The Key to Marketing Small Businesses

brainstorming-collaborate-collaboration-1204649.jpg

Operating a small business is not something to try to sneak past your customers, but rather something to accent on throughout your marketing strategy. There are so many benefits to purchasing from small businesses as opposed to large businesses. Accenting on the personalized customer service, increased customer value, and high quality products and services your small business offers, will greatly increase the effectiveness of your company’s marketing. Below are three tips to helping you unlock the key to marketing your small business!

Inbound Marketing is EVERYTHING

cellphone-device-digital-marketing-893893.jpgConsidering that small businesses tend to do less business and therefore generate lower profits than larger businesses, there is less money to be allocated towards the marketing budget. Inbound marketing is extremely helpful in allowing small businesses to compete with larger businesses who can afford to spend more on marketing. TV advertisements, print advertising, and radio ads have become extremely ineffective in recent years as customers are now using social media and music and tv streaming services. Inbound marketing includes blogs, websites, and social media marketing. Inbound marketing revolves around attracting the customer to your business, rather than simply marketing a product or service to them. It’s about creating a need for your customer so they come to you as opposed to the other way around.

If your business needs help with improving its inbound marketing, click here to check out our MaxExposure products on our website!

Give your Customers the Inside Scoop

One of the best parts about working with a small business is that you actually get to know the people you are working with. New customers want to know what to expect when meeting your business’ employees for the first time, and existing customers love to see the employees they love and are familiar with! Make sure to post an image of your employees at work either in-office or out of the office and keep them updated on your employees’ lives to engage them and increase their trust in your business! Posting content about an employee’s promotion or recent wedding shows your customers that you care about your employees and allows them to build relationships with your employees as well.

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 2.57.21 PM.png

Customer Satisfaction Goes a Long Way

Last but not least, one of the most important aspects in effectively marketing your small business is following through on the customer service your customers expect. Satisfying your customers not only ensures they continue purchasing from your business, but that they will recommend your company to their friends and possibly even write you a review online! Customer recommendations and reviews go a long way in marketing your small business. Small businesses are typically not well-known and trusted right off the bat because many people have never used or heard of them before. Through customer satisfaction, reviews, and recommendations, your small business expands its customer base and improves its branding.

Check out our MaxExposure social posting products for your small business by clicking here!

Employee Feature: Alli Burns, Marketing Assistant

Hi!! My name is Alli and I’m the face behind many of the MaxExposure blog posts! I have been working with MaxExposure for a little over a year as a marketing assistant. To give you a little background on me, I am originally from Connecticut, I am a marketing major attending Bentley University, I am a big red sox fan, and on the weekends you can catch me watching Friends reruns!

What do you do for MaxExposure?

I am responsible for creating and posting social media content for customers to maximize their social media engagement and following. I am also responsible for creating and publishing content on our MaxExposure blog to give our customers, and blog viewers, social media tips and inform them of new marketing trends to help them improve their own marketing strategy!

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is hearing back from my boss, Aly, that one of my clients is loving the content I am posting for them. To know that I am not only helping a company increase their online following and sales, but that I’ve actually excited them about their social media account, and their business in general, is extremely rewarding.

I’ve also greatly enjoyed writing and publishing our MaxExposure blogs and learning about new marketing topics, tips, and trends that not only can help our customers, but make me a better marketer as well! ((Click here to check out more of our MaxExposure blogs and get tips on how to improve your company’s marketing!))

Why do you feel companies should choose MaxExposure?

I think companies looking to improve their marketing tactics and company profitability should choose MaxExposure because they are a family-run business. Being a family-run business means they are extremely invested in their customer’s satisfaction with our services. In using a larger marketing company, often times your only point of contact is “customer service” calls and email. At MaxExposure, any time a customer has a concern about their products, they have the opportunity to reach out and speak directly with the employee in charge of providing their services.

Speaking with the actual person in charge of the services gives the customer an opportunity to not only consult that employee regarding their concerns, but collaborate with them and get advice from an expert on how to improve.

What is your favorite MaxExposure product?

My favorite MaxExposure product is the new Website Builder product! A lot of small businesses have outdated or nonfunctional websites so being able to see the transformation of their online company image has been amazing! 

 

If you need us to boost your social media following and engagement, check out our MaxExposure Social Posting products today!

Social Media Marketing Tips for Restaurants

The phone most definitely eats first. Look up the term “foodie” on Instagram or Facebook and you will find thousands of accounts, photos, and videos dedicated to food. Using social media to help market your restaurant is a no-brainer. Here are 5 tips to spice up your social media…

Instagram Hashtag

When posting on Instagram, create a hashtag unique to your restaurant. Any time you post a picture using that hashtag you are encouraging followers to use the hashtag if they make a post about you too. You can say something like “use our hashtag for a chance to get featured!” or “receive a free coffee when you use #XXXX on Instagram!” This way your account will include content both from your business and your customers.

Photography

Pictures are going to be essential for any of your social media posts and you want them to look good. The best part is you don’t have to be a good photographer to take great pictures of food. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps. Download a photo editing app on your phone such as Lightroom or Vsco- you can play with the brightness, sharpness, and clarity of the photos as well as adding filters. Additionally, use the same background for every picture. If you take a photo on a white table always take the photo on the same white table that way your feed will be aesthetically pleasing.
IMG_1845.png

Giveaways

People love getting free stuff. Hosting giveaways such as a free gift card or a free meal can help create buzz about your business. It can help you increase followers and interactions on your page. You can do something during different holiday seasons, or just randomly. Here is an outline of potential terms:

TO ENTER
1. Like this photo
2. Follow our account
3. Tag a friend you’d share this meal with (1 tag=1 entry)
4 random winners will get a FREE appetizer and drink on their next visit!!!

Interacting with Customers

Make sure that you respond to customers’ comments and complaints on social media. The responses should be personalized and not generic. Try to get to responses within an hour of receiving the comment. If you aren’t confident you will check these interactions often, a good tip is to create a rotation with your employees to have the job of checking and responding to any social media interactions for the day. ((if you want to insure quality and fluidity in your customer interactions, check here to check out our reputation management package!))

Influencers

We have talked about Instagram influencers in the past and food bloggers are a goldmine! Don’t be afraid to reach out to food bloggers to partner with them to get the word out about your restaurant.
IMG_1846.png

To increase your restaurant’s social media following, click here to check out our social posting products!

Small Business Tips: Using Personalized Marketing to Reach Customers

Let’s Get Personal.

As many of us have noticed, companies online have been getting increasingly “personal” with their customers…maybe even so personal that we’re a little creeped out. For instance, when you are online shopping on a clothing website and then you go on Instagram and there’s an ad for the same exact dress you were just looking at a moment ago. Many people can even recall a time when they were discussing let’s say a certain book with their friend and that same book showed up in an Amazon advertisement without them ever having viewed it online. Maybe it’s our phones listening to us, or maybe, it’s the businesses we shop at.

Although some forms of personalized marketing can come off as a bit creepy and are not super effective in boosting sales or customer retention, personalized marketing, when done correctly, can have a significant positive impact on your business. So how do we use personalized marketing correctly?? Here’s how…

 

Get CONSENT!!!

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 12.24.08 PMFirst things first, if you’re going to personalize emails, text messages, printed mail, or Facebook messages, you have to get consent from the customer first. This means that the customer has to have given you their Facebook account information, phone number, address, email address, and name. One way many companies do this is at checkout when they ask if the customer would like to receive text or email alerts on upcoming sales, promotions, and company news. This way when they receive the personalized marketing, they don’t think your company is tracking down their information or stalking you online because they gave you the information themselves.

 

Track Purchases

Now that you have the information you need to send them more personalized marketing, you need to figure out what type of message you’re going to be sending them. Seeing as you are operating a small business, you may not have access to softwares that track individual customer purchases, so tracking which products are selling the most currently is an easier alternative.Utilizing your social media can be helpful here too by viewing the posts your company is tagged in by consumers. Keeping track of which inventory is selling, and promoting a related product or service will get you a much better return by boosting sales of that product even more. 

 

Comments, Compliments, & Concerns

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS write down anything a customer has to say about your business. Whether it’s in regards to a specific product or service, a specific customer experience, or customer service. If you run a restaurant, write down what customers have to say about certain dishes so you can either change up recipes, or promote a popular dish more often. Even viewing customer reviews on Google, Yelp, or Facebook can be extremely helpful in receiving more specific input on your company’s progress.

 

If you want to get personal with your customers and boost your sales, let us show you how! Click the hyperlinks to check out our Customer Voice and Reputation Management products!

How to Utilize Influencer Marketing

Word of mouth and the use of social media are two of the best forms of marketing today. So, what if you could combine the two? Well, you can — the answer is influencer marketing.

Whenever potential customers look for a product or service, one of the first things they do is ask their friends for advice. People will trust their friend’s opinion over something they read on Yelp or Google. This is where you can leverage influencer marketing. The first step in this is to find an influencer.

By definition, an influencer is “an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.” This could be someone who has a social media account, such as an Instagram, that is focused. For example, if you are a restaurant you would want to look for “foodie” Instagram accounts. But not just any account would qualify as a good influencer. Below are a few you want to look for.

Types of Influencers:

  • Bloggers
  • Celebrities
  • Public Figures

It might be hard to get someone like the Kardashians to promote your beauty products to their millions of followers but that’s ok! You can start by reaching out to public figures or bloggers. These are people who post consistently about things like fashion, food, travel or fitness and their following is usually their friends and people who are enthusiastic about that specific field.

Now that you have an idea of the types of people to reach out to here are a few steps on how to get them to be an influencer for you:

Reaching out:

Once you find a potential influencer it’s time to reach out to them. They will usually have an email you can contact in their bio or you can just send them a direct message through Instagram. Like this:

 

Incentivize your offer:

It is only fair that both your company and the influencer benefit from this partnership. Instead of paying them, send them something like free samples of your product, a free class at your studio, or a discount on your website.

 

Posting:

Once the influencer tries your product or service they should post about it on their social media. Ask them to tag you in the picture and add a location. Influencer marketing is such a great way to reach a new audience. Influencers are trusted by their following so if they post about something they like or suggest you to try, it’s more likely that their followers will follow through and actually try it.

 

Want to grow your Instagram following?? Click here to check out our Instagram posting products!

Window Shopping Isn’t What it Used to Be

Window shopping is not what it used to be. In this day and age, it’d be rather difficult to find someone who’s strategy for shopping is simply to go to a store, find the item they want, and purchase it on the spot. Generations today, especially Millennials, perform a lot of research before making a buying decision. I’ll take you into further depth of the purchasing process of today’s generation, as well as how to hold on tight to your customers throughout their research!

Consumers today have access to a number of sources, supplying them with endless amounts of information regarding products, pricing, product quality, and brand news. Let’s take a look into my own purchasing process (considering I am part of the Millennial generation):

Let’s say I want to buy a new pair of black booties. I already have a couple brands in mind, however that doesn’t mean I have my heart set on one!!

First things first, GOOGLE.

I search…

         “Black booties steve madden”

          I like the booties on ASOS so I’m going to click through onto their site.

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 2.12.41 PM.png

HINT: THIS IS WHERE SEO IS EVERYTHING!!! Your search engine optimization is going to get your company noticed on Google.

 

Window shopping.jpg

 

Next step, visit ASOS Instagram…

I will visit a company’s Instagram to see if there are more pictures available of the product I am looking into and other products I may have missed on their site. I also look at their Instagram to check posts the company has been tagged in so I can see other customers’ choice of product and what the product more realistically looks like.

Even though I have my mind on one specific pair of shoes at this point, I will still visit Instagram accounts of other shoe brands I am familiar with and make sure I haven’t missed any of their shoes I might like.

When I have finally decided on a pair of shoes, I search the specific name of the shoe on Google to find out all of the different sites the pair of shoes is sold on so I can get them for the best price available.

Looking back at my process for selecting and purchasing a pair of shoes online, although it may seem overwhelming and unpredictable, there are three important factors impacting my decision:

             

                1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

                         2. Website

                                3. Social Media Accounts

 

If you prioritize maximizing your company’s SEO, website functionality and appearance, and engagement and effectiveness on your social media accounts, you will maximize your sales and your customer base.

 

Need help improving your company’s SEO, website, and social media accounts?! Click here to check out our services or give us a call for a consultation today!

Top 5 Engaging Social Media Topics

As the limits to the content your company posts on social media is rather unlimited today with the addition of new applications for editing pictures and videos, it can get a bit confusing on what exactly to post. To help you out, I have a list of the top 5 most engaging topics for your social media posting that not only increase viewer engagement, but increase sales as well!

 

Product Photos

Showing your product on your company’s social media feed allows for viewers to familiarize themselves with your product and encourages them to look into your product further.

Tips:

ALWAYS make sure your images are high quality to insure your product looks as appealing as possible!

Including a link either in the post or on your bio (on Instagram) to your website to allow for viewers to check out more of your products is effective in increasing your sales!

 

Customer Photo Re-posts

Reposting images posted by your company’s customers will not only make the customer  feel appreciated and recognized, but encourage others to post images with your product on their pages as well.

Tips:

Include the tag of your customer so people viewing their profile can see the tag and visit your page!

Make the customer look good!! (no one else is going to want you to republish their picture if you’re going to make them look bad)

 

Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Behind-the-scenes pictures or videos can include anything from community involvement, to company events or in-office activities. Showing your viewers what happens in your company behind-the-scenes allows for them to connect and familiarize themselves with your company and its employees and build trust with you.

Tips:

Make sure people look happy in the pictures!! :)))

Don’t make the picture look too staged. Taking a combination of candids and posed-for pictures will give your viewers a good idea of how the event was and show the camaraderie of your company’s employees.

 

Infographics

Creating your own social media posts gives your company’s social media page another dimension and allows for increased freedom on what you can post.

Tips:

Check out our infographics on our Instagram @maxexpousa !

 

Tips and Advice

Giving tips to your viewers that are connected to your business allows for them to get more involved in your industry and will allow for your social media pages to actually benefit them.

Tips:

Make sure your tips are useful to your viewers! Example: If you own a clothing store, give them a tip on how to repurpose an old piece of clothing, or show them a new fashion trend that’s emerging!

Make sure your social media pages are as engaging as possible and let us do the hard work for you! Click here to check out our social media posting products today!

How to Grow Your Instagram Following: Stories

We have already talked about the benefits of using story highlights, but the real bread and butter is the content in a story. Instagram now notifies you when you have caught up on all of  your feed’s new content. Naturally, instead of closing out the app people will tap through thousands of stories. It’s time to take full advantage of that.

Stories can include all sorts of content: a poll, a question, a preview, a reminder to check out your latest post, but it is always more than just a picture. Think of a story like a regular post, there are multiple components. There’s a caption, a hashtag, a location and a user tag. Now a story can contains all of these things too, but it leaves you with more room for creativity and opens doors to catching a new audience.

Let’s start from left to right:

Location

A location sticker can always help boost a post. You can make the size as big or as small as you want and put it anywhere on the screen instead of it being stuck on the top of your regular posts. The best part of putting a location in your story is that your story can appear on a live story of that location that anyone can see.

Mentions

When you mention (or tag) someone in your Instagram post, whether it be an individual person, or a company, that person or company receives the notification. That user will then be encouraged to view your story, or maybe even repost it to their own story. This will get your stories trending on more than just your account, therefore increasing your following.

Hashtags

Although it’s not recommended, you can add up to 11 different hashtags to a story (try to stick with one or two). Just like the location sticker, there is a live story of others who have also used the same hashtag. Be selective with your hashtag choices: you don’t want a hashtag that’s used millions of times but you also don’t want a hashtag that only a few hundred have used. If you really want to have a chance at getting exposed to a new crowd chose one in the low thousands. 

If you’re not as interested in having people click on the location or hashtag as you are with having it be viewed on a live story, a hack is to cover it up with a sticker or GIF!

giffriends.gif

Does your company’s Instagram need a revamp?! Click here to view our social page build product!

Top 3 Most Successful Political Ad Campaigns

 

 

 

 

With the political controversy going on in America today, most companies avoid the mention of any politics in their advertisements to avoid potential backlash. Thinking back to recent political advertisements that caught our attention, we can all think of a few that were extremely unsuccessful (i.e. Kendall Jenner Pepsi Commercial 2017), however some companies hit the nail on the head with their political advertisements, and it’s safe to say the reward was worth the risk.

 

2011 – Chipotle: “Back to the Start” 

Chipotle’s “Back to the Start” Ad brought attention to the need for improved sustainable farming in the food production process. Chipotle is considered a fast food chain; a restaurant chain most commonly thought of as serving inexpensive, low quality food. By confronting the topic of the food production process and food quality head on, Chipotle differentiated themselves from other fast food chains. Chipotle preempted any potential backlash they could have received regarding their process for making food, and changed their image from a typical fast food chain, to a restaurant serving high quality, sustainably farmed fresh food. Chipotle’s campaign focused viewers attention on the fact that they were taking an initiative to inform people of an issue with other restaurants’ food sourcing, rather than the fact that they were also marketing themselves and trying to improve their image.  —  Video Link

 

2017 – Heineken: “Worlds Apart”

Heineken’s “Worlds Apart” ad campaign showcased two average people with opposing beliefs working together to complete a simple challenge. At the end of the challenge, their opposing beliefs are revealed and they get the option to either leave, or stay and discuss their differences over a beer. Every person in the experiment decided to stay and discuss their differences rather than leave. Heineken found a way to shed light on these topics of conversation and on America’s current political disputes without creating any conflict of ideals with viewers. Heineken did not share any political view of their own, and they also created a positive image on the people who did reveal their political views in the advertisement.  —  Video Link

 

2017 – Mr.Clean: “Cleaner of your Dreams”

On a funnier note, Mr.Clean’s Super Bowl 2017 Commercial, “Cleaner of your Dreams,” depicted a cartoon Mr.Clean cleaning a woman’s house while she stands behind him checking him out. At the end of the ad, Mr.Clean turns into her husband, the wife goes to kiss him and the ad reads “You Gotta Love a Man who Cleans.” This ad targets both men and women, as women can relate to the wife in the advertisement, and men are literally being told women love a man who cleans, encouraging them to clean more. This puts an ironic and funny spin on an advertisement for cleaning products as it opposes old ideals of women being the “housewives,” and has the woman “checking out” the man, which traditionally, the roles would be reversed.  —  Video Link

 

All three of these ad campaigns were extremely successful in not only increasing these brands’ sales, but also improving their brand images. Each ad took a different approach with one more lighthearted but still serious, one more serious than lighthearted, and the last one taking on a more comical approach. Taking risks in your company’s marketing campaigns and being bold, as long as it is done properly and carefully, is more than worth it in building your brand and getting your name out there. If you convey that your brand is socially and ethically responsible enough to bring up the not-so-easy topics of conversation, or make a bold statement, you’ll not only grow your audience, but develop a trusting relationship with them.

 

Contact MaxExposure for help making your bold statement and boosting your brand image today!

5 Tips to Improve your Click-Through-Rate

Want to improve your click-through rate? Check our our Facebook Advertising Package!

Click-through rate is the percentage of people visiting a web page who access a hypertext link to a particular advertisement. This information is often tracked through your advertising or website medium and is a good way to track how effective your online advertising and marketing efforts are. There are various ways that you can increase your engagement and improve your click-through rate in order to create new leads and business opportunities.
magic keyboard

Photo by Lex Photography on Pexels.com

1. Use Call-to-Action buttons

People love interaction and offering a chance to interact with your ad or your brand creates a feeling of authenticity. A simple action such as pressing a button can make your audience feel as though they are interacting personally with you brand and calling them specifically to interact with your products or services.

2. Focus on Aesthetic

Appearance is everything in the world of marketing and advertising. Your audience will be more likely to interact with your brand if they are aesthetically drawn to your advertisement with a good-looking front ad and landing page.

3. Share Expert Advice

By sharing expert advice on your ad page, your brand demonstrates it’s knowledge in it;s domain of products/services. It can be assumed that a customer would rather use a credible, knowledgeable company rather than an amateur company with less experience.

4. Make an Announcement

By announcing some sort of new product or service, you create excitement surrounding your brand. Your customers will want to see what new products/services you have to offer if you use active language such as Behind the Scenes, As Seen On, Cost Effective, Enhanced, Never Before Seen or Proven Method.

5. Offer Benefits

Every customer wants the best products/services but they also want the best deals. Similar to making an announcement, using active language when offering benefits will make your brand more appealing. It will also make your customers feel “special” because the deals seem exclusive. Try using wording in your ads like Competitive Pricing, Effective, Economic, Mega Earnings, Mega Savings or Up to ___% off.