2020 will forever be considered a pivotal year. We are not only entering a new decade, but a new way of working. That means Marketing will be at the head of the line, and those who bring skills, experience and built-up social capital will win the decade.
First, the Predictions:
It’s all about images – video, Zoom and other streaming media and photography telling the story faster and in a more memorable way than ever before.
Honesty and transparency must be part of the message.
Empathy matters and it must be backed up with action.
Are you listening? Communictions are two or three-way – not exective orders.
New technology will make all of the above a bit easier.
Next, what skills will take marketing farther and faster?
Social storytellers – The ability to break through via social media – that means being a story teller with truth and empathy where appropriate.
Video editing – editing is the key to impact and excellence.
Engagement – that means not only knowing who your audience is, but having a real connection. Like one-on-one.
Change – remember the 1918 Flu Pandemic was followed by the Roaring 20’s – expect the same.
Social capital – some might call this experience and karma – it means that experience and relationships will take you the farthest.
Summary – If you can move quickly, be real and have the experience to know what not to do – you will enjoy what’s to come, post Covid.
At the end of every day it is about people – their needs, fears, wants, hopes and dreams.
These tips come from too many days of online sessions and wishing the presenters knew to do the following:
Follow the CALL rule: 1. Camera – look into the camera which is the ‘eye’ of your audience. 2. Audio – if we can’t hear you then nothing else matters – get a separate microphone. For less than $100 it will make the biggest difference. 3. Lighting – you should face the light so it reflects on your face. Use your cell in selfie mode to walk around and choose the best spot before you get online. 4. Location – look behind you – that is what will appeal to, or distract, your audience.
Choose the right software. Zoom is by far the best, accomodates the most attendees and gives lots of flexibility for the presenters and the participants.
Have an agenda! Use the 3-step system: first tell the audience who you are, how you can be contacted and what you are going to cover, step 2 is to give your presentation and finally step 3 do a wrap-up.
Leave time for Q&A – seems like all these webinars start by saying there will be a Q&A and then they run over and the Q&A is cut out.
Have a title slide for your company name, the topic you are covering, your name and contact information.
Best things I have seen:
One magazine that has been hosting webinars lately has 3 different audience polls that are interpersed between the presentations – very effective and gives the host an idea of the audience interest level. Also good for a few laughs!
A Brady Bunch screen that has two or more participants with open microphones who go back and forth during the presentation – very effective.
Summary – when the presenter/s have followed the CALL rules (and we are not watching from below their chin level!), when there is an agenda, our expectations are managed and we get a complete presentation – then the time is very well spent.
The debate about returning to work in office buildings is at full tilt as building owners have big concerns about how many people are enjoying working from home and what that might mean for leasing space in the very near future. Will your employer downsize? Will hours of operation change? What needs to change right now?
Architects and building owners have identified three top areas of concern in most commercial office buildings:
How many things you touch as you go from the street to your office; specifically entry doors and elevators
Air exchange, clean air and surface cleanliness
So, what are the ideas for changing current office spaces to deal with these concerns?
To make coming to work more positive, built-in heat sensors that measure your temperature as you enter a building could replace the manual temperature taking in use now.
To eliminate several touch points, doors will have sensors to open automatically and elevators will go on voice command with limited occupancy. Fewer people and no button touching.
The stairs will now become a feature. Look for carpet, paint and art in these areas to give workers an option to using an elevator. These will have to stay within fire department and evacuation guidelines but offers new options for moving from lobby or floor to floor.
Walls at your floor landing will be removed as possible, so you enter right into your office, works best for full or multi-floor tenants.
Air quality and exchange rate will not only be monitored but reported to occupants via an app.
Outdoor spaces including roof tops and parking lots will be enhanced and wi-fi increased so those areas give a reprieve to being indoors all day.
Outdoor spaces will include awnings, fans and heaters to accommodate weather issues.
Bathrooms, especially men’s rooms, will be reconfigured to have individual stalls
Overall, buildings will have more of a hospitality approach to make coming to work a nicer experience.
One panelist on a recent webinar about this said he believed though many enjoyed being at home, that others found it torture.
“The Wi-Fi, lighting, air conditioning and ability to focus are all better at the office. Add in my ability to be part of my company’s culture and socialize – and we believe people will look forward to coming to their workplace again. After we have a vaccine that is.”
Other than adding that you have everything to gain from doing better when on a webinar or Zoom call – take a few minutes (12 be exact) and watch Dominique Sachse in this excellent example of her own advice.
You put a lot of work into the content and set-up of your webinar, now how do you build an audience?
In the 12 tips below I will give you ‘not optional’ ways to make your webinar worth your time and that of your participants.
Let’s talk about timing. If your audience is in the same timezone then you are fine. But if they are across timezones or around the world think through if you are too early, too late or impacting a meal time.
Post the topic and time/date on your website, with a link.
Consider which format you will use and test best delivery methods.
Have a plan! Say what your are going to say, then say it and then say what you said, followed by Q and A. Do not skip the intro and do not skip the summary where you repeat thanks, contact information etc.
Give tips to your presenters. They might not think about the distractions like a TV, ringing phone or other noise. Ask them to consider what is in the background like artwork or book titles that might not be right for a mixed audience. See my blog on this.
Your emails – at least two weeks in advance and then 3 more before the date, and an hour before start time.
Personalize – if you know your audience say something in your subject line about them – how they will benefit.
Try 3 different subject lines and see which work best. If you want people to think your webinar is valuable then do not send out the same subject line each time.
Mirror the above on social media
Establish a #hashtag and use it across all channels
Use images. The faces of your speaker with cutlines of who they are and what they are going to discuss, images of your product or an image that captures your topic.
Interject the participant’s opinion. Absolutly stop in time for questions, or better yet weave into the time slot two or three polls to ask participants what they think. Keep them engaged.
Streaming webinars and events are forever in our future, let me know your tips for making them engaging and worthwhile. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does it seem like too much of corporate America is just stuck? Still telling us they are trying and how hard it is for them?
I keep waiting for some company to grab this opportunity by the throat and take advantage of the huge opportunities right in front of them.
During this quarantine and all that this virus has brought with it – marketers have a first-row seat to guide clients and their organization on how to flip this whole narrative on its back and taking over as a leader of what is to come.
Like what for instance? Here are three quick ideas for 3 industries… more to come in future blogs.
Realtors – the paradigm has shifted, again. With full-time in-home living and time to analyze and talk about future needs… here are some conclusions buyers are coming to:
Families are looking for new homes that have features previously considered to be for retirees. As one parent of 3 elementary school children told me “if we have learned one thing during this quarantine our retirement is going to look a lot like this, minus the kids. Our dream house is starting to look like our yesterday home. We are thinking of a whole new way of living, and that to us means a house we can grow old in.”
Professionals are realizing work from home is absolutely their future, and the 9 to 5/Monday through Friday schedule will be gone too. That means that offices in quiet sections of the home, with doors and a view of the outdoors will be high priorities. In this case, the office priority might change the open concept mantra, and mean a bigger home.
Deliveries will mean adaptations and structural changes too. Secure delivery areas, maybe even a refrigeration delivery area. That means technology for notifications and security rise up in the features of the next home for many buyers.
Commercial Real Estate Brokers – you have been selling the same thing with a similar message for decades. Location and square feet are just not going to be enough anymore. You need to sell innovation and trust – why should I go to an office or a brick and mortar store when I do not need to? The shopping experience was gone long before this pandemic and offices have simply not kept up with what the worker wants.
Change your story now. Tell me why I should want to come to your location- have you updated the air systems to improve air quality? Have you made it easier or better for me to come to work or shop? How are you showing me you care if I am here? For too many years I would have been glad if someone acknowledged I was even in their store – yes this customer matters more than repositioning that mannequin.
Do you know in Asia businessmen want to have offices near their children’s school and near medical facilities – families matter. What is your location near? Where is their beauty and nature? How is your wi-fi and where are places to eat?
Delivery services – right now you are the most impersonal, personal service possible. No personalization of what we are ordering or when. From your website to the person who drops off the goods and hauls back to their delivery van – there is a different person every time. No communication. You are all looking the same, and more of a necessity than a choice.
Do you want us to keep using your services? Then build a connection! Even a note of thanks in with the delivery, a small sample of something new you sell and some form of uniformity with your drivers and delivery people so you have brand recognition.
There are much bigger ideas, but these are easy to implement, practically free and the window of opportunity for you is closing.
Big flashing light – use this time to think ahead and use what has been presented. All consumers want the same thing – to think it mattered that they chose your services, chose you as their Realtor or worked/shopped in your location.
The opportunities are here, they are big, they are a pivot to a new mind set. You are ready for this – you can be the leader instead of a loser.
This applies to everything — meeting someone new at an event, a post on social media or a cold call to someone you want to connect with.
If the first 20 seconds of your communication is all about you or your products and services, maybe it’s time for a rethink. Why is that? Why do we consider the opening part of the call to be the most important?
The best advice comes from professionals who do it every single day. This advice from mtd Sales Training Specialists focuses on sales and how to start off on the right foot. Here’s what they shared about the first 20 seconds of an initial call.
This is outstanding advice whether you are trying to gain the interest of a journalist, a new client, an event producer or anyone who doesn’t yet know why they need you!
Think: What state or frame of mind is my prospect in when I call?
Think: What might they have been doing the moment before they took my call?
Think: What do they need to hear in the first 15 to 20 seconds that will at least make them listen to me for a further 15-20 seconds?
Whatever your answers, I doubt whether they included anything about being pushed towards a product or service they aren’t using at present.
What can you do, then, to lengthen this first call?
Of course, you grab their attention and interest by talking, not about you, but about them or something that can help them.
That first 15-20 seconds is golden time because it can make or break the next few minutes of the call.
You need to make it personal and specific to your market, but it should sound something like this:
“Hi, this is Bill Smith with Acme Widgets. Reason I’m calling is we recently helped a company in the (customer’s) industry increase their sales by 10% while reducing their marketing spend by the same amount. I wanted to see if we might be able to do the same for you.”
Now you’re talking about them. You’re talking about results. You’re asking if those kind of results would interest your prospect
When you talk about results, that is what the buyer would really be interested in.
It makes them curious and allows you to go into more detail as they are intrigued with what this might be about.
Of course, you need to be honest and truthful. Don’t lie about figures just to get an appointment.
You’re setting expectations that can’t be met if you do, and that will only cause more problems in the long run.
Did you notice that you didn’t mention your products or services in that first part of the conversation? It’s not relevant or necessary.
What you need to do is build their interest to know more.
You may have heard about the ‘AIDA’ principle before. That acronym stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
Many salespeople go straight to their product pitch early on in the call because they are frightened of refusal or they think the product will sell itself. It won’t.
In any type of marketing, it’s important to get the prospect’s attention straight away. Without doing so, you risk the prospect saying they aren’t interested.
As the acronym states, you can’t build interest until you have grabbed attention. If they reply early with ‘I’m not interested’, it’s because you haven’t attracted attention first.
Think about when you go to the cinema. What comes on before the main feature? That’s right, trailers for upcoming attractions.
Filmmakers do that to grab your attention and build your interest for what’s to come. Treat your call like a ‘teaser’ or ‘trailer’ for what’s to come.
Just as you wouldn’t start off on a journey without knowing your end destination, think about what the end destination of your call needs to be. You’ll then realise that the opening of the call is the most important part.
So, talk about results and solutions, not products.
#4 was the big surprise to me as I read this piece from EMMA the email marketing platform. Below you will see they not only list the spam words that cause your emails to be rejected, but why.
As a marketer, there’s so much on your mind every single day.
Not only do you need to worry about creating content that converts, you need to ensure that your emails are also accessible and GDPR compliant.
And … there’s another concern that all email marketers have: avoiding the email spam folder.
Ending up in the spam folder is basically a waste of the time and effort you expend to put together an awesome email campaign. Not only that, but it can also damage your online reputation. After all, no legitimate company would send spam emails, right?
Actually, it happens more often than you might think. You’ll find that there are many reasons why your emails might end up in your subscribers’ spam folder, but one of the most common is spam words in email.
In this post, we’ll share why certain words can get you tagged as spam and which ones to start avoiding like the plague.
Why certain words can land you in the dreaded spam folder.
The most common place to use spam words in email is in the subject line. However, if you use these words throughout the body of your content, you could still be flagged—especially if you are using other practices that make your emails appear spammy.
Spam filters are a great way for people to protect themselves from unwanted junk email or even harmful emails.
Spam filters definitely have their place. Unfortunately for email marketers, these filters can target emails that aren’t even remotely close to spam.
Spam words in email—even if it’s a perfectly legitimate email that people have signed up for—can land you in the spam folder. These are words commonly used to grab people’s attention and either excite them or scare them into action.
In 2018, three million people reported scams to the Federal Trade Commission. Of those, 25% had been scammed out of money—nearly $1.5 billion (yes, billion) had been lost to scammers.
Fortunately, email filters have helped to reduce some of the more blatant scammers out there. What’s not so great is that your marketing email can end up stuck in the spam folder with the scammers just because of the words used in the email.
Again, these words are used to entice people into taking action, which is the purpose of email marketing in the first place. However, there’s a way to motivate your audience without sounding like a spambot.
Words you should use carefully, or avoid using at all costs.
Here are our top 7 spam words in email that can get you into trouble. Avoid using them and you’ll not only stay out of your subscribers’ spam folder, you’ll actually improve the overall quality of your email content.
1. Dear Friend
Un-personalized emails are one of the first indicators of spam. You’re probably 99% sure you don’t know who is sending you an email when you receive one that simply says, “hi” or something like “dear friend.”
Even if you sent an email this way and it passed through the spam filter unscathed, that doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal.
Personalization is one of the keys of a successful email marketing campaign. You want each person in your audience to feel like you are writing specifically to them.
First of all, it’s just a courteous, professional thing to do. Second, you have to remember that your audience is always wondering “what’s in it for me.” If you can’t even take the steps to personalize an email, your subscribers are probably going to wonder why they should invest their time, attention, and eventually, their money in your company.
Takeaway: Always use your subscribers’ name if at all possible. Personalization is key.
2. Click here
Another phrase on the list of our top spam words in email is “click here.” When it comes to spam and scams, this phrase is a huge red flag. Millions of people have clicked where they shouldn’t have and ended up with a computer virus or losing money.
But isn’t “click here” a call to action? Yes, it is, but it’s not a call to action you want to use. Instead, use a call to action that tells your subscriber what will happen when they click your call to action button.
Take our survey
Schedule an appointment.
Takeaway: Calls to action are imperative to the success of your email campaign. However, you want to avoid using the click-bait call to action of “click here” and guide your potential customers to take a specific form of action.
The word “free” is completely enticing. After all, who doesn’t love a deal, especially one that results in little-to-no money being laid down?
Unfortunately, this is a word that a lot of spammers tend to use.
This isn’t to say that you can’t use it at all. Using it once or twice in the entire body of your email copy is not a big deal, and it’s a great motivator for your audience.
With this word, remember that a little dash will do. Overwhelm the content of your email with it and you’ll definitely end up in the spam folder.
Takeaway: If you have a free offer, make sure you don’t go overboard with your use of this word. Use it sparingly and you’ll avoid being tagged as spam.
When you think of spam words in email, you might not think of “Re:” and “Fwd:” because these are actions people actually take with their email on a daily basis. It’s definitely not uncommon to forward a cool email to a friend or reply to an email that someone sent you.
Spammers know this, which is why they use these words so frequently.
“Fwd:” and “Re:” are used so often that when people see an email with this subject line, they almost always automatically open their email.
Avoid using these words unless you’re actually replying to an email conversation with one of your subscribers. Using them simply to increase your open rate is dishonest.
Takeaway: Avoid “Fwd:” and “Re:” unless you’re actually replying to an email from a reader.
5. Great offer
This is another one of those phrases that scammers know people are intrigued by—just as they are with the word “free.”
Again, use these types of phrases as you would salt—sparingly. It is also good to avoid using it in the subject line, just to be safe.
Takeaway: When using anything pertaining to spending money (free, great offer), make sure to lightly sprinkle the words throughout your email. Avoid stuffing the words in your email or using them in the subject line.
Who doesn’t love a guarantee, especially if the guarantee is related to getting money back or achieving some fantastic results?
Unfortunately, it’s really difficult to guarantee anything. “Results may vary” may seem cliché but it is the absolute truth.
Scammers know that the word “guarantee” feels like a security blanket to many people, though, so they use it often.
You can avoid false advertising, disappointing your readers, ruining your online reputation, and ending up in the spam folder by avoiding the word “guarantee.”
Takeaway: Can you really guarantee anything? If you’re not 100% positive it’s possible, avoid using this word in your emails.
“Risk-free” is often used in conjunction with “guarantee,” especially by spammers and scammers. It conjures similar feelings as the word “guarantee,” which is why it’s one of the most popular spam words in email.
Saying anything is “risk-free” is the same as offering a guarantee to your readers. If you can’t offer that, then don’t say your product/service is risk-free.
Takeaway: “Risk-free” is yet another spam email phrase. If you’re tempted to use it, ask yourself if you can 100% guarantee that what you’re offering is risk-free. If you can’t, don’t add this phrase to your email.
Here are just a few more things to add to your “do not insert” list for future email campaigns.
Richard Branson’s “Five rough guidelines for creating a successful business” stopped me in my tracks this morning as it is one of the best summaries I have seen.
Pay special attention to #5.
After five decades in business, I’m often asked if there is a shortcut to success. Unfortunately there isn’t — or if there is, I haven’t found it yet. Creating a successful and profitable business takes time, since you build your reputation as customers learn to trust and rely on you, one by one.
Image from John Armstrong Photography
Also, there’s no guarantee that spending a huge amount of money on marketing will slingshot your business forward. If you spend your time looking for shortcuts, you will find one — right out of business.
While there are no set rules for succeeding in business, I have embraced some rough guidelines that can be very helpful:
1. Create a useful product or service
Image from Virgin Orbit
Above all else, you should not go into business purely for financial reasons. Running a company involves long hours and hard decisions; if you don’t have a better reason than money to keep going, your business will more than likely fail, as many new businesses do.
So it’s important to create something of use that is going to benefit society as a whole. If you do something you truly care about, you will be in a much better position to find customers, connect with them, and keep them coming back.
Once you have decided on the type of product or service that interests you, focus on how to do things differently from the competition: Do your research, find a gap or an area ripe for innovation, and position your business in a way that sets it apart.
2. Simplify your message
Image by John Armstrong Photography
Customers don’t just shop for a brand and its products, but also identify with its core values. Ask yourself, why did I start my business? Be honest – this will help you establish an authentic value and voice. Then break your message into something simple.
At Virgin, we stand for great customer service, good value and innovative alternatives to our competitors’ offerings. Most importantly, we view business as a force for good. Knowing who we are and what we stand for ensures that we don’t waste time or money on messaging that doesn’t represent us or resonate with our customers.
3. Market yourself
Image from Virgin.com
Marketing is a powerful tool, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. My mentor, Sir Freddie Laker, a man who had started a company to challenge British Airways on their home turf, gave me some invaluable advice when I was starting up Virgin Atlantic. Knowing that we couldn’t match the more established airlines in terms of marketing budget, he encouraged me to drive the publicity myself: “Use yourself. Make a fool of yourself. Otherwise you won’t survive.”
I took his advice and I’ve been thinking up fun ways to stand out from the crowd and draw the media’s attention to our company ever since, from breaking world records to pulling pranks.
While I’ve always been interested in sports and physical challenges, that might not be the route for you. Find your tone, know your brand, do things your own way, and create waves. The free advertising will follow.
4. Embrace social media
Image by Owen Buggy
Tools like Twitter and Facebook are wonderful ways to get your message out to a wide audience. Social media is not only more cost-efficient than advertising, but it also offers great opportunities for innovative engagement with your customers. Use it to your advantage.
Remember that there is a difference between selling and marketing. In my experience, selling a product through social media doesn’t always work – it’s better to simply communicate with your customers in an authentic way and have fun. As you build an online profile that people can identify with and trust, you’ll find that they will soon become customers.
The feedback you receive on social media can be invaluable, especially when your business is just starting out. Listen to your customers’ comments about your company’s offerings to gain an understanding of what you are doing right and wrong. You can also use this feedback to sharpen your social campaigns and measure the effectiveness of your calls to action.
5. Keep on enjoying what you do
Image from Virgin
If you genuinely love and believe in what you do, others will take notice and share your enthusiasm.
If you find your interest flagging, it’s time to make a change — switch from operations to management, move on, expand into new territories, anything that interests you. To find success, you need to be fully committed or your work will show it.
Many designers rely on professionals for the publicity needed to grow their business. But is paying for PR the right move for you? – From ADPRO/Architectural Digest
With the litany of tasks and costs that come with running a business, should you prioritize hiring professional publicity? What can you expect to get in return? We asked five publicists and designers, and the answer is more concrete than you think (even the publicists told us there is a wrong time to hire them). Here’s exactly how to figure out when it makes sense to hire PR and when it’s better to go it alone.
Hire a publicist when…
You want to tell the story of your business
“As long as there’s a story to tell, we’ll have PR,” says Ari Heckman, founding partner and CEO of ASH. “It’s about brand awareness.” No matter where you are in your career, a publicist’s job is to tell people who you are as a designer. And there’s more at stake than just reputation. Sarah Natkins, head of Camron US, tells AD PRO that PR is key to growing your business and boosting your bottom line. “Building awareness in a smart and strategic way can have a huge impact,” she says. ”If done in the right way, it can help expand a studio, and drive the right business.”
This doesn’t just apply to emerging designers; the right messaging can also help more established firms reach a new clientele. “A great publicist is especially helpful if you’re trying to speak to a particular audience or get the message out about a product you’re creating,” Heckman says.
How will you know when your PR strategy is working? Laura Bindloss, founder of Nylon Consulting, says although everyone’s business goals are different, you should regularly see your name in a variety of publications. “You want a real smattering and you want it consistently,” she says. “You want coverage monthly that can range from quotes to full features, and you want it in a variety of outlets. You want to be positioned as an expert in your field.”
You have a point of view
In order for a publicist to do their best work, Natkins says a designer needs to have a clear brand identity and know who their ideal client is, although they don’t need every detail hammered out. “A good publicist will work with you to help figure this out, and then develop a media strategy that communicates your vision,” she says.
Sarah Barnard, principal at Sarah Barnard Designs (WELL AP, LEED AP), doesn’t currently work with PR, but she credits a previous publicist with encouraging her to craft a specific message and find a niche in the market. Says Barnard, “We really care about a few specific things and those are the things we repeatedly stand on, come back to, and share.”
Bindloss says her firm, Nylon Consulting, wouldn’t take on a client who didn’t have a strong point of view and a professional website. “The first place we’re going to drive people is your website, and if your website isn’t communicating what we’re trying to pitch, there’s no point in paying us because you’re going to lose the customer when they get to your site.”
You have work to show off (and plenty of projects in the pipeline)
Publicists need finished work to publicize, so wait to hire one until you have plenty of projects under your belt and can hit the ground running. “Ideally, you want to hit a critical mass of work,” says Bindloss. “Enough to give a publicist so that they can run for six months with everything you have currently.” Usually, this means between five and 10 projects that are photographed and ready to publish, with several more lined up over the next six to 12 months. Remember, there’s no benefit to paying a monthly retainer until you can fully take advantage of a publicist’s time and expertise.
You’re better off on your own if…
You can’t comfortably float the fee
“Don’t hire a publicist if it’s a cost that’s going to keep you up at night,” says Bindloss. Although fees depend on the scope of the work, she says, it’s usually about the price of hiring a full-time employee. “Don’t think about PR as a monthly retainer but as an annual cost, like you would be bringing head count into the firm.”
Natkins agrees that monthly retainers tend to vary significantly, depending on what that client needs. “A small firm might start in the 6K range, a more established studio could be upwards of 10K, and a large firm with many projects around the world would go up from there,” she says.
If that sounds too spendy for your business right now, it’s probably best to wait until you have the cash to do it right. Publicity really is a “get what you pay for” service, says Heckman. “Probably like anything else in life, working with a publicist is a good idea if you work with a good publicist. I don’t know that it would have any value if you were just to hire anyone.”
You haven’t found someone you really connect with
A publicist can make or break your reputation, so be sure you take the time to find the right person. “Wait until you find someone you really trust,” says Bindloss. “This is someone who represents you to the press, so make sure you’re proud to have them speaking on your behalf.”
Heckman, whose firm, ASH, has been represented by M18 public relations for the past seven years, says they chose to work together because of a similar culture. “Our companies were aligned, both in their history and trajectory, and shared values,” he says. And, he points out, it’s a two-way street. Just as you’re searching for a firm to represent you, most publicists want to sign clients with a similar worldview. “A good firm is not just going to take on a retainer from any client. They realize that their credibility as a mouthpiece for their clients is based on who their collection of clients are.”
In fact, Heckman says, you can use a firm’s current client list as a guide to help evaluate if it’s a good match for you. “Probably one of the best ways that someone can go about identifying which firm they want to work with, is to find a firm with clients who share your vision, growth strategy, and aesthetic.”
You’re happy to multitask
“There is the small road also, for those who have the fortitude to do it,” says Barnard. As the owner of a small design studio, she prefers the grassroots approach over professional PR, because the authenticity is more representative of the actual experience her clients will have. “The primary benefit is I’ve maintained control over how I present myself to the world because it really is me. An overly polished, less personalized, sterile presence wouldn’t be a match for what they [the clients] are getting anyway. That level of refinement is not real.”
And some social butterflies just love the hustle. Gail Davis, principal at Gail Davis Designs, says she loves meeting people at events, and she’s gotten many opportunities by simply striking up a conversation. “You need to be authentically nice to people, not looking to get something, because you never know who will think about you for a job,” she says. “That’s how it has really worked out for me. We can all benefit by helping each other.”
Both designers stress that, especially if you forgo PR, professional photography is something you should never skimp on. “Snapshots on a job site for your Instagram feed—totally,” Barnard says, “but when it comes time to document your finished work, always hire a professional architectural photographers. A filter can only take you so far.” Davis agrees: “Pictures really tell a story and I want to make sure my story comes across clearly, and that person will think, Yes I need to work with her.”
Thanks to Architectural Digest, from their ADPRO online newsletter.
In Part 2 of learning from other industry marketing professionals – take a look at this 12-month marketing plan that has a focus on “customer touches”.
In this segment from RIS Media, you’ll see how the writer believes closing a sale is just the start of the marketing process and she expertly outlines how to utilize a customer ‘touch’ every 21 days. She gives an excellent list of ways to nurture a customer relationship to impact future business.
Elevate Your Team’s Marketing With a 12-Month Plan
By Sarah Michelle Bliss
The job of a real estate team doesn’t end when the transaction closes. In fact, that is just the beginning. A thriving real estate business depends on two vital components: repeat clients and referrals.
A few years ago, I was contacted by someone in my sphere of influence to help them find an agent to list their house and represent them on a purchase. I knew who had helped them buy the house they were selling—he is a great guy and a solid real estate agent. I inquired with the client as to why they were not using him again, and I quote what his response was: “He was a great guy and we loved working with him, but we can’t remember his name.” His lack of follow-up cost him approximately $20,000 in business that should have been his—if he had only nurtured the relationship.
If your team does a good job in the transaction, then you should expect to do business with the client again in the future, but only if you continue to nurture the relationship, which means you must stay in touch—forever!
At minimum, a 12-month marketing plan should include some kind of touch every 21 days, and should also include:
Birthdays (phone call, video message or a card in the mail)
Relationship anniversary (phone call, video message or a card in the mail)
Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day (phone call, video message or a card in the mail)
Home anniversary (include a reminder about their warranty expiring)
Market updates on their home values (annually or biannually)
Quarterly phone calls followed up with a handwritten card in the mail
In addition, a high-touch relationship marketing plan should also include, at minimum, one client appreciation event per year. It is recommended that you plan 6-8 events throughout the year where you are getting in front of and face-to-face with your top clients and sphere of influence. Some ideas include holiday open houses, movie events, happy hours, Thanksgiving pie giveaways, photos with Santa, sporting events, bowling parties…the list goes on and on.
Lastly, social media has created a unique opportunity for us to elevate our relationships, so pay attention to what people are sharing—they are begging for someone to make them feel seen, heard and appreciated. I will wrap up by sharing one of my favorite quotes from undoubtedly one of the best saleswomen ever, Mary Kay Ash:
“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”
Always be looking for ways to connect with your database and you will take your team’s real estate business to a whole new level.
Yes, it’s a fact – as I write this, hoping the power and my internet stay on, the eye of Hurricane Dorian is heading toward Florida. Walt Disney World is closed, the Orlando airport is closed and so are schools, businesses and many others.
Like most publicists when things get serious, we get busy.
Hurricanes and other weather issues, tragedies, unusual circumstances, holidays and other out-of-the-ordinary occurrences are times when our companies and clients need us the most.
Here are a few examples:
You are closing when you are usually open, or the reverse (think Black Friday)
You have a message for your customers on how to stay safe
Your products or services are essential to help others through (think gas stations, grocery stores, tree trimmers, etc.) and you are available.
Times or venues are being changed, but the event is still on. (think sporting events that are held outside )
Because of the occurrence you are doing something extraordinary like donating food or fundraising for others in need.
You want to reach out to your customers to say you are thinking of them and you care – this outreach can go to your entire audience, but be written for those being affected.
Times or venues are being changed, but the event is still on. (think sporting events that are held outside )
Because of the occurrence you are doing something extraordinary like donating food or fundraising for others in need.
You want to reach out to your customers to say you are thinking of them and you care – this outreach can go to your entire audience, but be written for those being affected.
A PR pro knows how to deploy the message – get it out, reach people who need to know and do it visually and with words chosen to have the right tone, at the right time.
Members of the media, social media channels, direct communications and every normal communications channel are all pathways to get the message out, and do it right now.
PR tip: Don’t make your drama the focus – unless you have something useful to offer; don’t add to the noise.
But when possible and appropriate, humor is memorable, and how smart of Waffle House to be the one place we all look to for food and information!
No one has more interaction with a client over a longer period of time, than a real estate professional. All marketers can learn from them and so in this two-part blog I will share with you the advice they have for growing your business.
Some of these tips may be ones you have done for years, others could be new and worthwhile, take a look and let’s continue to learn from marketing pros in many different industries.
In Part 1 you’ll learn how to create your vision, identify your audiences, develop marketing goals, establish your Unique Selling Proposition (message) gain 1,000 impressions with a 3-week Instagram campaign and how to do all this within a budget. Take a look at HubSpot for more excellent ideas.
12 Insanely Successful Real Estate Marketing Ideas from Top Agents
As a real estate professional, you want to grow your business, and marketing plays a large role in capturing the attention of potential clients. A 2018 study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found 87% of home buyers purchase their home through a real estate agent. It’s evident there’s a market for real estate agents. But how can you reach prospects?
Below, I’ve compiled some real estate marketing ideas top agents use to promote their businesses. Whether you’re just getting started or are an experienced realtor looking to attract new clients, these marketing tips will help you create a successful marketing plan.
Unique Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Create a website
Build a blog
Develop email marketing campaigns
Employ virtual staging
Try experiential marketing
Partner with local businesses
Run paid Instagram promotion
Use drone photography
Create a Zillow profile
Ask for referrals
Make Your Own Videos
Co-Host a Webinar
1. Create a website
Many consumers search the internet to investigate products and services before they buy. Creating a website for your real estate business will show prospective clients what you have to offer. Include listings on your site and update them regularly — this will keep prospects coming to your site as they search for properties. And add something a little unexpected to set your website apart. Take this mortgage calculator, and easy value add for visitors.
2. Build a blog
You can also start a blog and create content optimized for SEO. This ensures your posts show up in prospect search results every time. Tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs can help you find the search terms and keywords your target clients are looking for and will inspire you with fresh topic ideas.
Make it easy for them to navigate to your main website and link to your profile pages on other real estate sites so they can learn more about you and your business.
And don’t forget to create interesting images for your posts. This infographic would make a great addition to any blog post or email marketing campaign.Image source:
Develop email marketing campaigns
Send a monthly newsletter roundup of your blog content, and reach out to contacts when new property listings are available. Include images of the properties that link to the full listing, a video walkthrough of the property, or a virtual staging of the home.
Employ virtual staging
How can you pique buyer interest? Give them a sneak preview of what the home looks like by using a virtual staging website. Online staging saves you the time and money of physically staging the property. And a 2018 study of 4,200+ homes found 85% of staged homes sold for 6-25% more than unstaged homes.
Try experiential marketing
Experiential marketing engages your prospects and “invites an audience to interact with a business in a real-world situation.” Host a tour of the area you’re selling in, hold an event to teach area homebuyers about the process of buying a home, or arrange an open house and invite buyers to view the home.
Partner with local businesses
Use your local connections and partner with clothing boutiques, home decor showrooms, and coffee shops to promote listings, and invite them to participate in an open house event. For a unique way to encourage prospects to visit your open house, set up pop-up shops in different rooms of the house.
This encourages potential buyers to explore each room, and you can work with the local businesses to determine discounts on goods that can be offered to the home buyers.
Run a paid Instagram promotion
Instagram is another tool to get in touch with home buyers, promote your listings, and grow your brand. And your most beautiful images can reach even more people with a paid promotion.
Instagram ads allow you to pick a target audience, budget, post type (e.g. image, video, carousel), and length of your promotion. And you can use targeted hashtags to ensure posts are presented to the people you’d like to reach.
Use drone photography
Take sweeping shots of the home’s exterior and surrounding landscape using drone photography. Purchase a drone or use a drone service, like HouseLensor Sold by Air, to capture the perfect shot.
Use the photos to add an excitement factor to your listings. Video can be used to supplement your virtual tours or walkthroughs and show exterior features like patios and pools.
Don’t have the drone photography chops you need to show your clients’ homes in their best light? Services like Drone Base have thousands of experienced photographers around the globe and specialize in both residential and commercial real estate.
Create a Zillow profile
With over 188 million monthly viewers, Zillow provides the opportunity to get your business in front of thousands of new prospects. This resource from Zillow lists the steps to set up your own profile. Your profile allows you to share your listings with a large audience and connect with potential clients, increasing the likelihood of gaining a new buyer.
Ask for Referrals
Did you know 39% of sellers using a real estate agent found that agent through a referral from friends or family? If you’re not asking for referrals, you should be.
Follow up with buyers a few months after they’ve settled into their new home to ask how they’re doing and include a referral request in your email.
Does it feel like home yet?
Hello [Buyer’s name],
I hope you’re settling into your beautiful home! You picked a great neighborhood to buy it, and I’m so happy to have been able to help you through the process.
I so enjoyed with working with you. If you have any friends or family looking to buy or sell in the area, I’d love the opportunity to work with them. I’m hosting a happy hour next week to talk with people about the current market.
Feel free to share this event link with anyone you think might be interested: [Insert link to event page]
Some realtors will offer to plan a housewarming party for their new homeowners and use the party/guest list to meet with potential buyers.
Make Your Own Videos
It’s no secret that video can be a powerful tool for realtors. And it doesn’t have to cost thousands. Whether you go for a highly produced video like the one below featuring client testimonials, or use video software to record a message from your laptop pitching your services to a potential client, video can be a way to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Co-Host a Webinar
Want to make it easy for potential buyers or sellers in your area to understand the current market? Partner with a local lender, title company, or even your favorite staging service and host a webinar on a topic that will interest those thinking of making a real estate move.
For example, you might team up with a local home improvement service to conduct a webinar on the top five most valuable improvements sellers can make to their home to boost sales price. These changes and tastes can differ per state, so this can be valuable information sellers can’t find online.
Real Estate Marketing Plan
Now that you have some marketing ideas, the next question is, “What’s the plan?” Without clear goals for your real estate business and marketing strategy, it’s difficult to measure success. Consider the following points when developing your marketing plan.
Create a vision statement
What do you want to accomplish in the short- and long-term? Develop a vision statement to identify the goals you’d like to reach. This makes it easier to lay out steps for reaching your business’ vision.
Identify your target customer
Who are you marketing to? Will you be marketing to sellers, renters, first-time home buyers, etc.? Identifying the personas you’re selling to paints a clearer picture of who to target with your marketing efforts.
Set goals for your overall marketing initiatives, and summarize which strategies you’ll use to accomplish these goals. What are the business goals you’d like to reach? And what criteria will you use to decide if these goals have been met?
Determine your unique selling proposition
Think about what differentiates you from your competition. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when developing your proposition:
What can you offer that others can’t?
How does your unique approach or personality create value for prospects?
What are the latest pricing, selling, and buying trends in your market?
How can you discuss these trends (including the numbers) with prospects?
Determine tools and budget for each strategy
Pick the top marketing ideas that will work for your business, selling proposition, and ideal target market. From there, calculate how much of your budget to allocate to each strategy.
Once you’ve identified the tools you’ll be using to market your business, write down key metrics to measure their success. Determine the timeframe for the strategy or campaign and set a goal. Let’s use a paid Instagram ad as an example:
Campaign: Instagram post promotion
Length of promotion: 3 weeks
Goal: The post should gain 1,000 impressions and have a click-through rate of 1%
With these marketing ideas, you’re sure to wow your potential customers and attract them to your services.
Creating a marketing plan will help you set goals for your marketing campaigns and develop the steps to reach these goals.
Maybe this is why our corporate leaders wears so much blue?
What color is the logo of the organization you represent? Do you share qualities with other brands of the same color?
According to Fast Company. “The implications of color’s effect on people’s emotions are far reaching, and understanding your customers’ connections to certain colors could increase the effectiveness of your company’s branding methods.”
Blue is often thought of as a male color, and since my father’s eyes were the most beautiful blue and this is his favorite month – Blue is this month’s color!
Note: Over the decades I have worked on logo design, 99% of my male clients choose blue as their logo color of choice! Women tend to choose from all over the color chart.
Research complied by web design and marketing company WebPageFX, people make a subconscious judgment about a product in less than 90 seconds of viewing, and a majority of these people base that assessment on color alone. In fact, almost 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80% of people believe color increases brand recognition.”
What can be learned here? I’d love to hear what you think!
With thanks to Fast Company for this great article –infographic from WebPageFX, written by Rachel Gillett.
Dinner parties are “on par” with golf for being an opportunity to enhance and expand a relationship; and to make a deal.
#1 – For you, the host and your staff this is not social, it is work. Each person sits at a different table, with the skill to keep the conversation light and appropriate. Training must include potential worst case scenarios, a few ‘what if’s”, how to steer away from topics that could ruin the mood and to steer toward key moments that make the event memorable. Plan the evening with your ultimate purpose in mind.
#2 – Low centerpieces, if any – low-ish lights, soft music and comfortable chairs are all a must.
#3 – Food that is easy to eat (BBQ ribs are a no-no), dietary options and not too much emphasis on the wine and cocktails.
#4 – A beautiful, calm setting, a team that knows how to guide a successful evening and staying focused can turn a dinner into a deal.
Below is a wonderful article from Claire Hoffman in BizBash (with thanks), that asks the experts how to plan and execute a successful dinner event:
Small, seated dinners have long been a popular way for companies and brands to thank their employees or entertain V.I.P. clients in an intimate setting. But as any event planner knows, hosting an effective dinner takes much more than just gathering guests for a great meal.
While social dinner parties might be focused on reconnecting with friends, corporate dinners are usually a bit more strategic—the company wants to convey some sort of message to key stakeholders. As such, ease of communication is crucial, and that goal should bleed into everything from the decor and the catering to the seating chart and the timing of toasts.
“Corporate events [need to] think ahead to a sound system, a scripted message, and who is sitting next to whom to promote a positive networking environment,” explains David Merrell, the C.E.O. and creative director of AOO Events in Los Angeles. “There needs to be a certain return on investment for the money the company is spending [on this dinner].”
But that doesn’t mean the dinner needs to be all business, adds Christopher
Confero, the owner of Atlanta-based design firm Confero. “Just because it may be in a setting with fellow professionals, don’t forget to soften the space. Dim the lights, add beautiful decor pieces—anything that communicates to the guests they are appreciated and highly valued as employees and colleagues.”
Here are some more tips for creating effective dinners for corporate groups.
Design everything with the goal of facilitating conversations. For seated dinners, centerpieces should either be below or above the sight line, so guests can talk throughout the meal. “If you place your elbow on the table and sit your chin on the palm of your hand, low decor should always be below that height,” says Confero. “If you raise your arm all the way up, tall decor should be above palm level there as well.”
It’s also important to avoid super-wide tables. “You want to be able to speak with the person across from you in a natural tone,” notes Jennifer Coman, the director of marketing and events for Los Angeles catering firm Haute Chefs L.A. “Comfortable chairs are also key, and something with a cushion is always appreciated.”
Entertainment-wise, it’s nice to have ambient noise in the background to cut down on awkward silences. Confero suggests live jazz music, or light music piped in through an audio system.
But if the event’s host wants more extensive entertainment, such as a performance of some sort, make sure it’s chosen with purpose. “If you are going to grab their attention away [from conversations], that distraction should be tying them back to the message, brand, or purpose of the event,” says Merrell.
Lighting is also an important consideration. “It is one of those things that when done well, it transforms the environment,” says Coman. “With corporate dinners, you need lighting that is not so dim that it feels like a club, but you don’t want it so bright that it feels medicinal.”
Confero suggests using a lot of candles on the table. “The more the better, with varying heights and varieties,” he explains. “Typically candles will be a bit cheaper than other centerpieces, and everyone looks ravishing in candlelight.”
Prep the event’s host on ways to keep the conversation flowing. The dinner’s host should be responsible for keeping guests engaged and comfortable. One way to do that is with planned conversation topics. “With social or corporate dinners, many times guests aren’t familiar with the person sitting next to them,” says Merrell. “Lead questions from the host can break the silence, so always have some in your back pocket.”
Confero notes that this method also works if the party has multiple tables. One person seated at each table should be prepared with talking points. “Always put one large personality at each table,” he suggests. “If there is a lull in energy, they can jump in to pick things up. But be aware that you haven’t cast a bulldozer in this role—you don’t want someone dominating, only facilitating.”
One out-of-the-box way to facilitate conversation with a smaller group is the Jeffersonian Dinner method, where the entire table discusses one topic rather than having their own conversations with their seatmates. (BizBash covered this topic in a GatherGeeks podcast with Convers(ate) founders Taylor Buonocore Guthrie and Mollie Kinsman Khine.)
Toasts are also a great way for the host to thank everyone for coming and remind guests of the events’ purpose. “Make sure you have a sound system, or that the person giving the toast is loud enough for everyone to hear,” notes Merrell. “I also always encourage guests to not just toast with alcohol, wine, or champagne, but any drink that the guest has—you don’t want to promote drinking if [not all attendees] drink.”
As for timing, Coman says that toasts and other speeches should never be planned right before or during dessert. “We’ve seen it done, and you lose the crowd,” she says. “The best time for any ‘talking’ is going to be right when guests are getting warmed up and freshly seated, and between the first and second course.”
Think through the seating arrangements. While assigned seating may be a good idea for dinner parties in general, it can be especially crucial for corporate dinners, says Merrell. “Meaningful business conversations and networking is one of the most important outcomes of the event,” he notes. “Seating configurations, the makeup of the guests attending, and the purpose of the gathering always dictate who is close to whom, and should always be considered separately from one event to the next.”
Confero adds that the client or host company should be involved in this process, since they know how best to group guests.
For dinners with multiple tables, it might make sense to play what Confero calls “a simple game of musical chairs.” “Each of your three courses is spent at a different table with various guests,” he explains. “It takes a bit more work for whoever is creating the seating arrangements—and of course on the kitchen and servers—but if you don’t have a large number of dietary restrictions it’s highly worth it to spend as much time as possible with different guests.”
Ask for dietary restrictions in advance—and keep catering simple. In a corporate environment, it is especially important that guests with dietary restrictions don’t feel uncomfortable in front of their peers. “It is almost a given nowadays that you ask for restrictions such as allergies, gluten-free, or vegan,” says Merrell. “Asking up front sends the message that you care about the guests’ experience.”
With some exceptions depending on the group demographics, corporate dinners are usually not the time to get too experimental with catering. “Corporate dinners tend to stick more comfortably in the fish, chicken, and beef categories, and rarely venture beyond that,” says Merrell. Coman agrees. “Seated corporate dinners call for a plated, coursed meal with an option for restrictive diets and an easy switch-up for anyone with a serious allergy, for example. With our corporate clients, they always have a list of any executives that have allergies or dietary restrictions. In the rare case they do not [have a list], we work with our client to design a menu that is amenable to on-the-spot changes without sacrificing flavor,” she explains.
Like every other aspect of the dinner, though, food should never take away from the conversations. “You’d never want to be left ‘holding a skewer’ or having appetizers that take more than one easy bite in a corporate setting,” notes Coman. “It can cause for an awkward moment when needing to have a professional conversation.”
Confero agrees, adding that serving soup and pasta are not always the best idea. “There are always exceptions, but they are usually messy and loud,” he notes.
But, he adds, the dessert course may be a chance to get a bit more creative. “After a large meal, get guests up and moving around,” Confero suggests. “Make the dessert course something more relaxed and interactive. With space permitting, instead of serving the final course at the table, make it a couple stations scattered around the room.”
Capturing the attention of millennials and the Gen Z crowd (also known as iGen) has been the holy grail of goals for meeting and event planners in recent years. Old-school methods and formats aren’t effective anymore. This new generation of attendees demands innovation and interactivity and expects social media shareability.
At the Center for Generational Kinetics, which specializes in generational research and solutions, an in-house team of experts, keynote speakers, and consultants work with clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups across industries such as automotive, banking, financial services, restaurants, hoteliers, and retail, to figure out what works and what doesn’t. (Hint: PowerPoint, no. Video, yes.)
The center deems those born between 1977 and 1995 as millennials. The center’s president, Jason Dorsey, who, at 40, rides the cusp of this generation, has spoken in front of many millennial-packed audiences at events, meetings, and conferences, including the Financial Brand Forum, GS1 in Mexico, Ultimate Connections Conference, and EO Nashville. Here, he shares his insights into planning a meeting or event that successfully taps into the mindset of this group.
What are the key elements that millennials look for in events?
Millennials want to be included in all aspects of the event. This means not having to sit in the back of the room because they have more junior titles or fewer years of experience. Millennials also want digital integration, fewer PowerPoint slides, more video, and more all-around interactivity. We have come of age in a time of instant feedback and collaboration, and we want our in-person events to include more of this before, during, and after.
What’s the main difference between reaching a Gen Z audience as compared to millennials?
Gen Z are younger than millennials, in some cases 15 years younger, so they are on the very front end of their careers. [Right now, Gen Z is up to age 22.] We find they value training on how to make the most of events, how to use technology to connect with people and resources at events, and interaction that drives new connections—as they likely know fewer people at the event than other generations. Gen Z also looks to other social media platforms, such as Snapchat rather than Facebook, which changes the type of digital interactions they want to create while at an event.
What’s the best way for planners to reach millennials at conferences and meetings in particular?
In our work with planners around the world, the best way to reach millennials is to create the foundation for a great event before the event happens. This includes videos, behind-the-scenes collaborations, and building up the excitement for the event before it takes place. Our work with meeting planners who have events with lots of millennials also reveals that millennials want the event to be tailored to them, when possible, and to give them options to find content and tracks that meet their specific needs including career and life stage. Millennials want speakers that are high energy, engaging, and who pull into the message and meeting, rather than traditional PowerPoint-heavy presentations with someone behind a podium.
Lastly, continuing the conversation after the event is key so that all the great content doesn’t just disappear, but drives engagement, enthusiasm, and action when everyone returns to work. We frequently work with meeting planners to film videos and create other content that is specifically designed to be delivered before and after the event, including live conversations post-event.
What types of speakers are most effective at engaging millennials?
Millennials get fired up about my take on our generation because I explain how millennials are actually two generations [early and late millennials], not one. This is a big deal and why many of us feel like we don’t fit in the generation. Other speakers I’ve seen that resonate with millennial audiences include Jay Baer, Rory Vaden, Erik Qualman, and David Horsager. All of them are very entertaining presenters with lots of great stories and humor, which is important as millennials have very high expectations for entertainment when it comes to speakers.
Is there anything that’s a major turn-off for millennials in terms of events?
Yes, boring speakers with lots of slides, being treated as if they are not as valued an audience member as those with bigger titles, not having diverse food options, and events that are in hotels where they charge for Wi-Fi.
This article was posted here with thanks to the writer Michele Laufik and came from BIZBASH. http://www.bizbash.com.
We should all live like this …. Expedia just released new data about how Generation Z is redefining the world. (Wow that is a big statement!).
Generation Z, are people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, and who make up 25% of the U.S. population,making them a larger cohort than the Baby Boomers or Millennials.
The study says this group of consumers are YOLO – You Only Live Once. They are open to new experiences, are deal-driven and have a long list of bucket experiences.
So ask yourself – who isn’t? I hope they are right about this group, who are right behind Millennials, and can teach all of us about living in the moment.
Here’s a great chart from Expedia that shows the data as it relates to travel decisions. It applies equally to marketing and PR pros who are defining messages to reach all consumers.
Here are some things you should know about how Gen Z are shopping for, booking, and traveling when you are looking to reach and influence this new generation of travel enthusiasts.
They want a good deal.Seeking the best deals and most value for their money is universal among travelers of all ages, but especially for Gen Z, who are not yet or are just starting to be financially independent – and may still be spending mom and dad’s money. Gen Z are heavily influencing family travel decisions, and in the coming years, as more Gen Z enter the workforce and increase their disposable income, their prioritization of travel and their growing budgets will unlock myriad opportunities for marketers.
They are more open to influence.Two-thirds of Gen Z travelers are undecided on a destination when they decide to take a trip, and their diverse trip preferences illustrate broad opportunities for marketers to entice them. Seventy-seven percent of Gen Z travelers are open to help and inspiration when planning a trip, and nearly 70 percent use their smartphone when looking for travel inspiration.
They are social.Eighty-four percent of Gen Z travelers said social media can be influential, particularly deals or promotions and travel pictures or videos from friends or experts. Appealing deals and images are also impactful for the more than 60 percent of Gen Z who said advertising can be influential, revealing a receptive audience for travel marketers.
They are going to grow the bleisure travel market.Although Millennials are currently outpacing Gen Z in business travel – 6.4 business trips per year versus 4.8 trips – both generations are capitalizing on and saving for opportunities to extend business travel for leisure, or bleisure. Sixty-six percent of Gen Z business trips were extended for leisure, and 88 percent of Gen Z travelers save for bleisure travel. Bleisure travel will likely increase as more of Gen Z enters the workforce in the coming years, illustrating a burgeoning opportunity for travel marketers.
Get the full study, “A Look Ahead: How Younger Generations are Shaping the Future of Travel,” for more data and actionable insights that marketers can leverage to reach Gen Z and Millennial travelers.
Once upon a time, the ‘#’ was a simple pound sign or hash mark. But then the social blue bird flew onto the scene and turned this mundane symbol into an online sensation. Today, whether you are on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or any other social media channels, you simply cannot escape the all encompassing presence of the #hashtag. But what exactly is a hashtag? In case you always wondered but were too afraid to ask, we’ve come up with a clear and concise explanation of everything you need to know about this Internet phenomenon.
Not only that: once you’ve mastered the “what”, you’ll probably want to know “how” to use hashtags. Strap in because this article will help all levels of social media addicts. If you’re relatively new to the game, we understand that at first glance, hashtags might seem confusing. But once you understand them better, you will see that they are a powerful tool to grow your social impact and engage your audience – oh, and did we mention: all for the cost of $0.00? If you’re more advanced, you might want to know how to optimize your hashtags, in order to raise brand awareness and get more customers.
As a long time user and fan of WIX, the great advice below, with links left in, is so good I wanted to share with my blog readers.#bennettaboutmarketing #greatPRadvice #marketingnews #lovelabpuppies
Here is a complete guide on hashtags and how to use them efficiently:
What is a hashtag?
With thousands of images published every minute on all social platforms, it can be hard to stand out amongst the crowd. The possibility for your post to be seen isn’t promising, unless they are one of your followers. That’s where hashtags come into play. A hashtag is a keyword or phrase preceded by the hash symbol (#), written within a post or comment to highlight it and facilitate a search for it. Essentially, by including hash marks in your post; it can be indexed by the social network so that it can be discoverable to everyone, even if they’re not your followers or fans. For example, if your company has to do with extreme sports you can add the #bucketlist to your Instagram posts to snag those people with a passion for adventure and fun.
Why should you use hashtags?
Thanks to hashtags, your posts aren’t limited to just your followers. By adding one of these bad boys, your content will be accessible to all other users interested in similar topics who search for your hashtag. Choosing the right hashtag can greatly broaden the reach of your social media posts to thousands of potential followers, fans or customers. For example, if you have a healthy juice bar, it can be tempting to go for the obvious #fruit, but beware! With over a million posts and growing the chances of being seen are as slim as a banana peel. Now if you throw on a more specific tag like #drinkyourveggies, your looking at better odds. This is all the more relevant with the recent update on Instagram, where you can now follow specific hashtags just like you would friends or companies. So it goes without saying: make sure you don’t just slap # on any word.
Three powerful families of hashtags to use on social media
Content hashtags: If you are totally new to hashtags, first consider using some that directly relate to your product, service, market or area of expertise. We can call them the ‘content hashtags’ because they relate to the content that your content would be naturally associated with. As you can imagine, they will greatly expose your brand to potential customers on those social media platforms who weren’t previously familiar with your brand. For instance, at Wix we primarily use content hashtags related to websites – such as #SEO, #Illustration, #Photography or #SMB.
Trending hashtags: Another great way to boost your brand’s visibility is using existing hashtags that have grown popular among millions of users, also known as ‘trending hashtags’. Watch out: before you add the ‘#’ symbol to a trending topic, remember to first ask yourself whether your social media posts are adding value to the existing conversation. Value can be interpreted in many ways: a unique piece of information, an original look or opinion at what’s is going on, or simply a funny statement or image. If your post does not add any value, it is highly likely to be ignored and lost in the plethora of posts. If however your post is informative, funny or viral, it will get re-shared by fellow users ultimately increasing awareness of your brand. Generally, trending hashtags are a lot of fun! It can range from holidays to random spur of the moment games like the Tweet below:
Brand-specific hashtags: Sometimes, the problem with using generic or popular hashtags is that your posts might be lost in the noise of hundreds of messages using the same hashtags. Hence, it is a good idea to create your own dedicated ‘brand-specific hashtags’. These can be used for general branding, promotions, events, contests or other marketing campaigns. The key to creating an effective brand-specific hashtag is to ensure that there is no one else using the same hashtag. It has to be unique and memorable. For general branding, use a short motto or tagline. When creating marketing campaign-specific hashtags, make sure to give users a compelling incentive to use them. For example, you could get users to post with a campaign-specific hashtag to stand a chance to get discounts or win prizes. In return, your brand stands to benefit from major viral marketing publicity. A brand-specific hashtag that we hold very near and dear to our hearts is #WixPhotography, which we use on all of our relevant social media platforms – like Facebook.
How to use hashtags wisely?
To create a hashtag, all you need to do is include a ‘#’ and a relevant keyword or phrase. This, you already knew. But what you didn’t know is that not all hashtags are born equal. In fact, they are only powerful when handpicked and used wisely. Here are two crucial general tips that apply to all social media and businesses:
Keep it short: To save everyone the headache, don’t squish too many words into one hashtag. Nothing turns people off more than overly lengthy hashtags – #YouDontWantToTryThisAtHome.
Don’t overuse: Another thing you want to avoid is writing your entire caption with one hashtag per word. #Because #its #not #really #fun #to #read #like #this #is #it? The number of hashtags you can allow per post depends on each channel. But as a general rule of thumb, only put an hashtag next to word that are really significant.
Think strategically: This applies to the ‘content hashtags’. By definition, since you won’t have created them, they are probably used by other brands. Which is a good thing, since people will look after this hashtag. But at the same time, when a hashtag is overcrowded, you can be sure that your content will go unnoticed. So it’s highly recommended to mix content hashtags with a high volume, with other hashtags that are more specific. For example, let’s say you have a restaurant and you want to post a picture of your latest gnocchi dish on Instagram. #Food is an obvious choice, but with over 258 millions posts using it, you have no chance to stand out. Try and find more ‘niche’ hashtags, such as #gnocchi or #gnocchiday. As always, a little research will go a long way. Hashtagify is a good place to start. And of course, nothing will beat the good old trial and error: experiment, learn and have fun as you go!
What are the best hashtag practices for each social media
How many hashtags per post: Research shows that the optimal amount of hashtags is two. Over that, the tweets have a significant drop in engagement. How to find the best hashtags around: It’s important to make sure people are engaging with the hashtags you use. A great place to start is Hashtagify, it allows you to check the popularity and recent popularity to know if your hashtag is relevant. Where to place them: While you are more limited on Twitter with the amount of #’s you are less confined as to where they should go. It can be used at the end of a Tweet or incorporated as part of the sentence.
How many hashtags per post: The more hashtags you use, the more engagement you see – up until a certain point. After about 10 hashtags, you risk losing out on some of that engagement. How to find the best hashtags around: Head over to the search box and check what your audience, competitors, and industry leaders are already using. Pay attention to the number of posts, and how many likes the first images received. Where to place them: In order to keep everything organized and neat, it’s best to put your hashtags at the end of your caption preferably separated by either dots or asterisks. If you’re a neat freak, you can also add your hashtags in a comment to your post.
Believe it or not, hashtags are not important on Facebook. We recommend limiting the number of hashtags to a minimum. Indeed, concise captions tend to perform better on this platform. Of course, using your ‘brand-specific hashtags’ won’t hurt.
LinkedIn and G+
Same as for Facebook: hashtags can be added, but they don’t really have an effect on your post.
How many hashtags per post: Pinterest themselves recommend you add no more than 20 hashtags per Pin. Where to place them: Hashtags only work within the Pins’ descriptions.
Our many different cultures notwithstanding, there’s something about the holidays that makes the planet communal. Even nations that do not celebrate Christmas can’t help but be caught up in the collective spirit of their neighbors, as twinkling lights dot the landscape and carols fill the air. It’s an inspiring time of the year. quote from Marlo Thomas
Have fun, get your attendees engaged and incorporate these 10 onsite ideas into your next event… or any other situation that you think could use a smart boost!
If you aren’t using Cvent, take a look at what they offer and read these 10 tips from their blog written by Emily Vera. Outstanding ideas Emily, thank you!
Our agency uses the Social Wall at every major event, it is worth every dollar and tracks your success in real time! Love it!
You want your attendees actively posting to social media and using the mobile event app. These two besties can do wonders for your event marketing efforts and your onsite attendee engagement! However, finding new and creative ways to incorporate social media into your events can be challenging. As Cvent’s social media manager, I’m constantly researching new, fun ways to make social media an integral part of the event experience. So whether your event audience is full of social media novices or professional second-screen multi-taskers, I hope you’ll find these ideas helpful when planning how to incorporate social media into your next event!
Networking Photo Challenge – Set tent cards around your networking event with different photo challenges. Not only does it serve as an ice breaker, it encourages attendees to get social! Make sure your hashtag is included on the challenges. Some examples to consider – “Take a photo with someone new you’ve just met!” “Take a photo with someone wearing the same color outfits as you.” “Take a photo with someone who shares your birthday month.”
Larger than life hashtag – Who doesn’t love big signage? Give your attendees the perfect backdrop to their Instagram photo as well as a big reminder of what your event hashtag is. In fact, put the hashtag on all of your signage, branding and even on attendee name badges!
Mirror Selfie Stations – Everyone will have to use the bathroom at some point. Bathrooms also tend to have exceptionally good lighting, perfect for taking selfies! Create removable stickers to brand the bathroom mirrors – especially full body ones – with your event hashtag, quote bubbles, or emojis.
Mobile + Social = Besties – Best friends do everything together! Make sure to take advantage of all the ways a mobile app can enable the social experience. Prominently feature the event hashtag on your splash screen and banner ads. Use push notifications to remind attendees to share. Ensure all social icons are linked to your brand’s accounts as well as encourage speakers, attendees and exhibitors to link their social accounts to their event app profiles.
Social Swag – Your event hashtag is almost as important as your brand’s logo when it comes to swag. Ensure it is on all swag items and consider giving out swag that encourages social behavior. Some ideas to consider – device chargers, “Tweet Me” / “Snap Me” stickers for name badges, selfie sticks, photo booth props, pens with stylus or hashtag temporary tattoos.
SocialWall– Integrate the social content being generated by your attendees as part of your event design with SocialWall. This event technology displays the content on your event hashtag practically anywhere using a projection screen or TVs. Attendees sharing will get excited to see themselves on “the big screen” and attendees not participating will want to join in on the fun!
#GoodEats– Food and beverage are integral parts of your event planning process and people love to take photos of food! You can keep it simple by incorporating the event hashtag on napkins, glassware, or even on the food itself. Get more complex by hosting a “name this dish” contest or have attendees vote via a Twitter poll on what should be served at the after-party.
Create Social Currency – Challenge your attendees to think of tweets as dollars and Instagram photos as upgrade passes. Set up a Twitter activated vending machine that dispenses whenever an attendee tweets a specific hashtag and username. Create a photo challenge that can only be completed on Instagram and once completed “unlocks” a pass upgrade for a VIP area.
Interactive Polling – Stop asking attendees to raise their hands! Instead, launch in-app polls to instantly receive attendee feedback or facilitate a Q&A during breakout sessions. Try embedding real-time in-app poll results into presentations to create a more social event experience.
#Help – Have a dedicated area where attendees can access social media and mobile experts for help with everything from stepping up a Twitter account to posting to Facebook from their mobile device. Hold an #AMA (Ask Me Anything) style in-person chat to answer questions for an audience that’s at various levels of social media savviness.
Whether it is a newsletter, a video, a social media post or a cocktail party – the basics remain – think about your audience and be interesting. Below is the recipe for the secret sauce to communicating, and engaging, your audiences.
The New York Times recently announced that it now has 14 million subscribers across its 55 newsletters. According to Elisabeth Goodridge, The Times’s editorial director of newsletters, the “secret sauce” to good newsletters is as follows:
Know your audience
Have an expert write it (or be quoted)
Design it beautifully
Maintain it with best practices in mind
And, perhaps most important, “offer something valuable that you can’t get anywhere else.”
It should also be an intimate and controlled space. “We want it to be a friction-free experience,” said Andrea Kannapell, the editor of briefings at The Times. That means shorter, lighter sentences; a conversational voice; and information that equips readers to take on news conversations at work and at cocktail parties. “We want them to leave the briefing feeling uplifted,” Ms. Kannapell said. “Like their friend in the newsroom made sure they knew what they needed to know.”
Thank you to the American Press Institute for sharing this article. Blog readers: Isn’t this what our jobs are too? Whether it is delivering information TO a journalist, or shareholders, or employees or our communities … these simple steps are indeed the recipe to the ‘secret sauce’.
I am a subscriber to several of these NYT newsletters and usually I take the time to review and read them; they are that worthwhile. This is a free service, delivered online, so I encourage you to take a look, experience their ‘secret sauce techniques’ and see if one of these 55 newsletters might be what you need to know. Laura
Sometimes online sites give you a tool that makes your day … that’s how I felt when the infographic below arrived via Social Media Today. I’ll let the infographic and their introduction tell you the rest. I’ll be doing future posts on which of these work best for me and the team at Bennett & Company too.
The right tools can help you maximize your digital marketing time, and improve performance with less effort – but with so many tools now available, it’s hard to know which is best for which aspect, or even, what each tool does, exactly.
To help, the team from Crello have put together this listing of 100 free marketing tools that you should try. A note: Many of the apps listed do require subscriptions to access their full functionality, but the free versions should provide enough insight as to their value for your business, enabling you to make a proper assessment before committing expenditure.
So incredibly smart! Heathrow airport, offers a ready made Out-of-Office message for travelers. You have to sign into an airport Wi-Fi so while you are at it, why not use their Out-of-Office message too??
This article from ADWEEK, ran July 3, just before Independence Day in the USA – but offers us so many ideas for all the businesses that add joy/special moments of bliss/fun/escape – you-fill-in the benefit to our lives – think of what hotels, recreation, destinations, retails, transportation and so many more could offer.. think about it – how do you add joy to your customer’s life? Now produce a video or message for use not only as an out-of-office message but for social media channels.
Now if you are a toy store, pet shop, ski resort, beach bar or more – you might just go wild with this idea – have big fun!
An entirely new way to send your corporate message!
Though people across the pond won’t be celebrating the Fourth of July on Wednesday, Heathrow Airport still understands the sentiment of a holiday week—as it proved in a new spot that’s all about embracing your vacation days.
Havas London, the British-based agency behind Heathrow’s now-famous ads featuring a pair of bears returning home for the holidays, created this new spot for London’s landmark airport. In it, a woman drafts her out-of-office message while sitting at her gate at Heathrow. As she finishes, she laughs with her two children before the family giddily gets up to board their plane.
“Heathrow is just as much about those longed-for week-long summer holidays as it is about weekday business trips and round-the-world epics,” Lynsey Atkin, creative director at Havas London, told Adweek of the spot. “We wanted to celebrate the small moments that have great significance when it comes to our precious time away with those we love. Setting an out of office is one such moment, where the world of work is packed away and our focus shifts to the really important people in our lives.”
The ad’s approach is simple: A reminder of the feeling that comes along with the seemingly-minute, yet instantly relief-inducing act of setting up an out-of-office message before heading out on an awaited-for vacation. Atkin says that going into the campaign, the Havas London team wanted “to tell a seemingly small story that had big resonance.”
To make the family interactions feel natural and relatable, the spot’s director, Tom Green of Stink Films, worked with the cast for two days of shooting “to allow for natural action and dialogue that feels utterly relatable and part of the fabric of family interactions that play out every single day across Heathrow,” Atkin said.
The campaign aims to highlight Heathrow’s “Closer” tagline, meant to showcase “the airport’s ability to bring people closer together for special moments every day,” according to a release. Beyond the video spot, also included in the campaign are several out-of-home ads featuring images shot by Christopher Anderson. In these ads, close-up photos of different faces are featured. At the bottom of each image, there’s a personalized out-of-office message.
“At its very heart Heathrow is about bringing people Closer to each other,” Atkin said of the message behind the Closer tagline. “And in a time when that seems increasingly rare, it feels fitting that a place that knows the power and emotion of being together should be flying the flag for it, however big or small.”
Project name: Out of Office Client: Heathrow Airport Limited: Simon Eastburn – Director of Marketing, Modupe Adeboye – Senior Marketing and Brand Manager, Kellie Heath – Campaign Marketing Manager, Silvia Cardinale – Campaign Marketing Manager Creative agency: Havas London ECD: Ben Mooge Creative Director: Lynsey Atkin Creative: Tom Manning Account team: Caroline Saunders, Oliver Lester, Claire Petzal, Naomi Hollowday Agency producer (film): Kiri Carch, Adrianne Godfrey Agency producer (print): Hatty Middleton Planner: Clare Phayer Media agency: Carat Media planner: Hanna Puggaard Production company: Stink Films Producer: Ray Leakey Director: Tom Green DoP: James Laxton Editor: James Forbes-Robertson at Whitehouse Post Post-production: The Mill Soundtrack composer: Roots Manuva ‘Fighting For’ Audio post-production: Jon Clarke at Factory
Thank you ADWEEK for another smart and creative story. Laura
10 Creative Marketing Ideas for the Holiday Season
Yes it is the holiday season, and nothing matters more the other times of year than our social media efforts, so include them in the holiday spirit too! #BennettHolidayMarketing #HappyHolidays2018
As a long time PR professional, I am always looking for really great ideas, that are business-like yet have impact.
Thanks to Wix (where I host the wwww.BennettandCo.com website), here is a list of 10 great and creative marketing ideas, and examples of how they were implemented for the Wix brand:
Months ahead of the holiday season, retail stores start decorating shelves with tinsel, candles and festive lights. It seems that every year, the holiday prep starts earlier and earlier. Call shop owners overeager, but planning ahead actually has its perks. This is especially the case when it comes to marketing. Planning for these predetermined dates can prevent your business from getting hit with unexpected snowballs – like last minute promotional campaigns, holiday re-designs, and battles with creative blocks.
As a small business owner, it’s worth taking a lesson or two from these retail giants. Although you’re going to need to put in some work, we promise that it will be nothing short of fun. That’s because we’ve included inspiration for holiday content for your website, decked-out social pages, creative newsletters and much more to dress up your business in festive and seasonal attire. And after you’ve implemented these holiday marketing strategies, your business will be just as jolly as a proudly-standing snowman (carrot nose and scarf included). So without further ado, here are 10 effective and fun marketing ideas you can implement on your site for the holiday season:
01. Decorate your social media channels
Just like putting up lights in your front yard or garnishing your front door, the point of decorating your social channels is to signal that your small business is well aware the holidays are in full swing. So, how will you begin? Pull out your digital arts and craft supplies and start creating some holiday content. For social media, upload a new cover photo that features a design of a simple festive image, a holiday wish written over a patterned background, or a promotion of a holiday sale. If you want to create your own designs, you can use a graphic design tool, like Canva, which allows you to choose your social media image size, then easily layer that base with customised photos, shapes, and text. Once you save your design, you can simply upload it to the corresponding social channel.
You can also use your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles to post some holiday cheer. To create social posts, one effortless tool is Wix Social Posts because it enables you to simply pick a pre-sized, flawless design, then drag and drop your text, and add stickers (graphics) and images for a personalized look that speaks to your brand identity. Then, save and upload your design onto the social channels of your choice – or even onto your website. The type of content you can share is anything from upcoming events to promotions for the holiday season, such as contests, themed sales, and blog posts full of holiday inspiration. And don’t worry, we’ll cover all of these points and more in the tips to come. Just focus on filling your pages with joy and spirit for now.
02. Create a themed version of your logo
A logo certainly holds the core position of your business and branding efforts. It also represents your business’ personality – like Google’s playful color palette, for example (learn why they chose a green ‘L’ with this cool article about the stories behind famous logos). As an ambassador of your personality, it only makes sense that your logo reflect that your business is also celebrating it up during this holiday season. This holiday version can be as simple as replacing the dot on an ‘i or the letter ‘o’ with hanging lights or candles. Even if these letters don’t apply to you, you can incorporate a tinsel or glittery border into any design. Get as creative as you wish here.
If you don’t have a logo, not to worry we’ve got a solution. You can always turn to a trusted logo creation platform that can create a professional logo for you in seconds: Wix Logo Maker. All you need to do is simply answer a few questions about your company, industry, and style preferences. Then, watch the artificial intelligence technology work its magic and generate numerous logo options faster than you can wrap a present. And the best part is that they’re all completely customizable, which will allow you to make it as cheerful as you wish.
03. Invent a festive hashtag
One proven way to get people talking about your brand is by creating a unique hashtag. In short, a hashtagis the combination of a ‘#’ symbol followed by a keyword or phrase that allows the accompanying post to become searchable. There are millions of popular hashtags that can certainly help with post engagement, particularly on Instagram and Twitter. However, a self-created seasonal hashtag or one related to a specific holiday date will stimulate a potentially viral campaign.
But first, let’s take a step back and discuss the phrase ‘user-generated content (UGC).’ This is the concept where everyday users create content for your business and share them online – essentially advertising your brand for you. Typically, these online posts are accompanied by hashtags, which funnel all of the UGC content to one central location. So, let’s make up an ultra specific campaign idea. For example, say you have a business, Ruth’s Vintage Apparel, and you want to host a costume contest. There are two requirements: participants must wear a clothing item from your online shop, and they must post about it using the hashtag #RuthsCostumeContest. This will generate hype around your brand because consumers will be enthusiastic to participate and check out the competition (hence, they will browse more of your posts for items from your store via the hashtag). It will also benefit your business by expanding your promotion reach much more than physically possible to do on your own.
04. Hold a competition
Anything from an ugly sweater contest, to a race to sign up for a free scented candle, will generate buzz around your business. It’s similar to the previously mentioned concept of creating a hashtag. User-generated content is certainly relevant here, as well, in order to spread the word about your company. Yet, the main difference between a hashtag and this strategy is that a contest needs to be incentivising. Whether you’re giving away a product, gift card, or featuring a customer on your website, you need to offer something in return to the chosen winner of your contest.
While the options of the type of contest you hold are endless, there are a couple of basic competition guidelines you should consider:
Set a clear goal: All that you do regarding your marketing strategy should have one clear goal in mind. Is it to get more followers on your Instagram account and Facebook page? Or is it to promote your newest holiday product? You’re going to want to come up with a game plan of how you can reach that goal. This includes everything from choosing the platform to researching the guidelines of hosting a contest there.
Entice your audience with a prize: Let’s face it. This is the entire reason consumers will be interested in playing. Whether it’s a gift card to your online store or a holiday gift (really, everyone loves scented candles), keep it relevant and in the spirit of your chosen festivity.
Include all of the rules: For legal purposes and overall transparency, this step cannot be neglected. Think about all the possible factors that go into your contest and write them down somewhere. It can certainly take up a lot of room on your social feed, so it might be worthwhile to make and link a PDF at the bottom of your contest post, include it as a section of your website or even create a one page website dedicated to the competition.
Promote your competition: Some promotional efforts are free (like email marketing), and others might cost you a bit of money (like Facebook advertising). Decide on your budget, content, and design. Then, throw your flyers into the wind.
Post about your winner: The final place you can truly make sure your first goal is met is by sharing the results. It’s the last opportunity you have to generate more content from your activity. So, make sure to create exciting content centered around your winner and company, and share it all around – your website, your blog, a newsletter, your social media, and more. Just don’t forget to get the winner’s permission first.
The most effective form of marketing proven again and again is email marketing. In fact, over 80% of retail professionals claim that email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention more than any other form of digital marketing – and yes, that number even takes social media into account. And the last, most important reason, is that it’s free or extremely cheap to send effective newsletters.
Have we convinced you to implement this holiday marketing idea yet? If so, send out a beautiful, easy-to-design and fully customisable email from your business’s own custom email address in order to make sure that your business looks as professional as possible to consumers this holiday season. If you’re a Wix user, you can easily send out a newsletter right from your account thanks to the all-in-one email solution, Wix ShoutOut. This tool allows you to customise your templates, sync your contacts, send out newsletters, then go back and track your stats to learn more about your community and how you can improve based on feedback and statistics.
When you prepare your email, include everything from the subject line, CTAs, and content, to themed images. (Here are some email marketing tips to get you started.) While crafting your email plan, make sure to think creatively, as you certainly won’t be the only business sending out a holiday email this year. You’re going to have to put in some work to stand out. Here are some creative examples for your inspiration:
Launch a countdown leading up to a specific holiday date: For example, you can list X number of products (with links to your online store) in descending order to entice readers to scroll through the whole email.
Animate with videos and GIFs: These are two engaging forms of content that will get visitors interested in your email.
Send a holiday gift: Anything from a voucher for an actual product to something much simpler, like a coupon or printable greeting card that they can share with their loved ones.
Give out warm holiday wishes: Create a digital greeting card with a festive photo of you or your team – including your pets if you have any (because really that’s what people care about the most).
06. Highlight a sale on your website with a Lightbox
No, we aren’t talking about the box of string lights you stored away from last year, although we are sure that you can find something festive to do with those, too. Digitally speaking, a lightbox is an interactive message that appears on your website immediately upon a visitor’s arrival and then prompts them to take a specific action. So, if you’re hosting a sale, this is the perfect way to ensure that you’ve grabbed your audience’s attention. When you create a Lightbox for your Wix website, you can customize everything, including content, colors, fonts, layout and background images. This way, you can create a specific design to suit the holiday theme that you want to target. In addition, it’s possible to personalize the call-to-action (CTA) for your lightbox, such as a signup form to receive your sale discount or a link to your store’s sale page.
07. Write a festive blog post
Hmm… We wonder where we got this idea from? You can certainly take this article as an example for a holiday marketing blog post idea. Furthermore, not only is blogging a great practice to increase your SEO efforts, it’s also something that your customers will appreciate. If you don’t have a blog already, creating one is easy with this step-by-step blog guide. Here you can highlight anything holiday related at your company: a sale, a holiday gift or recipe guide, or a countdown of something. Then, once you’ve completed it, make sure to share your posts on your social media channels and marketing emails.
08. Wrap up your year with content
We can all learn from Spotify’s Wrapped Campaign. The music streaming platform used an algorithm to compile playlists for the top songs and artists of the past 12 months in order to ‘wrap up’ their year. You can use this awesome marketing campaign as inspiration for your business, whether it’s a list of best-selling products, the top social media posts, or other successful stats like new email subscribers and followers on Instagram. You can proudly display those results in any form you choose: an infographic, a blog post, Instagram Story, video, or Facebook post. This is one piece of content that can be promoted everywhere. It’s your time to flaunt the outcomes of your hard work and celebrate what your company has done this year.
09. Shoot a themed video
Consumers are 85% more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. This and many other video marketing statistics explain why video content is the way of the future. If you’re scrambling to find a topic or theme to create a video about, then the holidays is the perfect excuse. Some ideas include describing a product, giving a behind-the-scenes look at your business, or ‘writing’ a blog post in video form. Just remember to make it festive 🙂
Based on the latest social media trends, it’s apparent that short videos are much more effective than their long-form counterparts. So, don’t stress about creating one longer than a minute, or even 10 seconds for that matter. You can turn to one of the many different video creation platforms to start building your mini film, like Magisto and iMovie. Once you complete your creation, save it, then share it on YouTube, Facebook, and your website. With Wix Video, you can effortlessly upload videos from YouTube or Facebook to your site, showcase them in stunning layouts, and then track their success through detailed stats.
10. Create a holiday Pinterest board
Pinterest and holiday inspiration go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows. That’s why the holiday season is one reason to create an account on the platform and start using it for the excellent benefits it provides, like growing a community, increasing brand awareness, and driving traffic to your website. Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that allows you to find and share ideas for projects. Here, users can follow accounts, brands, businesses, and boards.
Pinterest Boards are the backbone of the platform, and each one represents a different category. You can create as many as you like on any topics you like. That’s why filling a holiday-themed board is an excellent way to bring in the festivities. Use this as a chance to share anything related to your company in holiday version, from recipes to beauty products, gift guides, infographics, design inspiration, and so much more. New to Pinterest? This guide explains everything you need to know about using Pinterest for your business.