waking up at the crack of dawn for deals is ideal for some, but others treasure the idea of sleeping late and shopping once they are well-rested.

This is also a great idea because it means you will not have to open any earlier than you typically do. As a result, you can save money since there will not be any need to pay your staff for extra hours.

Give Additional Deals On Social Media

There should always be Black Friday deals that everyone can take advantage of. With that said, you should do something additional to show appreciation to those who follow you on social media. For instance, offer an additional 5% off a purchase for people who post and leave your business name as a hashtag or those who check in to let others know where they are currently shopping. They will love the fact that you are showing them some appreciation for their loyalty and in return, you will have some free advertising.

Focus On What Makes You Unique

When you are creating marketing materials for your Black Friday campaign, be sure to focus on things that make your business unique. For instance, if you are a boutique that specializes in workout clothing for plus-size women, it would be great to use this as the core of your campaign. The goal is for people to hone in on this fact and see what you have to offer that the competition does not. Once this happens, they will be compelled to come to you for what they need.

Add A Countdown Timer

No one is going to forget when the big day comes, but this does not mean you should not offer them a bit of a reminder. Add a countdown timer to your website to let people know how long they will have to wait to take advantage of the deals you will have available. In addition, once the day arrives, reset the timer to reflect the amount of time they have left before the sale is officially over.

Send Personalized Messages

Everyone gets bombarded with emails around this time that promise to give them the best possible deals and discounts on everything under the sun. As a result, many people overlook them or send them to the trash folder without even reading them. One way to gain their attention is to create personalized messages that include information that would be relevant to them. Examples of this would be mentioning their name, mentioning a product that is similar to something they previously purchased or adding information that is tied to their demographic.

Adding this to the body of your messages is a good idea, but placing it in the subject line is even better. This will get their attention right away and make it more likely they will actually read what you have to say.

Throw Customers A Party

The idea of luring shoppers in and having them spend more money than usual is the goal of Black Friday, but you have to find a way to show them that you are about more than the bottom line. One way to do this would be to make the shopping experience an event in itself. Play some holiday music, offer them some food and beverages and have a few games and giveaways. They will be so excited at the thought of having a good time that they have no problem buying things in order to keep up the momentum and continue enjoying the party.

Add Upsell Options

This is a marketing tip for those who are having a Black Friday sale on the Web. When people are shopping online, the easiest way to make them spend more is to draw their attention to additional products. Instead of allowing them to aimlessly roam around your site with o direction, you can upsell them by offering some visual cues. For instance, you can add some “Similar Products” links. Many people view this as information that you are offering them as a way to be helpful, but the real reason behind it is to make sure that their shopping carts are as full as possible.

Offer Useful Incentives

Saving money is always a big draw for people, but you should really think about bringing some other incentives to the table. Many large retailers do this when they offer free holiday shipping and an extended period for people to make returns. When you offer this kind of perk, people appreciate it, even if it means that you will not be offering sale prices that are as low as others. Consider this: Knowing that they can buy anything they want and have it shipped without paying more is enough to make people buy more than they originally intended, which means more money in your pocket.

On Black Friday, many businesses make more than they do on any other day of the year. These ideas will help you grab more attention from the masses and compel them to head to your business instead of focusing on others. Using one or more of these ideas means that everyone will win. They will feel like they are important to you and in turn, they will buy more than they typically would.

Did you like our Black Friday marketing ideas? Well here’s another one we’re sure you’ll love: Successful Email Marketing For Amazon Business

Let us know through your comments below or shout it out and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Proven Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Proven Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses - Featured

Whether you’re a retail shop owner or a freelance consultant, your company can benefit from these Thanksgiving marketing ideas no matter what industry they are in! Gobble them up and start applying these ideas to your marketing strategy so you can make the best out of this holiday!

Fun-Filled Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas for You To Try!

Thanksgiving is all about turkey dinners, family discussions, and fun-filled reunions that create lasting memories for many Americans. However, small businesses also need to look at this time of the year as a wonderful opportunity to build a great brand.

Let’s take a look at some of the top Thanksgiving marketing ideas for small businesses and why they’re essential moving forward.

1) Thank Your Loyal Customers

Loyalty should be rewarded and is a big part of running a small business.

Imagine having a customer that continues to buy products/services from your business on a regular basis. This loyalty is what makes them unique and they should be honored for their commitment to the brand. One of the best ways to pursue something of this nature is to send out a themed email using an email automation platform (i.e. MailChimp). By doing this, you will notice a positive uptick in how loyal these customers remain. When a person is thanked for their contribution, they will enjoy coming to the small business and buying from them. The same applies here and you will want to make the most of Thanksgiving by taking advantage of it for your needs.

The best way to do this is to make sure there is a reward for their loyalty along with the “thank you” message. For example, you may give them a set of discounts for their loyalty. This can be done for the week before Thanksgiving or on the day itself depending on your desired approach. Regardless, this is one of the top ways of maximizing what Thanksgiving is all about!

2) Donate to the Community

You should show your love for the community by donating.

The reason is to ensure customers understand you are a part of the community and want to see it flourish. With so many people showing their love during this beautiful time of the year, it’s always a good idea to get involved in the form of a charitable contribution.

Donating can be done in a number of ways including sending money to a reputable charity in the region. It’s up to you and can be a good way to get people involved. In fact, one of the strategies that are used by businesses around the world would be doing a “dollar for dollar” campaign. In essence, you pledge to donate at least $1 for every $1 donated by customers. This can be a great way to raise funds and get people to enjoy the holiday for all that it has to offer.

It is these little things on Thanksgiving that are going to push your business to the top of its niche. Yes, there is an investment but this is a positive one and should carry weight as you hope to build a reputable brand.

3) Put Together a Set of Discounted Products/Services

Sales are a part of Thanksgiving and you will want to jump in with both feet!

The premise of this is to make sure there is a themed sales drive that includes some of the top products on your site/store. By doing this, you will get people to take a look as they will already want to find the best deals on the market as soon as they can find them.

You should continue to put in the time to push the best possible sales on your website.

As soon as you do this, make sure to send out an email to your subscribers list so they are able to take advantage of the discounted products/services. This is how you are able to bring in a boatload of sales and spread the word about what your small business is offering to customers. They are going to enjoy this kind of sales and will want to spend money.

4) Offer Gifts

Gifts are always going to work at this time of the year and this is a wonderful opportunity to maximize Thanksgiving. The gift doesn’t have to be an expensive one but it should be enough to get people to look twice and appreciate the brand.

In some cases, you will be able to help provide the gift and have people purchase other items on your website.

This always works and is one of the best ways to bring in new people and raise awareness for your business. Over time, people are going to remember the brand and will want to buy from you! This is why Thanksgiving is your best friend and is one of the top holidays for giving away gifts leading into the Christmas season.

Keep the gifts simple and make sure to send out an email about your giveaway to your subscribers list.

5) Create a Goodwill Video for Thanksgiving

This is a wonderful way to bring people together and truly show your holiday spirit as a small business. You have to create a goodwill video that’s going to grow over the long-run. Too many people want to find something fun to do and it’s never a bad idea to use this as a way to bolster your business. For example, you can create a fun-loving video that is about Thanksgiving and what your business stands for. This is going to entertain people and is a wonderful way to showcase why your business is special.

In this day and age, small businesses have a number of platforms to work with including social media platforms. Therefore, you want to leverage all of them and make sure the goodwill video spreads like wildfire. There have been numerous examples where something as simple as a video is able to win the hearts of your customers.

These marketing ideas will help push your small business to the next level on Thanksgiving. With so many people in the holiday spirit, it’s never a bad idea to tap into the holiday fever and make it a part of your marketing campaign. Using these ideas, you’ll be well on your way to a well-developed strategy that brings in new leads!

Did you like our Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas? Well here’s another article we’re sure you’ll love!

What are you thankful for this year? Were you able to achieve any milestone for your business? What marketing strategies worked out for you best?

Let us know through your comments below or shout it out and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Great Halloween Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Great Halloween Marketing Ideas For Small Business | Featured

The spooks and thrills of Halloween are well-engrained in American society. Whether it’s ghosts, zombies, or those delightful candies, everyone loves being a part of Halloween festivities when October 31st rolls around. With such a beautiful celebration near the end of fall, it’s time to assess the value of using this day as a way to promote your small business. Can it be done? Are there ways to make sure your small business gets out in front of people that can become lifelong customers? Indeed, Halloween is a great time to build a robust marketing campaign, which is why it’s best to look at the following Halloween marketing ideas.

1) Create Halloween-Themed Marketing Content

Whether it is your website, social media account, or email template, it’s time to make adjustments. You want to create Halloween-themed marketing content that is going to maximize the essence of this wonderful celebration.

Numerous small businesses make use of those spooky sayings and images for their websites. You want to create a similar theme around your business and its marketing. by doing this, you will be able to get people in tune with your set up and what you’re selling. Until this happens, your business can’t win people over for October 31st.

2) Change the Theme of Your Website

You will need to understand the theme of your website and what it’s saying to customers.

It should have a noticeable Halloween theme to it (i.e. logos, colors, content). Everything should revolve around Halloween as that’s what people expect. No one wants to visit a small business website that is out of touch with what’s happening right now.

The same applies to Christmas, Memorial Day, or Valentine’s Day. You want to stay in the present and put the business in a prime position to rake in new customers!

3) Hand Out Candy At Your Main Location

What is Halloween best known for in America? It’s known for “trick or treating” where kids go around and collect candy. You want to join in on the fun. To do this, you are going to have different options including setting up a small stall full of candies at your physical location.

This can be a good way to have parents come in with their children and perhaps buy things from your store. A lot of small businesses do this, especially if you are in a family-friendly niche. It’s smart to take a look at whether or not this is a good idea for your needs because it will make a noticeable difference. Parents are going to come in with their kids to collect candy. Of course, you want to spread the word on social media and your website well in advance!

4) Set up Halloween-Friendly Products

What type of products is being sold on your website right now? Are they Halloween-themed?

For example, imagine you are selling clothes and Halloween rolls around. Do you have enough orange, black, or white clothes that are built around the idea of Halloween? Are you guessing as to what is going to work and what is not?

It is always expected for small businesses to incorporate Halloween into their inventory and the same has to happen on your end. Otherwise, it is not going to work out as you want it to. When Halloween-themed products are set up, it’s a lot easier for people to buy as they are already in the mood.

It’s less of a battle when you’re willing to put in the work on your marketing campaign. Make sure to set up a collection of products/services that are Halloween-themed. In fact, you should also sell them at a discounted price to bring in new customers.

5) Create a Halloween Costume Contest

Halloweens are known for candies and fun costumes.

This means it’s time to set up an online costume contest for your followers. This is a good way to get people to interact with the business via social media and to have them win prizes associated with your business. By doing this, you are going to help showcase the business in a positive light and it’s going to get people involved too. This is when you are able to win and do well over the long-term. A well-timed costume contest is going to help promote the business better than anything else!

6) Throw a Halloween Party

Is your small business willing to host a Halloween party where people dress up in costumes?

You can easily sponsor this party and become the lead brand. This is a great way to showcase the brand in a positive light and that’s how a marketing campaign can flourish. If you are going to be hosting a party, it’s never a bad idea to include neighboring small businesses to get everyone involved.

This is going to make it easier to host the party and the benefits will still be there. When done right, this is going to help promote the business and get customers involved at the same time. it’s a true win-win for Halloween lovers.

7) Give Out Branded “Trick or Treat” Bags

The final tip is to hand out “trick or treat” bags because kids are going to use them to collect candies.

Whenever a customer buys something from you, it’s best to include a free “trick or treat” bag with your logo on it. This should go to everyone that purchases a product during October. It will help promote the business and they’ll know you’re a big part of their Halloween preparations.

Sometimes, it’s the little freebies that go a long way!

These are the ideal marketing ideas to implement for your Halloween-themed contest. Each business needs to incorporate this wonderful day into their marketing scheme. it’s the best way to win over people of all ages and truly become a part of the larger community. Until this happens, your business is always going to remain a step behind. Look at these ideas and choose the ones that are best suited for your business.


Seven Labor Day Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses

7 LABOR DAY MARKETING IDEAS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Labor Day is a holiday that was originally designed to give workers a day off, but for small businesses, it is perhaps one of the best times of the year to keep your doors open. As people celebrate the last hurrah of the season at county fairs and backyard barbecues, you can benefit by creating opportunities for potential customer. However, that’s much easier said than done. Check out our top 7 Labor day marketing ideas you should try this year!

Labor Day is a time of year when many businesses start thinking of marketing ideas for capitalizing on what’s usually a big holiday for businesses. Special sales, deals, and events will be common. Chances are, you are also thinking along the same lines. The question is how to get the word out. Here are 7 Labor Day marketing ideas for small businesses.

1.Host a Cookout

Nothing can match the power of bringing people in like the smell of burgers or hot dogs on the grill. It does not matter whether or not you are in the catering industry. People view Labor Day as summer’s last hurrah, so invite your customers for a final cookout before the fall.

If you don’t usually serve food, it’s perfectly fine. It is an excellent way to get people together while giving them a good reason for coming. It is the perfect opportunity to market to a captive audience. Demonstrate or promote your products by setting up a display next to the grill.

2.Welcoming Fall

Labor Day might signal the end of summer, but it is still the start of fall (unofficially). Businesses usually switch gears once the seasons switch. Clothing stores start switching to warmer clothes, restaurants start offering seasonal menu items or ingredients, etc.

Instead of simply bidding farewell to the warm weather, it is now time for welcoming the new. Clothing stores can offer a glimpse at warmer fashions, restaurants can offer a sample of upcoming specials, and much more. People are sad to say goodbye to summer. So, you should capitalize on fall if possible.

3.Themed Deals

Labor Day is the time for sales and chances are that whatever you are doing, a sale of sorts will be involved. Truth be told, nothing does a great job of getting people in your door or your website like the prospect of a good deal.

Labor Day means several things beyond the end of summer and the start of fall. For children and their parents, it is all about going back to school. For others, it is all about the beginning of the football season. You can pique interest by structuring your deal around a theme such as these.

4.Social Media Contest

Labor Day is the last opportunity many of your customers have to go to the beach or barbecue before the season ends. Chances are, they have their phones with them and they will be taking lots of pictures. Social media is the perfect way for businesses to connect with customers and Labor Day is the best time to have some fun doing it.

Encourage your customers to either tag you in or send you their Labor Day photos. You can make it a contest and select the “best” one for a prize such as a discount or gift card. It is an excellent way to expand your organic social media reach while encouraging interaction with followers and fans.

It does not cost much to get started with social media contests since all you need is a $50 gift card as well as a bit of online promotion. It is advisable to start promoting early on to ensure that you have plenty of participants by the time Labor Day arrives.

5.Offering Discounted Renewals

No time is as good for securing recurring revenue as holiday time. If you offer subscription plans or memberships that renew every year, Labor Day is the perfect time to secure those customers for one more year.

You can offer your customers a discount ranging from 10- to 20-percent on their annual membership if they renew early. It gives your customers a strong incentive to stick with your business and lets you lock in those customers for one year more.

6.Free Upgrades

If you offer a service or product that can be upgraded, Labor Day is perhaps the best time of year to test this marketing idea. Upgrades typically involve moving a customer to a higher price tier. For Labor Day, you can consider being a bit more generous.

You can offer your customers a free upgrade to the next tier for a set time period. It can be 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, etc. Once the promotional period has ended, you will find that many people choose to stick with the new tier even if it is at a higher price.

7.Clear Out Your Old Inventory

Clearance sales always seem to be a big deal when it comes to Labor Day. If you have summer inventory that you would like to clear from your shelves or out of your warehouse, Labor Day is the ideal time to do it. Out with the old and in with the new.

A clearance sale is an excellent way to get rid of your old inventory, but if no one knows about it, it won’t be much of a success. Ensure that your customers know all about the amazing deals you have waiting for them and promote the sale well in advance of Labor Day.

Final Thoughts

Labor Day is a great time of year for businesses to make even more sales, establish and strengthen business relationships, and get ready for the new season. You should strive to make the most of this holiday by implementing the right marketing ideas such as the 7 discussed here.

Whatever marketing ideas you decide to implement on Labor Day, it is important to ensure that your customers know about it. Send an email blast, plaster your promos all over social media, and get the word out about all your Labor Day specials and promos.

Did you like our Labor day marketing ideas? Well here’s another one we’re sure you’ll love: How To Find A Great SEO Firm For Your Small Business

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The Ultimate Marketing Guide For Insurance Agencies

The Ultimate Marketing Guide For Insurance Agencies

Chances are, this isn’t the first article you’ve read on insurance marketing. We don’t blame you, there are plenty of articles out there that presents a handful of strategies and tips to get you more sales. Insurance agencies need to build clientele through a marketing strategy designed for their customers. In this guide, we will give you the top tips you’ll ever need to get more people knocking on your door.

Appearances Matter

If you want to have the best insurance agency, you’re going to want to create a name for your company that will brand you as experts in the industry. How do you do this? By choosing a name that will convey your company business your company will look more professional as well as more trustworthy and let’s face it, building trust is going to net you return clients who choose to do business with your insurance agency.

Let’s consider for a moment how first impressions make us feel about a business. Have you ever walked into a business that seemed like no one knew what was going on and the signage was either tattered, torn, outdated, or altogether missing? Did you feel like that was a business that you wanted to work with? Or did it give you second thoughts? Most people would want to reconsider where they were placing their trust if they walked into a place of business as mentioned above.

You want to present the best possible look for first-time clients. First impressions count. Put the right foot forward and everything else is going to flow naturally into place.

Logo

Insurance agencies must have logos. The logo that you select should remind clients of your business every time that they look at the logo. Take for example name brand grocery stores. If you see a grocery store that is a name brand chain, you know that logo every time that you look at it.

Your insurance agency should have that same eye-catching type of logo that will tell people “This is us” every time that they look at it. Now take that logo one step further and use it on your business cards, letterhead, ads, window stickers, bumper stickers and every other item that you may hand out as a promotional item for your business. This includes pens, notepads and more.

Consider wallet-sized cards that give the insured your number, emergency numbers and anything else that you may think is ideal to have on hand in an emergency. Make sure that these cards are sturdy enough to put into and remove from a wallet so that they’re not damaged.

Mobilize

Insurance agencies should have websites that are mobile-friendly. That way, if someone is at a car dealership and seeking to insure their car, they can check to price on their mobile devices. Mobile devices pull websites up slightly differently than your home computer or laptop. By taking advantage of this knowledge, you can get a leading edge so that when users need information and are on the go, they can easily pull up your website and find what information they require.

Make sure it’s user-friendly. Ask friends and family to check it out after the websites are updated and be sure to market the site accordingly.

Referrals

A happy client is going to naturally give you a great referral. But, why not give them some incentive such as a discount at a movie theater, a gift card or even a coffee mug. Everyone wants something for nothing and this is a fairly easy way to gain more clients through a referral.

It doesn’t have to be a lot, but if they do give referrals, make it something that will show them how much you appreciate their help you to gain more customers.

Use Contact Forms On Your Website

Having a contact form on your website will help your potential customers to get their questions answered. Have a contact form where potential customers can ask questions and get personalized answers. Make this a soft sales call when you call or contact them with the answers to their questions.

In this fashion, you’re building trust (which goes back to our first recommendation) and you’re developing a friendship with them which even if you don’t get the sale today, may lead to a sale down the road when they are considering something new and want to get an insurance quote.

Get Some Great Reviews

Ask your customers to give you some reviews and positive feedback on your website and blog. Ask them to share their experience and if someone is dissatisfied, answer the issue right there online in the forums, websites, and blogs where everyone can see how your company went above and beyond to resolve an issue. Encourage customers to share their experiences.

A lot of people who are looking for an insurance agency are going to read over the reviews before they make their decision. This is a great way to go about marketing your insurance agency and it will go far to help you develop more business.

Social Media

Today, more than ever before, technology has surpassed the written forms of news media that were once heavily relied upon. Insurance agencies should start interacting with potential clients and share specials and coupons with potential customers on all social media platforms. Create your business pages, share your content and engage with your followers!

Add share buttons on all of your blog posts, website pages and any other correspondence that isn’t personalized. Invite visitors to share this information on their social media pages and have a special gift or coupon for the 100th or 500th referrals or share in this fashion. Don’t forget to share your own ads on your own social media sights.

Target The Audience

Place ads in newcomers packet for local towns. Place ads in the paper where people shop for cars or homes. Use flyers near local businesses that may sell items that require insurance. Use postcards, leave business cards at local businesses.

By finding those who are going to need insurance, you’re literally leading potential customers right to your front door. It’s like laying the yellow brick road to your business and more people will find it without any effort.

By mixing and matching these ultimate marketing ideas, you’re going to literally drive business to your front door and you’ll have plenty of happy customers. Remember, first impressions matter so find someone who loves people to greet everyone who enters that front door.

Did you like our marketing guide for insurance agencies? Well here’s another one we’re sure you’ll love: How I Used the GuestReach Method to Build 21 Powerful Backlinks in Less Than 3 Hours of Work

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The Ultimate Marketing Guide For Interior Designers

the Ultimate Marketing guide for Interior Designers

Though you may be an expert at interior design, chances are you have no clue on where to start with SEO – the quintessence of digital marketing. As interior designers tussle with ever-changing consumer behavior and stiff competition, a familiar question pops up: Why is SEO important for interior designers? Today, with so many interior design contractors and companies vying for the attention of prospective clients, successfully launching and implementing a strong SEO strategy is what will give you a competitive edge and allow you to stay ahead of the curve. So, what are the tricks and hacks for successful digital marketing for interior designers? Check out our foolproof marketing guide for interior designers!

Understanding What Is SEO

Typically search engine optimization is a practice of getting web pages to rank high on search engines. SEO involves elements that not only increase a site’s rankings on search engines but also attract traffic and ensure that site visitors are interested in business. Research indicates that there are approximately 2 trillion searches on Google per day; for this reason, it becomes imperative for all companies regardless of their niche to steer their marketing campaign towards digital marketing and search engine optimization. A robust online marketing strategy ensures that your local, out-of-town and global target audience will be able to find you easily.

Here’s a look at techniques to help you build a solid digital marketing strategy for your interior design business:

Social Media Marketing

Primarily, social media was meant for connecting friends and loved ones. However, today, social media can be quite a powerful marketing tool. Having a strong presence on social media platforms helps you connect and build relationships with real people. Interior design is more about visuals, so make use of Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. When using different platforms, get to know what works for one platform and what doesn’t. Done right, social media has the power to redefine your business. For instance, here are tips on how to go about marketing your interior design business on Facebook:

  • Make use of Facebook ads; Facebook ads are not only accurate but are also quite cheap, with just about $ 10, you can reach 2,000 people. Facebook ads allow you to choose the audience location, demographics and interests for accurate targeting. Therefore, if you are targeting an audience of millennials, your Facebook ads will be shown to people in that specific demographic who have shown interest in interior design.
  • Post, comment and reply: Facebook is all about human connection. Create relevant posts for the audience without hard selling your services or products. Encourage people to comment on your posts. If someone asks about current home decor trends or office decorations, answering their questions might win your business new customers. So be sure to engage with the audience.

Email Marketing

Want to convert home decor and office decor enthusiasts into leads; then email marketing is your go-to. When properly utilized, email marketing can be your best digital marketing tool for your interior design business. Not only is it cheap but it can also bring about impressive returns. To get you started on email marketing, build an excellent list. However, make sure that you ask people if they want to receive emails from you. Create personalized emails with a catchy subject line and a not-too-pushy call to action. For instance, your call to action could say “follow the link to see the latest interior design trends in 2019.”

Another way to leverage the full benefits of email marketing is to integrate social media marketing into your email marketing campaign. When you send out emails, subtly mention to your customers to share and comment, rate or review your content, products or services on social media. Email marketing has the potential to jump-start your social media marketing campaign.
Local SEO For Interior Designers

Global SEO is a vital part of online marketing, but so is local SEO. However, tread lightly to prevent your SEO efforts from leaning too much towards search engines and forgetting one crucial fact – humans are also reading your content and visiting your site. Is your interior design business listed on Bing Listings or Google My Business? If not, be sure add and claim your business on GMB, Bing listings and Apple maps for local SEO. Also, include local authoritative links, keywords and list your business in local directories. Therefore, if you use keywords such as ‘interior design experts Iowa’ and someone is looking for an interior design business say in that location, your business is likely to pop up on the first page. Never neglect local SEO, after all, aside from your pretty storefront, your local SEO efforts are what attract customers to your store.

Content Marketing

Since 2016, digital marketing experts have been singing the same song – content is king. This fact is not about to change in 2019. Create long-form, unique, relevant and engaging content. While it’s tempting to stuff keywords in your content, don’t. Search engines are strict when it comes to poor content, and so are internet users.

Have quality and authoritative content linking to your home decor website. Today, attention spans are pretty short, and if your content cannot draw the attention of site visitors, then you stand to lose many potential clients. To help you create quality content, make sure that your content is skewed towards an audience looking for interior design products and services. You can opt to have your content drafted by interior designer pros such as interior design bloggers. Don’t forget to mention core interior design areas that your business specializes in on your site.

Though you may be an interior design guru, chances are design school didn’t prepare you for digital marketing. Therefore, traversing the digital marketing world can seem like a daunting process. However, don’t let 2019 get here without your business committing to a solid digital marketing campaign that can take your interior design business to a new level. With the above fundamental techniques, you can help your interior design company rank high on search engines and ultimately see sales skyrocket. Need help with marketing your business? Consider partnering with professional interior design digital marketing experts.

Did you find our marketing guide for interior designers helpful? Well here’s another that’ll give you a hand: Use Social Media to Generate Traffic

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Great July 4th Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Great July 4th Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

This read is going to offer insight into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to 4th of July marketing campaigns for small businesses.

July 4th celebrates an important day in American history and is well-regarded by millions of Americans.

In this spirit, you want to make a positive marketing decision by using July 4th as a way to build brand awareness. Now, you are going to have a multitude of ideas and each one is going to seem appealing but it’s important to do this the right way. Otherwise, you can end up making mistakes and wasting away this wonderful opportunity.

1) Show Your Patriotism

This should be a given and is the heartbeat of a positive July 4th marketing campaign.

You should look to change the colors of your website, social media accounts, and any other digital asset to the American blue, red, and white. By doing this, you will showcase a special love for the flag and that’s going to set the tone as you pursue additional marketing strategies. Too many small businesses do the bare minimum (i.e. a simple July 4th post on Twitter) when this is an opportunity to get out there!

You want to avoid making this mistake and learn from what others are doing.

This is why it’s best to show your patriotism by sending out themed emails, engaging with followers, and simply celebrating the day.

2) Set Up a July 4th Sale

Yes, a small business needs to set up a sale on this day because it’s an opportunity to engage with potential customers.

Numerous leads will come through and look at your inventory, which is why it’s important to make the inventory as appealing as possible. Regular prices aren’t going to do it for customers and they will look the other way. As a result, you want to be on top of things and make sure there’s a collection of products/services that are discounted for the big day. When people see sales on a national holiday, they’re inclined to take out their credit card and make a purchase.

You want to tap into this feeling and make sure your small business has something good to offer in terms of discounted products. Otherwise, you are going to be missing out on a boatload of sales.

3) Partner with Another Small Business To Showcase Unity

What is July 4th all about? It’s about unity and there’s nothing more important than showcasing your love for the community. There are many ways of showcasing your love but one of the unique ones would be to partner up with a local small business.

This business doesn’t have to be related to your niche but should be from the community.

This partnership can include an event in the park or something to bring people together with hot dogs, cotton candy, and more. When people start to associate your brand with the community, it’s going to be a win-win for everyone.

4) Host a July 4th Party

As mentioned before, you want to take advantage of the celebratory mood and set up a patriotic party.

This party is going to be wonderful and will ensure customers come out to enjoy the day. This is going to put your business is wonderful light and that’s when sales are made.

5) Engage With Your Customers

Engaging with your customers is one of the easiest things a business can do and will help things progress at the speed you want them to. Focus on engaging with the customers in a professional manner and speak about what July 4th means to them.

This is where the brand is able to build awareness and use July 4th as a way to bring in new customers. When people are talking about a holiday such as this, it becomes easier to sell them on a brand in comparison to any other time of the year.

6) Appreciate the Veterans on Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for marketing purposes and it can do wonders on July 4th.

In general, you want to make sure to speak out about the day, what it stands for, and how your small business respects what it’s all about. By doing this, you are going to show a deep love for the country and this begins by appreciate what veterans have done for the nation. Thos sacrifices always matter and it’s something the business can utilize to spread love and illustrate why it remains an important part of the community.

7) Partner With a Veterans’ Charity

Partnering with a good veterans charity is never a bad idea. In essence, you are taking Independence Day and ensuring it lives up to the billing by putting your money where your mouth is as a small business.

By getting your customer base involved (i.e. matching their contributions), you are able to make the day a wonderful one for everyone involved. It is also a great way to spread the word about your patriotism as a business and why you are such a wonderful part of the community. Sometimes, it’s the little things that resonate with people and there are many Americans that love their nation and want to celebrate it as much as possible. This is a real win-win opportunity for your small business and all it takes is for you to partner up with a reliable and proven charity.

Even if you don’t get involved with a veterans’ charity, it’s never a bad idea to choose any charity that’s dear to your heart.

These are the main marketing tips to focus on as a small business owner on July 4th. You are going to have quite a few options available to you but these are the ideal PR choices that will bring in new customers. Some of the finest small businesses in America have utilized these particular tips and done well on July 4th. Focus on these tips, craft a marketing strategy, and then begin spreading the word as soon as you can!

Did you find our 4th of July marketing tips helpful? Well here’s another that’ll give you a hand: Use Social Media to Generate Traffic

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