Monday, August 27, 2018

Grand Opening Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

When done right, grand openings can be big attention-getters and can properly introduce your business to the community. A successful grand opening event can effectively launch your company and positively impact your bottom line.

But it takes hard work, preparation and strategic promotions to make a grand opening work.  Here are some marketing activities and ideas to help you make that happen:

Local PR

Write and distribute a press release to the local media to announce your new business and the grand opening event.  Can you put a unique spin on your business and grand opening to get the attention of the press? What will be happening at your launch that will make it an event to remember?

If a celebrity appearance, flash mob, a parade or something really unique is part of your event, let your local radio and TV stations know. A remote broadcast could happen!

In addition to a press release, send media alerts to local reporters inviting them to come to the grand opening. Let them know the day’s schedule of events and which key people (owners, managers, chefs, celebrities, etc.) they can interview. Have media kits including copies of your press release, brochures, bios, etc. available for distribution.

Your Online Presence 

It’s a given that your business’ new website should be up and running well in advance of the grand opening with all the event details posted on the homepage.

Set up your business’ social media pages in advance of your grand opening to build the online buzz early. Develop a hashtag campaign on Twitter and Instagram to draw some attention to your event.  If you have Facebook followers, create an event and use FB’s paid advertising to promote it to a targeted local audience.  Remember to engage and interact with your social followers too.

Are there adjacent businesses, business partners or social media influencers who can promote your event to their followers? Connect with them early on to build mutually beneficial relationships.

Flyers, Postcards etc.

Even in this digital age, printed promotional materials are still a smart way to promote your event. Custom designed grand opening flyers can help you brand and advertise your new business the right way. In advance of your event, post flyers locally, hand them out or leave them behind at local businesses and residences.

Haven’t build up your local email list yet? Send oversize grand opening postcard mailers to businesses and residents in your zip code without purchasing a mailing list. The United States Post Office’s Every Door Direct Mail program lets you send a mailer to any targeted geographical area at postage prices as low as .18 cents per piece. In addition to geographic location, you can target audiences by age and income too.

Promoting your grand opening is a huge opportunity but it's a big undertaking. If it seems like more than you can take on with the launching of your new business, consider hiring a professional!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Amplify Your Business with Google Posts

Are you using Google Posts to enhance your Google My Business Listing on search engine results pages?

If you have your business listed with Google My Business (if you don’t, you should), you can add a content post to share additional information directly below your business listing. Users will see your Google Post on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) and Google Maps when they search for you.

Google Posts are a free and easy way to boost your business listing.  Posts let you provide information about your products, services or events for people who are searching for your business.  In your post, include an image, video, up to 300 words of copy and add a button (Sign up, Learn more, Buy, etc,) that will link the url you specify.

Posts expire after 7 days so be sure to create a new Google Post weekly.

What Should Post?

Your Google Posts can include any type of information that will promote your business or inform users:

Offers/Coupons- Post info about your weekly sale or promotion
Promote a Product or Service- Add a ‘Learn More’ button to your post that links directly to your product or service web page
Events- Offer details and a link to your upcoming event
Announcements- What’s new and what do you need to tell your prospects and customers!

How to Create Google Posts

Sign in at and click on your business listing

On the Menu, click ‘Posts’

Look for the ‘Create New’ or ‘Write Your Post’ prompt

See options to add photos, text, events, and a button to your post. Simply enter the relevant information in each field. Once you’ve created your post, click Preview to see a preview. If it looks good, click Publish in the top right corner of the screen..  

For more marketing tips, visit

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Local Marketing Musts for Your Business

If much of your business comes from local customers, then local marketing should be a priority.  Even on a limited budget, targeted, local marketing initiatives can be some of the best ways to maximize your marketing dollars.  Here are some marketing ideas to increase your local marketing presence:

1. Online Business Listings
Make it easy for people to find you by listing your business with Google My Business. In addition to Google, be sure you're listed in all of the other significant online directories including Yahoo, Bing, Yelp and YellowPages (to name a few). Make sure your business listings are complete, correct and consistent on all these major sites.

2. Ask for Reviews
Let your fans sing your praises- they're your best local advertisement. According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Encourage happy customers to review you on sites like Yelp, Yahoo Local or Angie's List. 

3.  Connect with Local Journalists
If you regularly read the local newspapers, you're probably familiar with the reporters that cover your city or industry.  Make an effort to form professional relationships with these journalists and they may end up reporting positive things about your business.

4. Facebook Local Advertising
Local ads can help you reach your nearby target audiences. Facebook’s Local Awareness advertising is an easy and affordable way to get in front of people in your neighborhood, city or county. 

5.  Local Email Marketing
Target your emails and include messaging and an offer that local customers can take advantage of. Use a local subject line. Integrate social media to make your local email marketing even more successful.

6. Participate in Community Events
Be sure that your target audience will be in attendance at any local events you commit to. Plan your marketing strategy ahead of time.

For more marketing tips, visit

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