Tuesday, February 20, 2018

5 Tips for Managing Social Media When You Have Limited Time

With the massive number of people actively participating in online social media platforms, it's become a necessity for your business to get organized with your social media marketing.  As social media continues to change the way people communicate, it is an increasingly important tool for small businesses.

But where does a small business owner or manager find the time to create and post content and keep multiple social media profiles active?

Keeping up with social media for your businesses doesn’t have to mean a heavy time commitment.  Here are some tips to help:
Social Media Marketing

1. What’s the Plan?
Every action you take on your social media platforms should be part of a larger strategy and plan. Define what you want to achieve on social media (ex: build your brand, increase sales through offers, drive traffic to a landing page, promote a new product line, etc.) and develop a strategy to get there.  If you map out a plan, the more effective you’ll be in its implementation.

2.  Create Content in Bulk
Set aside time once or twice a month to create your content. Follow industry keywords, relevant people in your industry or trending hashtags to keep up on the latest news.  Create your social posts from all the info you collect.  In addition to info and news about your products and services, offer valuable industry info to keep readers coming back.

3. Advanced Scheduling
Use automation to make your life easier. Who has time to post on multiple social sites daily? Schedule the bulk of your social posts in advance.  Facebook has a built-in scheduler. Just click the drop down button next to the Publish button to select the exact date and time when you want your post to publish.

Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer can connect to all your social media accounts so you can create and schedule posts for future dates. 

4. Share and Repost
Sharing, retweeting and reposting content from others will save time while providing strong content. But be sure that the content is related to your brand, products or services in some way and be sure that it offers value to your target audience/followers.

And save time by reposting some of your old content. Not all posts get read the first time around republish your evergreen content.

5. Hire an Expert
If you find that you just can’t keep up with social media, it might be time to hire a professional. Depending on your budget and goals, a freelancer or a marketing agency may help you better leverage social media to grow your business.

Monday, January 8, 2018

New Features and More Reasons to Use Constant Contact for your Email Marketing

Email continues to offer the highest return on investment in comparison to other digital marketing channels. Easy to use email marketing tools can help increase sales, engage customers and generate positive word of mouth. Smart business owners, like you, are using email to get the attention of prospects and clients.  

While there are many email marketing solutions available, Constant Contact has the added features and support that make it a winning solution. Check out these important marketing features that you need in your email marketing solution:

 Maximize Your Open Rate
Compare two subject lines with an A/B test (a.k.a.split test) to ensure you’re sending the most effective subject line to your contacts.

Maximize your open rates by making sure you’re sending the best subject line. Create two subject lines which will be sent to two small groups. The winning subject line will be sent to the remainder of your list.

Increase Your List Growth
Increase your contact list by creating and installing a pop-up sign-up form on your website. Maximize your list growth with a pop up sign up form for your website. Forms can increase sign ups more than 150% than traditional sign up boxes.

Another great list growth asset is the Text-to-Join sign up tool which allows your customers to join your email list via text message. No websites, no sign up sheets. Just choose a keyword for subscribers to enter and prospects can use this channel to submit email addresses via their cell phones.

    Import Your Outlook Contacts
With just a few clicks you can move all of your contacts stored in Outlook into a single list in Constant Contact. 

    Email Click Segmentation 
    Send the Right Information to the Right Contacts
Segmenting your lists is a marketing best practice, especially if your list is large or you have several different audiences. Segmentation allows you to send the right information, to the right contacts. 

When you set up click segmentation in a Constant Contact email, every time a contact clicks a link, a button, or a clickable image in your email, they can automatically be added to a list of your choosing. 

You can either use this list for future emails or trigger an auto responder email that is sent immediately.

These are just a few of the latest features that differentiate Constant Contact as an email marketing tool.  

Small businesses can build new relationships with prospects and foster existing client relationships by sending professional-looking email communications regularly. 

For help with your email marketing plans, contact me at jocelynm@marketing-er.com.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Social Media Tips for Real Estate Agents

Social media is no longer an option for real estate agents. In order to optimize the services you offer to your clients and to keep up with the competition, real estate professionals need to step up their social media game. Here are a few tips to help you succeed:

1. Provide Useful Content

Content marketing can make even small agents stand out from this crowded field.  By providing consistent tips and information (example: 4 Reasons Why Fall is the Best Time To Buy a Home) or 'how to' lists, you'll be educating buyers and sellers and providing value.

2. Post Video on Your Social Media

  • Funny or insightful videos that solve problems, answer questions, or are just entertaining can often reach a broader audience through social shares. 
  • Ask your happy clients to create a short video about their experience with you and how their lives have changed since making their home purchase or sale. Testimonials are great tools to post on social media.
  • Agents should always be in their promotional property videos (not just narrating) to add interest and to let buyers and sellers know who you are. Use them often on social media and you'll see an increase in your social engagement.

3. Create Useful Infographics

Instead of sending your prospects and clients reports and spreadsheets, educate them by using attractive infographics. It's a great way to convey data or facts using images and design.

4. Advertise via Facebook

Facebook's ads provide cost effective ways to get in front of a precise demographic using behavioral targeting.  Gain a competitive advantage over agents who are still using old school marketing by leveraging Facebook's ad platform.

5. Develop a Plan

Simply having a few social media accounts and posting periodically isn't enough. Creating goals and plans will help you get organized and know the proper steps to take to achieve your end results.

What social media tips can you add? Please share in the comments.

If you need help with your social media or other marketing, contact me today! jocelynm@marketing-er.com or 203.543.1455.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Repurpose Your Publicity

Congratulations! You or your business has just been featured or quoted in an article in an industry publication or regional newspaper.  Having a third party publish information on your business, products or services can give you the kind of credibility that no advertisement can.

Now it's time to consider how you can maximize your publicity or leverage it as a useful sales and marketing tool. Here are a few ways to extend the buzz and the life of your press coverage:

1. Post on Social Media- Share a link to the article on both your Facebook  Page and Personal Profile, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks.

2.  Showcase it in your Newsletter or Blog- Repurpose your recent press by posting a media coverage roundup in your newsletter and/or blog.  Roundups typically revisit positive PR by outlining and linking to recent pieces of coverage.

3.  Include a Link on your Website- Include a list with links of all your news coverage (radio interview, web articles, print, etc.) on a Press Page on your website.

4. Leverage it as a Sales Tool- Print copies or create PDF's of the article for inclusion in your marketing collateral or proposals to prospects and clients.

What other ways have you repurposed your publicity? Leave a comment below!

Monday, May 15, 2017

What's a Good Email Open Rate?

Do you know how your email open rates measure up to similar businesses in your industry?

Your email open rate, an important marketing metric, is a tally of how many people open or view a particular email campaign.  Open rates are typically expressed as a percentage and this is the formula:

Open Rate= Unique Opens / Number of Emails Sent

As a business owner or marketer, tracking your open rates (along with a few other email metrics) and attempting to improve them should be a priority.  Keep a spreadsheet of your email open rates and establish your quarterly open rate average.  Now you can do a quarterly comparison to identify trends or patterns.

You can also use your open rate average to compare yourself to others in your industry.

The chart below (source: Constant Contact) contains open rates by industry and other email metrics: bounce rate (percentage of bad emails), click through rate (percentage of people who clicked on links in your email) and unsubscribe rate (percentage of people who leave your list).

Check out your industry's email open rate and see how you compare: 

Stay tuned for next month's blog where we'll discuss how to improve your open rate!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Why Email is the Top Marketing Tool

Although email marketing might not get the praise that the latest social media platform does, it can have a far wider reach than all the social networks combined.  Email generates a significantly higher click-through rate and total return on investment.

If your business or nonprofit isn't emailing your clients, prospects, and donors regularly, you're missing out on an important marketing opportunity. Email is inexpensive, yet effective, simple to execute and ideal for small business marketing. With user-friendly tools like Constant Contact, you can easily develop newsletters, promotions, coupons, invitations, announcements and more.  

Here are some stats to confirm the importance of email in your marketing:
  • Email gets delivered 90+% of the time
  • For every $1 spent on email, there's a $44.25 average return on investment 
  • 91% of US adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with. 

(sources: Direct Marketing Association, Marketing Sherpa)

The core of your business is about developing relationships with your clients and prospects.  By emailing quality content or emails with a purpose, you can manage and nurture those relationships and build your business too. 

Start working on your email campaigns today!  Or contact me at 203.377.9980 for help in creating and distributing your emails to maximize results.