The Key to Inbound Marketing

The term “inbound marketing” was coined in 2006 by the founders of Hubspot, Inc., Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, as “marketing strategies and practices that pulled prospective customers toward a business and its products through the use of Web 2.0 tools and applications like blogging, search engine optimization, and social media.”

The biggest obstacle in the marketing world today is simply getting people’s attention. With apps like Spotify and Netflix, people are now paying to watch TV or listen to music, without the interruption of ads. That’s what outbound marketing is to some extent, an interruption. Outbound marketing such as TV commercials, internet advertisements, and so on, are used to interrupt people’s lives to promote a product or service. Inbound marketing such as blogs, websites, and social media networks, doesn’t interrupt anyone, but actually attracts customers to you and your business, improving your search engine optimization and visits to your company’s website.

So how do you use inbound marketing to attract people to your company? Here are the steps to engaging your market using inbound marketing…

Identify your Audience

You probably already feel like you have a pretty good understanding of who your audience is, however inbound marketing is extremely dependent on you providing the right content for your audience. So making sure you have a detailed and complete understanding of who your audience is is extremely important in successfully using inbound marketing.

Take a walk around the office, ask a couple other employees who they think your audience is, or maybe one demographic the audience has. Soon you will have a list of demographics important in figuring out what content to put out, and where for your inbound marketing strategy.

Figure out What Channels your Audience Uses

Inbound marketing channels can include anything from social media networks, to search engines, blogs, and websites. What’s a better way to find out what channels your audience uses than to search for the channels and find them yourself! Here’s an example, if you own a trendy, modern restaurant, go on google and search “foodie” and dive into the blogs, websites, Instagram accounts, and so on that come up. Next, visit Instagram or Facebook themselves and search for foodie accounts, or find trending hashtags that have to do with food and search by the hashtag. The best way to succeed in inbound marketing is to engage in it yourself, as if you were your own customer.

P.S. Keep a list of all the words you used in your search so you know which words to optimize yourself to improve your website and/or blog’s SEO.

Identify What Your Audience Wants to See

This could include problems they have, hobbies they’re interested in, questions they have about the industry, news related to the industry your company is in, and so on. This will help you determine what content you should be posting to attract their attention. Remember, inbound marketing is all about bringing the customers to you, not the other way around. This is the time to be extremely subtle and not over-promote your company. Your content will do the promoting for you.

Last but not least, create your content!! Make sure you change it up consistently and post on all of the topics your customers are concerned with. Have a good group of diverse people to work together to deliver one message, across multiple channels, with engaging and exciting content. The people creating this content need to maintain a consistent tone and give your company a personality your customers can relate to and enjoy seeing.

5 Habits of Successful Marketers

Marketers play one of the most important roles in operating a successful business today. In recent years, marketing has changed tremendously from tv, radio, and print advertising, to online marketing using websites, social media, and blogging. With this change, the habits successful marketers should be performing has changed slightly as well. Here are the 5 habits of successful marketers today…

Stay updated on industry news

Successful marketers always need to be up-to-date on industry news. Industry news is not only important in terms of keeping marketers up-to-date, but the industry audience as well. Customers love hearing about news in industries that they’re interested in, and hearing about it from your company will make your marketing team look like the experts.

Keeping track of the industry news updates in a document is also extremely beneficial to your marketing team. This allows your marketing team to better evaluate the current industry audience as well as how the industry has changed over the years and how that impacts your marketing tactics today.

Examine changes in industry audience

Industry audiences change all the time. There are always groups of consumers leaving one market to move to another. Successful marketers need to stay on top of these changes to ensure they are marketing to the right people.

One way to do this is looking into your company’s social media followers, who is giving you likes on your posts, who is commenting, and so on. Even collaborating with the sales team on what demographic they are finding the most success with can help tremendously.

Read more about the effectiveness of sales team and marketing team collaboration here!

Consistently update social media skills

Social media sites, especially Instagram, is constantly updating their software and adding more and more capabilities to their story features, image carousels, and so on. These recent updates have been found to be extremely helpful to businesses trying to grow their social media following. Many companies for example have started publishing story highlight reels with “products,” “customer reviews,” “reposts,” and so on.

This allows first-timers on the company’s social media to look back at tons of content your company has published with easy access to exactly what type of content they desire. Marketers need to constantly stay up-to-date with these social media updates in order to utilize the networks as effectively as possible.

Never stop creating content

Successful marketers are always creating content, even if it means they do not publish it all. Creating content every day and having it saved in your files allows you to constantly develop your marketing skills as well as always have backup content to publish when needed. Even if it just means writing down a little thought or idea, those little ideas could be turned into big ideas later on.

Develop your marketing voice

Having a marketing voice that your audience is familiar with and can connect with is extremely important in making a connection with your customers. However, as the industry audience changes, so should your marketing voice. Consistently developing and altering your marketing voice slightly as your audience changes will allow your marketing to develop with the market. The key here is to not change your marketing voice too much however; you always want your audience to be familiar with the voice you project and not scare them off with drastic changes.

Why Small Business is Best

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 in how to effectively market your small business…

Inbound Marketing

Considering 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!

Customer Service

One of the best parts about working with a small business is that you actually get to know the people you are working with. Instead of being stuck on a customer service number, customers are able to reach out directly to the employee they work with. This improved customer service as compared to large companies gives customers a peace of mind that if they are not satisfied with the service, and so on, they have someone they can contact directly regarding their concerns. If you are operating a small business, make sure your customer service surpasses expectations through employee training and business norms. The better the customer service, the happier the customer.

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!

Last but not least, the best part about working with, or for, a small business is that everyone within the company has a stake in how the company performs. Smaller businesses have a smaller amount of employees, so each employee they do have, hold various responsibilities for the company and care about the quality of the service they provide to their customers even more. Hiring a small business to do work for you means getting top notch customer service from skilled people who care about their work and the quality of their work everyday.

Check out our MaxExposure story on our website at maxexpousa.com!

SEO: The Recipe to Getting your Restaurant Noticed

If we think back to the last time we searched Google looking for a restaurant, I think we could probably all agree it sounded something like, “restaurants near me..”. No matter where you are located, Google is going to find you at least 50+ restaurants that apply to your search. I’m sure you know by now, no one ever scrolls to the 50th restaurant that pops up. So how do you get your restaurant to the top of that list?

There’s three aspects your restaurant needs to value in improving your company’s SEO…

1) Customer Reviews and Review Site Profiles

2) Company Website

3) Social Media Engagement

Customer reviews and claiming review site profiles is essential in improving your company’s SEO. The more reviews your company has online on sites like Google, Yelp, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor, the higher Google is going to rank your restaurant, and therefore the more people will see your company’s profile.

“92% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses and 84% base their buying decision based on positive reviews.”

Customer Reviews and Claiming Review Site Profiles

It can be difficult to increase the amount of customer reviews your restaurant is receiving, the key to doing so is utilizing your business. What I mean by that is, offer your customers a free coffee or small dessert after their meal if they rate your restaurant online! Customers love free things so they’ll be encouraged to rate you even higher than if they rated you without any incentive! This will greatly increase the amount of customer reviews your company is receiving, bumping up your company on Google search results!

P.S. — Another important thing to keep in mind! 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to customer reviews! If you need assistance in responding to customer reviews online, click here to check out our MaxExposure Review Response product!

Company Website

The company website is also essential in improving your restaurant’s SEO! Speaking as a consumer, the three most frustrating things I experience when using a restaurant’s website is not being able to access the full menu, online reservation scheduling that doesn’t work, and when incorrect hours listed.

Keeping your website up-to-date is essential in not only improving your SEO, but increasing the amount of click throughs your website receives when it does show up on a consumer’s search. Having a PDF version of your menu linked to your company website is a great functionality for consumers as they can print off your menu and have it easily accessible on their computer! Online reservation scheduling is not necessary and the times available are hardly ever correct seeing as reservations are constantly changing throughout the day. Customers are willing to call if they want to make a reservation and you’d rather they schedule over a call with you rather than not schedule at all because of incorrect availability online.

Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement is also extremely important in improving and managing your restaurant’s SEO. Not only can this help get the word out more about your restaurant, but it can even provide content for you to publish to your restaurant’s social media accounts as well as your restaurant’s Google profile. Social media engagement is like free marketing for your company. Every time someone tags your restaurant’s location or social media account in their post, they are marketing your restaurant to every single one of their followers, which can be thousands of people.

Making sure to like and comment on posts that your restaurant has been tagged in, or reposting a customer’s image on your company’s social media is a great way to not only market your restaurant, but show your customer that you care about their experience. The more your restaurant is mentioned on social media, the more online engagement your restaurant will receive, and the better your restaurant’s SEO.

If your restaurant could use some help with its social media engagement and postings, click here to check out our MaxExposure social media products!
To check out our SEO products, click here!

New Marketing Trend: Experiential Retail

Although we all tend to think that retail shopping is soon to disappear entirely, our newest consumer generation, Gen Z, begs to differ. Generation Zers, also known as the “Post-Millennial” generation, still love taking trips to the mall or the nearest outlets. They look at retail shopping as an opportunity for an experience. Millennials and Baby Boomers view retail shopping as a hassle or inefficient as compared to online shopping, leading us to believe brick-and-mortar will soon become obsolete.

So how do we take full advantage of this new change in shopping trends Generation Z is bringing? How do we maximize the amount of customers we can get off their laptops, and into our retail stores? The answer is simple. They want an experience, then that’s what we have to give them. Experiential retail.

No matter what type of company you are operating or who your target market is, there is always opportunity to create an experience when customers visit your business. Let’s say you operate a kids hairdressing salon, you can give your customers an experience by offering fun hairstyles after the haircut. Maybe even offer a little something for the parents as well such as sample packets of hair products or refreshments. If you own a restaurant, offer free bread or free small dessert samples to your customers. This will give them something to remember you for, and something to look forward to next time. It’s all about making their in-store experience more enjoyable and more fun. If they wanted simple, easy, and to-the-point, they’d be ordering online.

The key to experiential retail is giving the customer something they cannot get when they order online.

The issue of decreased retail shopping over the years has frustrated many businesses and has even forced some to close their doors and sell solely online. This is nothing to be frustrated about. Consumers are more informed in their decision-making than ever before. They are looking up product ingredients before making a purchase, and searching various sites or stores to find the best deal on a product before deciding where to buy it. This is something to admire and take full advantage of. Why should a customer come to your store if the only difference between that and ordering online is the efficiency?

We need to rethink the way we do retail and the goal we wish to accomplish through our retail. Retail used to simply be about maximizing sales and getting more customers to leave with your products. Now it’s all about the before, during, and after of the sale. How does your company present the product to the consumer? What do you offer the customer while they’re shopping to keep them engaged in the experience? How does your company show their appreciation for the customer as they’re leaving?

I’m not meaning to say you have to give customers something to incentivize them to visit your retail business, this can be done through customer service as well. If you offer them exceptional customer service and professional expertise on the product or service, they will make improved purchasing decisions as opposed to if they purchased alone online, and they will therefore visit your store. Building on and further improving your retail experience for customers will not only increase your retail sales, but your customer loyalty, brand differentiation, and overall customer satisfaction as well.

If you are looking to improve your retail business’ marketing, click here to check out our MaxExposure products!

Enjoy the blog?! Check out our blog on Top 5 Super Bowl Commercials of 2019 !

Top 5 Super Bowl Commercials of 2019

This year over 100 million people watched the Super Bowl in the United States on February 3rd. With cable TV users lessening every month and turning to online streaming instead, the Super Bowl is extremely important in successfully and effectively utilizing cable TV advertisements. The cost of a 30-second advertisement during the Super Bowl is approximately $5.25 million. We were impressed by some of the Super Bowl advertisements we saw this year.

When watching the advertisements this year I found there were two types of advertisements; the ones whose ads revolved almost entirely around the actual product, and the ones whose ads had nothing to do with the product at all. I’ve found the ads that had nothing to do with the product, no matter how entertaining, are not effective in promoting the product or the company as viewers do not remember what the ad was for. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at my Top 5 Super Bowl Commercials of 2019…

Bublé v. Bubly Commercial

Bubly’s commercial opens with Michael Bublé picking up one of their drinks and saying “mmm I love Bublé.” A woman tries to correct him when a store clerk, Dave, approaches and Bublé mispronounces his name as well. The ad ends with Bublé scratching out the y in Bubly on the bottles and changing it to his pronunciation of the brand name. This ad is extremely successful in both entertaining the viewers and grabbing their attention, as well as ensuring viewers remember what product or brand the commercial was for.

Microsoft Adaptive Controller Ad

Microsoft had one of the more inspirational advertisements during the Super Bowl, focusing on their new Adaptive Controller for the Xbox One which was designed for gamers with disabilities. The ad features several kids with disabilities showing them playing with the traditional Xbox controllers and then showing them playing with the adaptive controller. This ad captures the audience’s attention as it is an extremely inspirational advertisement surrounding an issue which affects millions of people, while also featuring and marketing their product.

Michelob Ultra — Zoe Kravitz

The ad opens with loud and fast footage through forests and cliffs and then slows in on Zoe Kravitz who draws in viewers with her vivid whisper. Throughout the ad she taps her fingers on the beer, drags the beer across the table, and pours the beer with the sounds of each heightened to encourage viewers to continue to be intrigued. This ad draws viewers in with the whisper and Zoe Kravitz, and then attracts all of the attention to the actual product they are promoting, the beer.

Andy Warhol Eating Burger King

Burger King’s ad was very simplified as compared to others during the Super Bowl, featuring a short clip of pop art innovator, Andy Warhol, eating a Burger King burger. The artist himself attracts viewers’ attention, which is then brought to the burger he is eating, and eventually, the Burger King logo. It makes you notice the ad, want the food, and therefore, want to go to Burger King.

More than OK — Pepsi Commercial

The ad opens with a woman ordering a Coke at a restaurant, and the waiter responds “We don’t have Coke, is Pepsi ok?” This is a phrase you hear quite often when you’re ordering a certain soda that the restaurant doesn’t have available. “Is this ok?” Pepsi puts a spin on it by including Steve Carrell who gets up and makes a big deal about Pepsi being more than ok. Although some people do order Coke over Pepsi, they didn’t focus on that side of it but instead brought it up and turned it around to be lighthearted. After mentioning the Pepsi brand name multiple times throughout the commercial, viewers are left to think about that advertisement and the joy they felt in watching it every time they’re asked “is Pepsi ok?,” instead of feeling upset that they can’t have a Coke.

BIG Results for Local Businesses

Today we go through a report for a client currently on our Facebook Messenger program. They are in their 2nd and a half month and have already achieved 5x monthly ROI. We have helped them get predictable sales month over month, tracking exactly how much each customer spends. How many marketing programs have you used where you can see every month how much someone spends as a direct result of that program?

Limited Budget?

Do you have a limited budget as a small business? Where do you start when it comes to marketing? Often times we hear businesses who acknowledge they need marketing help but have limited resources. The question is always, “how do I know where to start?”

Do you know your customers birthdays?

Today we go through how you can use Facbook Messenger to automate personalized messages that are sent every year to your customers on their birthdays. They can even include offers or coupons to drive them into your store. The best part is, you don’t have to do any data entry or keep track of a birthday list for email marketing. The system does it all for you.

 

5 Millennial Marketing Tips for Hotels

bill-anastas-241386-unsplash

The hotel industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Travel has become increasingly popular over recent years, expanding much of its popularity with the Millennial generation. Bookings in travel and tourism reached almost $1.6 trillion in 2017, with global hotel industry estimated to exceed $500 billion by the end of 2018. Although this industry is growing rapidly and expected to continue to grow in the coming years, it is still essential that businesses operating within the hotel industry market to their customers effectively to continue to stand tall in this competitive landscape. Here are 5 marketing tips for marketing to Millennials in the hotel industry…

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 5.17.27 PM.pngOne of the most important aspects for customers in choosing a hotel is what it looks like; does the bed look old and dusty? Are the carpets outdated and ugly? How big is the bathroom? Is there a TV? The questions are endless. Customers turn to pictures to answer their questions. It’s easy enough for you to claim, “Beautiful, picturesque views of the countryside right outside your window!”, customers need to see it to believe it!! Posting pictures of your hotel rooms is a great way to attract customers as well as gain their trust that you offer high quality accommodations!

Click here to view our MaxExposure Social Media posting products!

LOYALTY is KEY

In the hotel industry, customer loyalty is essential. Once customers have had a good experience at your hotel, they are encouraged to choose your hotel brand for their next travel location as they are already familiar with it. Offering discounts for first time customers is a great way to get new customers in the door and enjoying your services. If your hotel is offering a lower rate and your hotel looks high quality in your pictures, they will be more willing to give your hotel a try over others they have already visited.

There is no Such Thing as no Transparency

With all of the reviews on travel sites for hotels, airlines, and so on, there is no such thing as no transparency. Be sure to be 100% honest on your site and social media accounts in regards to the services your hotel offers and the quality of the accommodations. If customers visit your hotel with false expectations, they will be disappointed by what they receive and therefore give your hotel a terrible review. If they go in with more realistic expectations, they are more likely to be presently surprised by extra offerings they are given and added customer service they did not initially expect!

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 5.20.12 PM

Maximize Reviews and GET MORE VIEWS!

Reviews are extremely important in the hotel industry as many customers first instinct in searching for a hotel to stay at is to look at third-party sites such as Expedia or TripAdvisor. After looking at price and pictures, the third aspect they’re going to look at is your customer reviews. To insure you build up your reviews and always have relatively new reviews for your hotel, offer incentives such as, “free breakfast in the morning if you write us a review!”

If you want to increase the amount of views your hotel receives online by improving your SEO click here to view our MaxExposure SEO products!

Utilize Online Efficiencies

With the new technologies and advances in Internet usability, you can greatly enhance your customers experiences in booking a hotel room, viewing new price deals, and so on. Many hotel chains have taken advantage of this by adding virtual 3D visualization of hotel rooms on their sites so customers can get a more enhanced look at what their accommodation is going to look like. Making customers’ experiences on your hotel site easier and more engaging encourages them to directly visit your hotel’s site as opposed to looking for deals online amongst you and all your competitors. This will maximize your hotel’s profitability by increasing your customer loyalty and sales!

Click here to check out our MaxExposure website builder product!