Is Your Small Business Ready for SMS Marketing?
The average email marketing campaign has a 20% open rate. How would a 90% + open rate sound? According to a Dynmark report, SMS texting crushes email open rates at a whopping 98%!
While email is a critical communications tool to stay visible in front of your customer base, small businesses should pivot their thinking and open up to SMS marketing.
SMS stands for Short Message Service, another word for Text Messaging. While MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service, or media sharing via text messaging (photos, videos, emojis, bitmojis, etc.).
Let’s take this one step further, according to Gartner, email response rates are 6% whereas text response rates are closer to 45%.
So let’s jump on the SMS bandwagon and look at our options for small businesses.
What should my SMS messaging look like?
Look at this SlideShare from Jake Jeffries with The Complete Retail SMS Marketing Guide.
Within the framework of SMS, he provides recommendations for the best days of a week and times of day to send text messages.
Message content may include your current sales/promotions, a personalized happy birthday text, holiday greetings, new product announcements and thank-you-for-your-purchase notes, all within 160 characters of a text.
Create content which grabs attention as the text comes through. Calls to action with exclusive offers, are personalized or ask a question make a difference in your messaging.
What are the pitfalls of SMS Marketing?
To be effective at business texting, small business owners must divide the time and resources to create campaigns with a punch. By spamming your customers (sending too many…
As the holiday season approaches, so do the opportunities to ramp up your marketing efforts. Whether you have a retail location, professional organization or service-oriented small business, the amount of possibilities to get the word out are plentiful this time of year.
Here is a list of just a few of the ways to boost your business:
*November 25th is American Express Shop Small Business Day. Small business Saturday is a way to put the focus back on small businesses after the big Black Friday retail box store frenzy. Amex provides digital and print marketing materials to help promote the event.
* Google My Business is a powerhouse for helping your digital marketing efforts. A new, creative tool introduced by Google allows you to search your business and create marketing materials using recent online reviews. Take a peek at Small Thanks With Google to see how it works. All you need to do is to plug in your business name. Google will generate a poster available for print,
Your end result may look like this: (from a bra store client)
Around the holiday season, as more potential customers find your business online, your online reviews are golden as they could make or break getting a new customer. Utilizing Small Thanks With Google promotes your positive reviews throughout your social media channels.
*The most common way to promote holiday cheer is to follow the website NationalDayCalendar.com for fun, unusual and to keep up with National Days such as December 15th–National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day or December 21st–National Re-Gifting Day (just to name a few).
The usual suspects of Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa are mixed in with National Days & Weeks including National Hand-Washing Week (Dec. 4-7) or Crohn’s & Colitis Week (Dec. 1-7).
You’re probably wondering how these National days may help your business? If you are in the medical field, national days revolving around medicine are apropos. Some National Days may not apply to your business, however, if…
One of the biggest ways to make an impact with Digital Marketing posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media sites is with your small business posts. You’ve probably posted handfuls of articles and blogs about the same old topics. These topics can only get recycled a few times until your followers get bored with the same-old, same-old.
What should you do if you’re on the hunt for new, refreshing content which will revitalize your social media feeds? Where should you turn?
I’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to jumpstart your small business social media posts:
Using animals will help you sell. Posts with dog pix get a wide range of viewers and likes as compared with posts including people pix. People love cute dog photos.Here’s an example of a recent Instagram post I created for my Realtor® client. The bottom line: Animal photos sell services and product best!
Quippy quotes will capture more views.
Posting a well-known, overused quote such as “Do one thing every day that scares you.” anonymous
Posting a quote with a little more humor and imagery such as the Thrifting quote shown here.
“I don’t need therapy, I just need to go thrifting.”
What’s the difference? One is more serious and is seen day in and day out on many social media sites. The other is refreshing, new and niche specific. It will get the attention of those who are passionate about thrifting.
What’s the lesson learned?
Stand out from the pack with unique, fun & humorous sayings and quotes. Have fun with your marketing images.
Moving images are gaining traction. We know that video is king when it comes to social media posting. There are several image-based apps out there which utilize moving images with unique features. By utilizing these quick, hit apps, you’ll take a huge creative leap and save time with video editing.
Boomerang-Create captivating mini videos that…
Ready to learn more digital marketing secrets? To help small business owners become more aware about the opportunities available online, I’ve developed this list, along with the first list published last month entitled: Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed.
By empowering business owners to take charge of their marketing efforts, my hope is to help them understand the latest tools available.
No small business is immune to online reviews, good or bad. Your small business is no exception. Yelp is the ‘go-to’ for online reviews. Claim your Yelp page by visiting https://biz.yelp.com . They typically offer $300 worth of free ads. Try it just for the free version to see what it may do for you. Free never hurts. And Don’t forget to respond to ALL online Yelp reviews, whether positive or negative.
Just as Google My Business offers a free business listing, Bing Places for Business does the same within it’s search engine. Register your business by going to Bing Places, fill out your company’s profile and get verification from Bing. Add photos, reviews and utilize their platform to help advance your company’s SEO beyond Google.
Through your Google My Business page, your small business may easily set up an Adwords Express campaign to further your reach. The key benefit of using Google Adwords Express is that it is virtually maintenance free. Set up a campaign, choose an audience, define your budget and then Go! See results quickly.
Google Adwords is more complex. Typically small businesses in highly competitive industries need a larger monthly spend on Adwords to see substantial results. Google Adwords usually involves hiring an agency or Google partner to help set up the ad, oversee it and tweak it as necessary. The complexities are taught online with video lessons, however, if you are spending the ad dollars, it’s worth hiring an expert or Google Partner.
Get your business page Verified on Facebook to maximize it’s reach. It can be said for Facebook…
The Ultimate List for Small Business Owners.
As a small business owner with a website, the ultimate question you should be asking is “What else should I do to get my business found by potential customers?”
What do I need in order to get my small business found on the web?
There are a plethora of tools available, both free and paid, supporting your marketing efforts online. However, small businesses may not have the time and manpower to take advantage of these supports.
Read the following list of Google tools and supports and find a way to set these up ASAP:
Google My Business
Sign up for a business listing, add your logo, add a cover photo, fill in key business details, upload photos and get verified.
Take a look at how a Google My Business listing for my business, High Key Impact, LLC shows on a Google search. (below)
(It’s the box with my profile photo and map on the right side)
Do a run-through using directions from Google Maps to find your business location. Map your address from a variety of locations. The ultimate ‘map-app’ helping customers find your small business location is key! Let’s make sure it works properly.
You have a small business website presence, but how do you know it is working correctly? Google Analytics is another free tool available from Google. Sign up for Analytics (search “google analytics” while signed in), ask your website developer to add the code and within days you will see your website’s visitor data. While there are several key data items in Analytics, ask yourself what numbers are most important to your service or product.
Read this Beginner’s Guide to find how to read and interpret Google Analytics data.
Google Search Console
Keywords are the ultimate search tool used on websites. Many small business owners believe their keywords are all set, however, changes in business focus drive changes in keywords….
Many marketing gurus look at analytics and algorithms to see what works on a never-ending basis. And there are some obvious current trends.
Where content is King, live video is Master-of-the-Universe!
And the ‘Oomph-iest’ live video tool available is free and easy to use!
You’ve probably tried it a couple times and thought “I hate myself on camera” or “What should I say?”.
The idea with Facebook Live is to give your followers information which is interesting & relevant, timely and grabs their attention.
Are you attending an industry-related gathering? Broadcast a few minutes from Facebook Live. Is there an expert guest visiting your business? Broadcast it!
Also, script your ‘Live’ feed in advance so you know what to say. A Facebook Live feed without direction tends to get few viewers, however, if you are introducing a new product or highlighting another product or service, describe in detail all along the Live feed what is happening. Silence will not keep followers watching.
Another key is to stay ‘Live’ more than a minute or two (our normal Facebook video cut-off point) in order for Facebook to notify your followers. Once they see you are live, the hope is that they interact with your broadcast. After the Live portion is over, the Facebook followers who missed it may view it as a newsfeed post. We’ve heard by using Facebook Live consistently, your reach organically tends to get more attention. Try it at different times of the day and various days of the week to see what works best!
By using Facebook Live, your small business marketing may just jump to the next level!
Cheryl Friedenberg, Marketing Consultant, High Key Impact LLC
Small business owners know how overwhelming their operations can be.
Perhaps the sales funnel is dry and administrative needs are taking over your day-to-day functions. Or clients are in need of a lot of TLC lately and your marketing gets pushed to the wayside. Is it that your accountant is awaiting your P&L’s to get taxes together?
My advice: Don’t let your marketing blitz fall apart!
Here are 5 EASY ways to fill your sales funnel this month:
–Send a Quick Email to your clients asking for referrals, testimonials and online reviews.
–Hop Onto LinkedIn and Connect to more friends and professionals as well as local business groups. Post about what you do for a living every so often to remind others what your business is all about. Approximately, 10% of your posts may be ‘sales’ related….the remainder should be industry focused.
–Knock on a Few Doors at a local corporate park and hand out fliers (menus, product brochures or your business card). Follow up with a friendly phone call and potentially offer a freebie if there is any interest. If one administrator in the building is a fan of your product or service, the word-of-mouth referrals may start funneling in.
–Call 5-10 Existing Clients with whom you are most comfortable speaking with and ask for referrals. What can you offer them in return? (It doesn’t necessarily need to be a financial reward..perhaps just a referral for their needs.)
–Keep Up With Your Social Media Accounts with simple posts. You can post a ‘Quote of the Day’, a ‘Slideshow’ of recent photos or all about an Employee of the month. Don’t stop the posts to maintain your social media momentum!
For more quick-hit marketing ideas, contact Cheryl Friedenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.highkeyimpact.com
Sign into your Google My Business account and go to Google Optimize, where you may now sign up for a Beta test. From Google’s page: “Whether it’s a custom-tailored message at checkout or a completely revamped homepage, Optimize shows you which site experiences engage and delight your customers, and gives you the solutions you need to deliver them.”
Google also is providing a Data Studio to take analytics and transform the data into reports, graphs and spreadsheets. Click here for the Google Data Studio.
Vimeo, Wistia and You Tube all offer free online versions to create and market video promotions, testimonials and your business story. If you haven’t heard the…
I’ve narrowed this process down to several small steps so that your business can see growth and results within only a few months. Why not make 2017 the year your business reaches new heights?
Start by doing this…
Hire a Professional. Freelancer or Part-Time Employee. Or perhaps a current employee can build their resume by learning social media marketing from an expert and taking on this project within your organization.
Optimize your Website. Make sure it is mobile-friendly and has all of the back-end SEO set up correctly. Your hire from above will help you with this.
Define your Audience. Based upon your audience demographics, you can easily decide (along with your marketing expert) which social media platforms would be the best fit. For example, a senior citizen audience —and utilizing Snapchat as a tool to reach them— would not be a good fit—Facebook is the ideal choice here.
Start Small. If you delve into too many social media accounts and do not maintain them properly, your brand may take a hit. Take your time with it. Build a Facebook page, create content, develop your Likes and build a solid Facebook presence… Once it’s a well-oiled machine, branch out from there.
Send out Email Newsletters. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, sending a company email to your customers on a consistent basis is crucial to keeping your name in front of them. If you miss out on a buying opportunity versus a competitor, most likely your email campaign is not engaging or content-rich. Make your newsletters worthwhile; say something important and provocative to grab their attention.
Become a Blogger. You know your products/services inside and out and, most likely, are an expert in your field. Why not write about it? If you are not a terrific writer, you have many options for a ghost writer… including your administrator, marketing team or a team member with a writing passion. Add the blog to your website, and voila!, you have automatic content for social…
From October through January, every small business owner should be anticipating what’s to come. Obviously holiday sales are on the horizon for retailers, however, a variety of cyberworld-created events and opportunities will help all types of businesses spread their holiday cheer.
Social media messages about Halloween may include safety messages, happy halloween images, and photos of you and your employees dressed up in costume. This blog from Webs.com showcases some unique messaging from companies.
-Update your email marketing list in order to send out digital holiday messages to customers & clients, reps and vendors/suppliers. Schedule your messages accordingly.
-This is also the time to dive into your holiday ordering and shipping processes. Anticipate volume increasing and hire more staff accordingly. Investigate your sales numbers from previous seasons to give you a sense of expectations.
-Do you also need to deliver holiday baskets or gifts to loyal customers? Add this into your frenzied upcoming schedule. It’s always a powerful touch when the business owner is part of making deliveries.
-It’s the start of Movember. Make a statement in support of men’s health and grow a mustache or beard. Challenge your colleagues to do the same and donate to men’s health causes. Snap photos of you (your staff’s) progression to share on social media channels.
-Think about offering a gift card for your product or services.
November 24th-Thanksgiving (aka Gray Thursday)
The obvious turkey and ‘give thanks’ posts are very common. Shake it up a bit and add unique flair. Since Thanksgiving is the most travelled holiday of the year, offer travel tips on your pages. The folks at Neonbrand.com list additional tips for your Thanksgiving promotions and social media posts. Also remind your followers that it is Gray Thursday–a phrase coined because Black Friday Sales are starting earlier and earlier.
November 25th-Black Friday
Get Ready, Set and Go! This is the big day. Even if you are not a retailer, your marketing opportunities are still rampant on Black Friday. Head over to a big…