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The Hive: A Business Building Blog

By Marcelle Bryant 31 Jul, 2017
Do you remember the slogan "WWJD?" It was a slogan that was started to promote Christianity. "What Would Jesus Do?" inspired people to think about how Jesus would react in everyday situations and use that insight when making decisions and interacting with others. It became a very popular slogan. You could find it on bracelets, necklaces, t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and more.

Creating marketing messaging should make a business owner wonder what their customers would do, and it is essential to have the answers before heavily investing in ads.Consider the different types of customers you have or want, and how their needs for your product may differ.Creating buyer personas and tailoring messages to each customer segment will help you increase conversions, reduce churn and increase brand loyalty.

When developing your marketing message,  think about who your customers really are and speak directly to them.With the abundance of ads bombarding customers daily, it's no surprise that generalized messages easily get overlooked. You must get your customers to understand how your product relates to them, fulfills a desire or solves a problem.

What motivates them? What keeps them up at night? What is their biggest problem? What is their favorite part of doing business? What does their best customer look like? What customer do they wish would stop calling them? 

Here are a few tips for creating buyer personas:

Start with research
Primary
  • Contact List
  • Form Responses
  • Social Media Activity
  • Surveys
  • Focus Groups
  • Invoices
Secondary
  • Articles
  • Census
  • Blogs
  • Competitor Ads
  • Industry News
Segment customers
Find commonalities
  • Interests and Hobbies
  • Fears
  • Passions
Statistical information
  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Geographic
Develop character
  • Name
  • Age (range)
  • Gender
  • Finances
  • Image
Personalize message
  • Colors
  • Font
  • Imagery
  • Word Usage

For more information on creating buyer personas, contact Marci B. Marketing& Management at 248-838-9458 or marci@marcibmarketing.com.

Further reading:
https://knowledge.hubspot.com/contacts-user-guide-v2/how-to-create-personas
https://www.singlegrain.com/buyer-personas-2/complete-guide-developing-using-buyer-personas/
https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33491/everything-marketers-need-to-research-create-deta...
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/buyer-persona-definition-under-100-sr
https://www.shopify.com/encyclopedia/buyer-persona
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/05/16/finding-your-audience-the-importance-of-...
By Marcelle Bryant 17 Jul, 2017
Despite many options for digital marketing, email remains a fundamental part of any campaign. Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to get your content directly to traffic you own, whether your message is promotional or conversational. You can easily share information such as corporate updates, sales, product launches, free downloads and more. Although easy to deliver, conversions such as opens and clicks can be more challenging. Many people have multiple email addresses, and can be exposed to hundreds of emails daily. You need to capture your prospects' attention quickly and effectively.

Here are some tips to help you optimize your emails and increase your conversion rates.

  • Header
    • Company logo
    • Tagline
    • View as webpage
    • Social media
    • Menu
  • Subject
    • Personalize
    • Create a sense of urgency
    • Attract attention with formatting
  • Preview
    • Summarize
    • WIIFM
    • Be concise
  • From Name
    • Name 
    • Department
    • Corporate
  • From Email
    • Individual
    • Department
    • Corporate
  • Introduction

    • Graphics
    • Salutation
    • Personalize
    • Purpose
  • Body
    • Graphics
    • Format
    • Length
    • WIIFM
  • CTA
    • Info
    • Color
    • Positioning
  • Footer
    • Contact
    • Unsubscribe
    • Disclaimer
    • Web Address
    • Social Media
For further information on how to create an email campaign, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or marci@marcibmarketing.com.

Further reading:
https://www.marcibmarketing.com/email-marketing-still-works
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/great-marketing-email-anatomy
https://www.sparkpost.com/blog/email-anatomy-infographic/
https://www.vision6.com/pdfs/Anatomy-of-an-Email.pdf
https://www.outboundengine.com/blog/anatomy-of-an-email-newsletter/
http://it.cahnrs.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Anatomy_of_the_Perfect_Email_Design.pdf
http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/the-anatomy-of-a-great-email/
By Marcelle Bryant 10 Jul, 2017
Many business owners are familiar with the term ROI. Return on investment is usually what is top-of-mind when entrepreneurs are considering a marketing investment for their business. They want to know how much money do they get back for what they spend. Although money is important, there are other factors that contribute to the success of a marketing campaign. A few examples are brand awareness, company reputation and customer relations.

Key Performance Indicators are aligned with high-level business goals, ensuring that marketing efforts contribute to overall business success. In order to have proper marketing KPI, you should also have a business plan, as it is the main  reference point for indications of marketing KPI. Here are some common KPIs for marketing:

Digital Marketing
  • E-Commerce
    • Company Website
    • Google Shopping
    • Amaz or ,arci@on
  • Social Media
    • Likes
    • Shares
    • Mentions
  • Paid Ads
    • Clicks
    • Impressions
    • Remarketing

Traditional Marketing
  • Radio
    • Reach
    • Frequency
    • Calls
  • TV
    • Attendees
    • New Customers
    • Mentions
  • Print
    • QR Codes
    • Calls
    • Promo Codes
For more information -on develop-ing key performance indicators for your marketing strategy, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management, LLC at 248-838-9458 or marci@marcibmarketing.com.

Further reading:
http://www.dasheroo.com/blog/kpis-vs-metrics-know-difference/
https://www.optimizesmart.com/understanding-key-performance-indicators-kpis-just-like-that/
http://typeacommunications.com/tie-roi-kpis-metrics-storytelling/
https://www.scoro.com/blog/digital-marketing-metrics-kpis/


By Marcelle Bryant 12 Jun, 2017
Every business owner has to invest to acquire new customers. Maximize your opportunity to interact with excited customers who already have their credit cards in hand. Recommend other products to enhance your customer's buying journey and increase your return on investment for customer acquisition costs by upselling customers with impulse buying. 

For example, if McDonald's spends $1.91 in advertising to get you into the drive through and they sell you a burger for $2.09, they ONLY make $0.18. But if you buy a fries and a coke for $1.90 more... they make (and more importantly keep) $2.08 profit from one visit.

Yes, nearly 12 times the profit of the initial sale! It's much easier to get a customer to buy more on the spot than it is to convince the customer to come back and buy again. Even if they do come back and buy again later, there's no time like the present for you to make another sale.

Have you ever clicked an online ad for a free product such as an eBook or webinar, only to be sold a product after you receive your free offer? Have you ever gone to Target for a mop and ended up with a full shopping cart? Have you ever went to the store to grab one of something, only to pick up another one because there was a BOGO sale and you knew you would use the second one eventually? YOU have been upsold!

Here are a few other examples of how companies upsell by packaging products:
  • Cable, Internet and VOIP Service
  • eBook, Webinar and Membership
  • Burger, Fries and Pop
  • Earrings, Bracelet and Necklace
  • Purse, Wallet and Keychain
  • Mattress, Boxspring and Headboard
  • Shampoo, Condition and Style

Here are a few suggestions for upsells:
  • Get a free product, pay for shipping
  • Buy something, get something free
  • Buy something, get something else at a discounted rate
  • Buy something, get a discount for a future purchase
  • The more you buy, the more you save

Marketing strategies that deliver upsells:
  • Email campaigns
  • SMS campaigns
  • Loyalty Marketing
  • Sales funnels
  • Social media ads

For more information on how to create an upsell product strategy, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or marci@marcibmarketing.com.









By Marcelle Bryant 05 Jun, 2017
Many companies spend money on advertising but fail to benefit from a profitable return on their investment. They lose prospective customers when they fail to provide a funnel for nurturing these leads. The two biggest pitfalls for an advertising campaign are tracking results and converting leads. Landing pages give customer more information specific to their promotion of interest and capture customer information.

Purposes for landing pages:
  • Make a purchase
  • Subscribe to a list (email, blog, etc.)
  • Access a media download
  • Register for a class
  • Get a free product
  • Receive a demonstration

Types of content for landing pages:
  • E-book
  • White Paper
  • Webinars 
  • Videos
  • Exclusive Products
  • Account Membership

Elements of high-converting landing pages:
  • Headline
  • Video
  • Pictures
  • Call-To-Action (CTA)
  • WIIFM
  • Testimonials
  • Sense of urgency
  • Clean layout

Common errors for landing page designs:
  • Too much text
  • Not enough graphics
  • Not specific to related advertisement
  • Does not solve a problem
  • Does not provide a specific action for visitor

For more information on creating landing pages that convert customers, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or marci@marcibmarketing.com. 

Further reading:
http://justcreative.com/2016/09/26/10-essentials-of-a-high-converting-landing-page/
https://instapage.com/blog/landing-page-framework
https://www.leadpages.net/blog/landing-page-elements-success/
http://seopressor.com/blog/7-elements-of-effective-landing-pages/
https://www.webascender.com/blog/6-essential-elements-landing-page-converts-leads/
https://www.geekpoweredstudios.com/9-elements-high-converting-landing-page/
http://searchengineland.com/7-best-ad-landing-page-elements-boost-online-conversions-260212
http://justcreative.com/2016/09/26/10-essentials-of-a-high-converting-landing-page/
https://instapage.com/what-is-a-landing-page-chapter-3
https://www.square2marketing.com/blog/bid/120572/website-home-page-vs-landing-page-what-s-the-differ...

By Marcelle Bryant 29 May, 2017
Today's customers are bombarded with marketing messages all day, every day. They have learned to easily tune out traditional advertising such as radio and television by changing the station or choosing commercial-free stations.  In a digital age where everyone wants information at their fingertips but no one actually wants to be "sold", how does the business owner connect to an audience to give them information on demand without being "salesy"? 

Differentiate your brand, become an industry influencer, build your customer base and attract loyalists with eBooks. You can give the book away as a lead generation tactic, offer it as a bonus for another purchase, or turn the book into a product. Whatever your strategy, developing and marketing an eBook can help your marketing strategy and impact your bottom line. 

1. Differentiate your brand.
Although professionals in the same industry will generally have very similar products or services, many businesses differentiate their brand with messaging, experience and offerings.Becoming a published author improves your credibility and sets you apart from the competition.Taking the time to educate your consumers  helps you build strong relationships with customers who are currently in the research phase of the buying process. 

2. Become an industry influencer. 
Thought leadership keeps you top-of-mind with your customer base. Even if they don't need your services or products at the moment they see your content, sharing information that educates consumers maintains your priority as a resource for them and people they know. They are more likely to share your marketing message with others if you have proven to be a credible resource.  Publishing an eBook offers customers insight on your thought process and industry knowledge.

3. Build your customer base.
eBooks are a great way to build your customer base through lead generation. Before you release your eBook, consider what you want the end result to be. Are you selling a product or service? Are you promoting a blog? What problems will your book help consumers solve? Once you decide these things, you can determine how the eBook fits into your overall marketing strategy. The goal is to frame the marketing message as a solution to their pain points. When they inquire, they become a qualified lead.

4. Attract loyalists.
Developing brand ambassadors, enthusiasts and loyalists is no easy task in today's world of marketing. Customers like to work with business owners who are professional and deliver quality results. If you offer actionable to help customers reach desired results, they automatically become a walking billboard for you. They will be eager to tell stories about how your book helped them accomplish a goal. 

Now that you know a few ways that an eBook can help you build a better busienss, here are a few tips on marketing your eBook

  • Promotional Video
  • Submit to eBook stores
  • LinkedIn, Meetup and Facebook Groups
  • Professional Associations
  • Testimonials
  • Podcast
  • Create multiple formats

For more information on developing an eBook, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or marci@marcibmarketing.com

https://www.upwork.com/blog/2016/05/create-ebook-extra-income-marketing-reach/
https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/glossary/ebook/
https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-tools-I-need-to-effectively-create-market-and-sell-an-ebook
http://www.managedoutsource.com/blog/2017/03/ebook-great-marketing-tool-effective-marketing-tips.htm...
https://bookmarketingtools.com/submission-tool-features

 





By Marcelle Bryant 22 May, 2017
Marketing and advertising are terms that get easily confused or misunderstood.Advertising is an element of marketing, but it does not encompass how broad marketing can be.A common mistake is developing a marketing plan that only consists of advertising. A true marketing strategy impacts many departments including product development, research, sales, customer service, operations and more. 

Traditionally, the marketing fundamentals that create a marketing mix are price, product, place and promotion. Over the years, as business and marketing have both evolved due to technology, marketing fundamentals have expanded to include three more elements. People, Process and Physical Evidence were added to benefit service industries, but these elements should be considered in any marketing strategy for thorough planning.

Price
  • Premium
  • Penetration
  • Economy
  • Psychological
Product
  • Define Business Goals
  • Consider Market Opportunities
  • Analyze Audience Pain Points
  • Monetize Solutions 
Place
  • Retail
  • Online
  • Trade Shows
  • Wholesale
Promotion
  • Digital
  • Traditional
  • Events
  • Sponsorships
People
  • Roles
  • Culture
  • Relationship Building
  • Social Responsibility
Process
  • Training
  • Workflow
  • Customer Service
  • Scaling
Physical Evidence
  • Samples
  • Testimonials
  • Facilities
  • Employee Dress Code

For more information on developing a marketing strategy, please contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or marci@marcibmarketing.com

Further reading: 
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/different-types-pricing-strategy-4688.html
http://www.romanpichler.com/blog/elements-definition-product-strategy/
http://community.uservoice.com/blog/how-to-distinguish-between-your-product-roadmap-product-strategy...
http://www.professionalacademy.com/blogs-and-advice/marketing-theories---the-marketing-mix---from-4-...
http://www.smartinsights.com/marketing-planning/marketing-models/how-to-use-the-7ps-marketing-mix/
http://marketingmix.co.uk/
http://www.marketingteacher.com/marketing-mix-4ps-and-7ps/
https://www.cleverism.com/7ps-additional-aspects-marketing-mix/

By Marcelle Bryant 15 May, 2017
Traditionally, creating an ad for television costs customers thousands of dollars for production and distribution. Cable providers and streaming sites are offering customers the option to remove or fast-forward commercials. Mobile devices, tablets, and the growing popularity of new media has given business owners the unique opportunity to produce distribute video for little to no cost. Technology, editing software and video-based websites have made it easier than ever for businesses to create and share videos.

According to HubSpot.com :

2016 saw a surge in the popularity of video as a content marketing format. From  360-degree videos  to  Facebook 
Live , marketers are responding to audiences' shorter attention spans by making content more interactive and visual --
and  it's paying off.    Video is growing to dominate your audience's online activity: 78% of people watch videos online
every week, and 55% watch videos online every   day.   If you don't already have a video marketing strategy in place for
your website and  social media, you're missing a tremendous opportunity to reach and engage with your audience.

Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages all day long, and as a result have become increasingly impatient when it comes to advertising. Videos are a quick way to share lots of information. They let you communicate through words, images and motion all at once. You can even include typography and imagery to insert things like websites and logos. According to Dan Griego with Video Editing Sage , there are five main uses for video. 

Corporate
  • Webinars 
  • Company Culture Videos
  • Event Videos
  • Video PowerPoint Presentations
Sales and Marketing
  • Online Marketing Videos
  • Promotional Videos
  • Testimonial Videos
  • Giveaways Videos
  • Product Videos
Information
  • Training Videos 
  • Video Tips Series
  • Animated Explainer Videos
  • Educational Videos
Entertainment
  • Music Videos
  • Travel Videos
  • Documentary Videos
  • Legacy Videos
News
  • Digital (Online) Journalism videos
  • Interview Videos
  • Video PSAs (Public Service Announcements)

Here are a few different styles of video to consider:
  • Animation: Uses illustrations and special effects. Often used for corporate branding, entertainment or information.
  • Presentation: Uses presentation software such as PowerPoint for creation. Often used for education, sales
    and news.
  • Photo Collage: Uses photographs with transitions and narrations. Often used for entertainment and news.
  • Motion Picture: Uses video footage to create video, may include narration and photographs. Most used style of video.  
For more information on how to integrate video into your marketing strategy, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or marci@marcibmarketing.com

Further reading:
http://www.videoeditingsage.com/types-of-video-productions.html
https://blog.hubspot.com/ marketing /2017-year-of- video - marketing





By Marcelle Bryant 08 May, 2017
Social media is one of the most popular forms of communication today. It has become so integral in our lives, that people have created thriving careers and celebrity based solely on this medium.  Social media is a great way to build and maintain business relationships. Here are a few tips for social media networking.

DO:
  • Be mindful of your audience
    Who are you talking to? Who are you looking for? What kind of problems do they have? What resources do you have to help them find a solution?
  • Be strategic about your messaging
    What does the rest of your content strategy look like? How can your posts compliment your overall theme? How can you include pertinent sales information without being pushy?
  • Be engaging, entertaining and educating
    What are your prospects discussing? How can you naturally interject your business perspective? How often are you accepting event invitations from your social media network? How often are you hosting or participating in Facebook live events and other forms of social media education?
  • Be timely with your responses
    How often are you monitoring your inbox? How soon are you filling orders? How soon are you responding to posts on your page? How consistently are you responding to your company reviews and mentions?
  • Be aware of your brand at all times
    Do you have a personal page and a business page? Have you started accepting friends on your personal page that you do not personally know? Are you being mindful of your privacy settings for more personal posts? 
DON'T
  • Focus on negativity
    Are you airing all of your dirty laundry on social media? Are you having verbal temper tantrums online whenever you get upset in real life? Are you gossiping online or sharing negative images of people?
  • Be scatterbrained
    Are you just posting whatever comes to mind? Are you treating social media, whether personal or business pages, like a diary? 
  • Sound like a broken record
    Are you posting the same products everyday? Are you talking about the same topics everyday? Are you posting the same info across all social media accounts?
  • Ignore  negative reviews
    Are you deleting negative reviews without addressing them? Are you ignoring messages from dissatisfied customers? Are you arguing with customers on your wall or newsfeed?
  • Be a spammer
    Are you throwing advertising information blindly to your audience? Are you soliciting groups with product links? Are you inboxing people about buying your product or watching a video randomly?
For more information on creating a social media strategy, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or marci@marcibmarketing.com.

Further reading:
http://sproutsocial.com/insights/build-customer-relationships/

By Marcelle Bryant 01 May, 2017
I used to work for a guy named Tom and he taught me the importance of thought leadership within your industry. We used to have hours-long brainstorming sessions, complete with easels, whiteboards and Sharpies. No matter what I proposed, he always wanted to know, "How does this give us a unique perspective in the industry? What does the competition have to say about this? What problem does this help our customers solve?" He was adamant about being "first to paper," and differentiating ourselves within the industry through thought leadership.

Here are a few ways to share a unique perspective:
  • New industry segments
  • New uses for current products
  • New product developments

Here are some of the most common forms of content to develop thought leadership:

1. Infographics
Infographics, like the name, are a combination of information and graphics. Though they vary in size, they are most often created as PDFs and posted on websites or social media platforms. Vector illustrations, geometric shapes,  graphs, statistics and hyperlinks are all popular infographic content. Be sure to connect your content with a customer pain point and offer a call-to-action with contact information.

2. Webinars
You've seen an ad on LinkedIn or Facebook for free information on a topic, and before you knew it you were signed up for a webinar. You shared your name and email, and maybe even your phone number and job title to reserve your space. They give you great information, and at the end of the webinar let you know how their services can help you solve your problem. Shortly after, they contact you via email or telephone to see what you thought of the webinar and schedule and appointment to learn more about you or your business. That's a lead generation process for webinars.

It's that easy for your business to generate quality prospects through webinars. You can create a high-end webinar with professional videography, but plenty of businesses have found success with PowerPoint presentations and narration.

3. White Papers
Much like webinars, white papers attract qualified leads. Instead of focusing on graphics and visuals, white papers focus more on content. These content think pieces are usually a few short pages, and can be formatted in PDF form or even produced as a long-form blog. Utilize proper formatting such as headings, image titles, page titles, and metatags to maximize SEO opportunities.

4. E-Books
E-Books focus heavily on content, but are much longer than white papers. They can vary in size, from small chapbooks to digital versions of full-length models. E-Books provide the most opportunity to share thorough information  with prospects and customers. The versatility of e-books allows authors to use them as a lead generation tool or offer it as a revenue-generating product. You have the flexibility to embed media such as images, video and website hyperlinks. E-Books can be interactive or static. Many authors use e-books as a launch pad for offering additional products such as online classes, coaching packages, consulting services, hidden bonus content and other marketing materials. 

Set yourself apart from the competition and become a thought leader.

For more information on developing a content strategy that includes thought leadership, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or marci@marcibmarketing.com

Further reading:
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250414
https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/what-is-thought-leadership-and-when-you-should-u...
http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/9253-thought-leadership.html
https://imagebox.com/industry/thought-leader-become-one/
http://www.cio.com/article/2867406/marketing/how-to-use-ebooks-to-improve-your-content-marketing-str...


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