5 Subtle But Effective Digital Marketing Strategies

5 Subtle But Effective Digital Marketing Strategies
Image credit: Entrepreneur Media Inc.
JUNE 29, 2015

The buzz phrase in digital marketing has been “content is king” over the past few years. As entrepreneurs, we all know the only constant in our world is change. And with that, content marketing is evolving. Most content is creating noise and assaulting our senses as consumers.  It is time to maximize our efforts, simplify and build content that engages, acquires and converts.

Welcome to the age of the “sales trailer,” the creative pieces of content that get you to go to the movie that took millions of dollars, teams of talented people and years to create. The same is happening to our businesses: We have the drive and ambition to build incredible products or services and we want to tell everyone everything about it. We need to realize that it’s not about us but about entertaining them — the customers that buy the tickets to our movies.

But it’s no longer how much. Below are the trends I see influencing less-is-more in digital marketing.

1. Precedent set: Apple’s minimalism movement wins

The standard has been set in terms of design, product and messaging. The marriage of boldness and simplicity has changed the digital marketing game forever. The most successful and iconic brands of the day — Apple, Uber, Nike, Google — all market using bold strategies that say very little. Their success is due to creating massive channels of advocates. As well as their ability to brand an instantly recognizable image or slogan that instills particular values and warrants a calculable response.

2. No one really reads,  they digitally skim

You are probably skimming this article. I was once told, paper is for the heart, the screen is for the head. The way people consume information has evolved – folks want information quick and easy; infographics, videos, pictures, you name it. Multimodality and omni-channel is the name of the game; people simply don’t have the time (or the desire) to consume information that requires a hefty time investment. Quick bursts that effectively summarize a topic get a message across far more effectively than a lengthy document.

3. Get to the info fast — like right now!

We want our information fast: a picture is worth a thousand words, a video could very well be worth a thousand sales. When I look at new client’s sites or marketing, 90 percent of what I see is endless noise. We fall into a habit of throwing so many words at the audience, very little of which make a genuine impact. Poorly marketed information nets minimal attention. Marketers must get to the point as soon as humanly possible through highly relevant and deliberate diction. Spread through the right channels, the right content is the difference maker and can create an astounding impact, even with just a few words.

4. Get advocates to spread your message.  

In the current world of shares, follows and likes, build content I want to send to my friends, post to my followers and connect with emotionally.

Say it quickly and say it well. Content has to be exciting and it has to stand on its own legs so it can essentially market itself. Remarkable content speaks for itself and creates peer-to-peer endorsements.

Make your message something meaningful so people feel the urge to spread it. From there, sit back and watch as the digital marketing ecosystem works itself.

5. Sales trailers, no more books

So many tell their story around a product feature, advantage or benefit. The core of your digital brand is in your story. Craft a message that resonates, engages and impacts your audience emotionally. Take that story and whiteboard a piece of creative with your team only about that message and belief. Let everything else follow from there. Your team will start sharing it and then others will follow. Eventually, you will sell tickets to your movie and consumers will get the whole story, but start with the trailer.

 

How to Use a Mobile App to Increase Repeat Business

Studies show that it is more cost effective to market to existing customers, than it is to acquire new ones.  With that being said, a Custom Mobile App is the PERFECT tool to help you do just that!  Mostly people these days spend a good number of their time on their mobile phones. From playing games, surfing, shopping, paying bills to contacting their friends and family members, everything is now so simple, time efficient and straightforward.

Today almost all businesses have websites, and the mobile app is also becoming a staple in most business’ marketing repertoire.  For a business to not only survive but thrive, it is imperative that all avenues to connect and engage with perspective clients be embraced.

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Some Recent Mobile Apps Success Stories

Denim Industries, Back to Cali, Organico Vitamins and Natural Touch Rehab, are all Small Business Success Stories. Each of the apps developed by these savvy businesses helps in different ways. Some of them aid in driving traffic to their bricks & mortar locations, some keep clients informed of appointments and policies while all give the business owner the ability to enhance their companies perception with their clients. Many of the apps also have full scale loyalty programs built in, as well as a plethora of marketing tools, add that to the not too subtle ability to have your logo on a device that is used by your customer constantly.

Benefits

            Companies need to build an app that boost up its repeat business using mobile coupons, loyalty programs, real-time deals and much more. A company can drive customer engagement when and where it counts with push notifications and location-based messaging. These apps help a lot in promoting brands plus the spread awareness among your customers about your business. You can provide social sharing tools and options so that not only the purchases will be made but customers will be able to share their experiences too, thus giving your content the ability to go viral.

These apps help company in sending news alerts, information about new products, coupons and deals to their customers. No longer does a business have to rely on marketing efforts that are not able to reach a customer effectively.  Today a business that has their customers download their apps, have the ability to reach them 24/7, and not only reach them, but know that they are receiving their messages.  Traditional paper advertisements or other media channels, are pretty expensive and are less likely to be noticed by most of the customers. Mobile apps help you boosting your repeat business by targeting people that want to receive your content.

Canadian Small business, improve customer relationships by developing smartphone applications

Great Article in the Toronto Star as to how important Mobile Apps are for Business Owners.

Apps – those things you install on your smartphone or tablet to perform specific tasks – have traditionally been seen as a luxury offering available only to large or tech-savvy organizations.

Apps – those things you install on your smartphone or tablet to perform specific tasks – have traditionally been seen as a luxury offering available only to large or tech-savvy organizations.

A small business can’t easily afford to invest $10K – $40K to develop a customer-friendly app. But new products available now let small businesses purchase their app services on a monthly basis, just like internet and phone. These cover areas such as payments, scheduling, and appointments, messaging and marketing with coupons, deals and social sharing.  This means that, for the first time, apps are now affordable for small businesses — and they may be one of your best secret weapons to staying competitive.  With more than one million applications available across the Google Play and the Apple App store, and users spending nearly half a day each month using the programs, the message is clear: users like apps.  With this in mind, here are five reasons why a small business should consider investing in its own mobile application:

Customer service – providing information at the fingertips of your customers is a significant value add. From the convenience of wherever/whenever they are, they can find information that is essential to their purchasing decision.
Retention through brand recognition – Staying top of mind is easy when an app puts your company’s logo in front of your customers.
News and information updates – Whatever you need to share, an app gives you the ability to ensure a customer’s smartphone has up-to-date information. From holiday closures to extended hours to trending news and reviews or something as simple as construction they might want to avoid while making their way to your business, an app can be a valuable information resource.
Company image – Having your own app projects a professional, tech-savvy image. It shows you’re invested in the latest customer trends and can make your business appear larger or more well established than it may in fact be.
Push out messages for promotions/launches – Apps are a new direct line of communication with customers. You can push out notifications for promotions and new product and service launches, literally putting the news in the palm of your audience’s hands. Plus, these notifications tend to stand out from the stream of emails most people receive about the other guy’s promos.

5 Ways to Maximize your Mobile Strategy

For the first time, mobile devices outnumber people. This benchmark underscores a crucial fact for entrepreneurs: as the number of mobile devices rises, so do their importance.

Apple Will Constantly Remind iPhone Owners to Buy an Apple Watch

Eighty-five percent of consumers believe their mobile devices are essential to daily life. Clearly, the mobile interface is crucial for consumers, and the savvy businesses that hope to connect with them increasingly choose to do so via smartphones and tablets. A mobile strategy can help companies of all sizes reach more customers and help maintain a strong market presence.

But creating a mobile strategy involves more than building an app. A great strategy ensures that your in-person, mobile and traditional online experiences communicate a cohesive message that motivates customers to interact with your business. Here are five ways to maximize your mobile efforts:

  1. Design great experiences.

Make sure you deliver a customer experience that enables users to interact with your brand in new and exciting ways. Most users have experienced the frustrations of trying to navigate a mobile website, with distorted layouts and impossible navigation.  This is why they prefer a native app experience.  So when you are planning your app with your developer, make sure you address ease of use, and functionality.

  1. Make your strategy scalable.

Mobile App downloads are projected to double during the next 3 year period, and the smartphone market is forecasted to grow by more than 10 percent every year for the next four or five years. Your mobile strategy must be flexible, so allow and plan for rapid growth.

  1. Look to Unify User Experience.

When possible look to align user experience across multiple channels, make the visual of your app align with that of your website, online shop, and your bricks and mortar location.  Having the ability to link to your facebook, twitter, website and ecommerce sites is a definite plus.

  1. Find a strong team.

A bare-bones app can cost upwards of $10,000 to develop, and developing a more in depth experience can run in into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Having a solid team of developers is critical to building successful apps.  Look at the experience of your prospective developers, and if at all possible contact some of their existing clientele for feedback on support, and overall satisfaction.

  1. Extend your OWN Brand.

There are 2 different models that enable business owners today to launch a mobile strategy.  The first is to join a community of merchants inside of the app of the developer. Your company will appear geographically alongside other participating merchants. While you may expose your brand to potential customers that may have never heard about you, the probability is that you will not.  Why because users of these types of Apps, do not look for other merchants when using the loyalty aspect of the app at their businesses of choice.  Additionally you will be required to promote this app to your customers, and if you do gain some from your inclusion you may also lose some for the same reason.  The second and most effective is to develop your OWN custom app, where you do not share your customers with your competition, and you extend your own brand, with your logo and the credibility that comes along with having your own custom app.

Denim Industries is a great example of a merchant that tested several of the multi merchant platform, and eventually ended up going with their own mobile app, developed by Mass Mobile Apps.

A mobile strategy that’s tailored to your goals and connected to your customers’ needs will help you connect with your target audience on a deeper level, additionally a strong mobile strategy will also accelerate your company’s growth in a market place where mobile technology is quickly becoming an expected avenue to maintain and nurture customer relationships.

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A Mobile App – A gift that keeps on Giving!

No longer hold the belief that building loyalty is through discounting, but rather by building a strong bond between brand and customer.  The connections that customers attach to a brand must also be considered as being added value.  Businesses that have already made their brand mobile and sociable have risen to the top by prioritizing loyalty and by developing emotional connections with their customer.

The customer is the heart of a business, and a good way to increase customer satisfaction is to keep the customers needs central to all business operations, from the top down.  Furthermore, by incorporating current technology to ensure a business provides the customer service that consumers expect, business owners can expect to turn that loyalty into increased revenue and a healthier bottom line.

The most anticipated holiday season of the year is only 30 days away businesses must be prepared to leverage this technology to increase customer retention which will translate into a successful Christmas season!

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your Holiday Season is the best one yet!

1.  Content Marketing – Keep it fun and reflective of the season, special promos and themes

2.  Discounted Shipping – Offer special rates for delivery

3.  Social Media – Make regular updates, especially during the holidays when usage is at its peak!

4.  Customer Service – OVER DELIVER!

5.  Support a Local Charity – Tis the season for giving…setup a promotion with a local charity

6.  Appify – Get a gift that keeps on giving – to your customers!  Mobile apps can update customers on current events and offers that your business has, and with features like push notifications, you will have access to your customers 24/7!

Are you Really Delivering?

The same rules apply for all businesses, customer service is key to being successful and profitable.  Earning the loyalty and trust of potential customers and keeping it can seem overwhelming.  With competition, many retailers are struggling to keep their doors open.  Small businesses and large chain stores have all been effected.  Some of the retailers that have found great success in the past have dramatically cut back or disappeared altogether.

“There’s a lot of fear how the landscape is changing, there are lots of rumors about who is weak and who will go down next,” retail analyst and former Eaton’s executive Jim Danahy says.

The retail landscape is changing at an alarming rate, along with customer needs and demands.

So now more then ever before a business that wants to be successful must provide the ultimate experience for its customers.  Along with implementing the basic strategies for exceptional customer service (http://visual.ly/25-skills-excellent-customer-service), technologies should be utilized to improve the overall experience, since it is relevant not only to the owner, and employees but also to the customer.

Most customers research on line before purchasing a product, checking out reviews, making product comparisons as well as getting the best price.  However, the customer will still most of the time purchase in store rather than online, because they value the “shopping experience”.  As a result retailers must engage their customers by keeping the lines of communication open, by improving and evolving based on their suggestions  of how to make their shopping experience a positive one.  It is important to encourage suggestions, ideas, and feedback from customers to remain viable in today’s retail world.

Technologies like loyalty apps are crucial, since loyalty and rewards go hand in hand.  Retailers who reward loyal customers for their repeat business , retain more customers than those retailers that don’t.  To keep remaining relevant it is essential to offer something of value as a bonus for choosing your brand over a competitor.   A loyalty app can make the shopping experience for its customer exciting, convenient and rewarding.

PROMOTE, ENGAGE and REWARD

A common mistake made by many retailers is investing too much of their marketing budget on trying to get new customers, rather than investing in the customers they already have.  Companies/brands must first reward their profit makers for being loyal.  A business should differentiate between customers who bring the most value to their business and reward them accordingly.   To drive activity and boost revenue from a business’s loyalty program it needs to incorporate a tiered reward based platform to reward it’s most valuable asset it’s repeat customer. A spend more – earn more strategy  by rewarding VIP customers based on the value that they bring to your business. By offering discounts and special privileges business’ are afforded the opportunity to build closer relationships with their ideal customers.  Rewarding VIP customers in a tiered loyalty program may include:

1) offering  free goods for liking and sharing on social media.

2) discounts and promotions.

3) special buying opportunities(e.g. advanced viewing of new product).

4) offer preferential service terms/ offer special service(e.g.waiving minimum order quantities).

5) offer cost on products that are affiliated with a big regular priced purchase(e.g.purchase of a coat at regular price, offer either hat, scarf or gloves at 50%off retail).

6) reward introductions and referrals (e.g.offer discounts or free gifts for every new customer they introduce to the business.

7) entice customers to spend more then intended (e.g. spend $50 and get double rewards).

It is a mistake to underestimate the a value loyal customers brings to your business, since they are the ones who purchase more frequently and recommend your brand!

Does your loyalty program recognize the benefit of differentiating rewards to reflect the value they bring to your business?

5 Reasons why business owners need a mobile app

Why business owners need a mobile app

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Mobile apps are the fastest growing segment in mobile marketing, and will be a driving force for any business to achieve not only sales success but to establish brand loyalty.  All SME’s need to be up to speed with the technological developments, as well as keep pace in the market and MOST IMPORTANTLY be of use to their customers.  It is no longer a question of whether your business will adopt a mobile strategy, but rather when it will happen.  Here are 5 reasons why you should invest in a mobile app:

  1. The very near future is going to be all about mobile

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Estimates are that by 2015 there will be over 2 billion smart phones in use.  Of these users approximately 39% will not even own a laptop or desktop computer.  The only way they will be able to access the World Wide Web, is via their smartphone of tablet.  Pair that information with the fact that 55% of searches on mobile devices result in some form of action, either a visit to an actual bricks and mortar store front, a telephone call, or a purchase, confirms the relevance of mobile devices.  An astute business owner will realize that early adoption is the key, and be at the fore front of the mobile revolution.

  1. Mobile will encourage local shopping

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Small business owners who lean on their local community will need to start thinking of their mobile strategy if they are to stay competitive, and hope to increase their market share.  A recent study done by Pew Internet & American Life Project, has shown that 74% of smartphone owners use location services to find places they plan to visit, such as retail stores, restaurants, and cafes.  Another study conducted in 2013 indicated that 66% of buyers planned to do their Christmas shopping in local and independent stores, and that 68% of them planned on using their mobile devices to assist them with purchases.

 

  1. Mobile payments

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Some merchants have already begun offering mobile payment methods for consumers, and all major processing companies have invested heavily in updating aging hardware to be able to transition to mobile payment systems. Apple, and Android devices are already capable, and it won’t be long before the option of mobile payment will be as prevalent as the traditional plastic credit card.  It is no longer the American Express card that people don’t leave home without – it is the smartphone!

 

  1. Users

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To keep your customers coming back, its time you not only show them you value their business but you prove it as well.  How can you do this with a mobile app? A built in loyalty program will do the trick!  This will not only give your customers further incentive to shop with you, but will also make sure that your app is not something that is downloaded and then deleted shortly after. Studies have shown that applications with any types of rewards are maintained on mobile devices, even if the user no longer uses the app.  Investing in mobile is a good way for business owners to stay competitive and relevant in their respective fields. The future is now!

  1. Speed and all the other virtues

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Today’s consumer does not only want quick and instant service, they expect it.  If a customer cannot get they want out of your website within a few seconds, they are on to the next one, likely your competition. If your business has developed its own smartphone app, your customers will be able to contact you in seconds, and it will be much easier for them to do it this way.  It is services like this that will separate you from your competition!

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The Mobile Web is Dead, It’s all about Apps!

It is becoming more apparent that the one thing people today don’t leave home without is not their American Express card, but their smartphone.  They aren’t spending the day making calls, so what are they doing?

Data shows that the average user checks their phone about 110 times a day, and throughout the day they are spending 86% of their time in mobile apps.

The accompanying chart from mobile analytics company Flurry shows just how dominant the native app is compared to the mobile web.  The chart shows a 6% growth in mobile app usage compared to a 6% decline in mobile web usage.  More significantly, the read rate of promotional emails is between 5% – 20%, whereas a push notification is read at an astounding rate in excess of 97%.  It’s still too early to predict the course apps will take in 2014, but it’s clear to see that mobile web activity is dwindling and the apps are taking over. Now every company in the world is adjusting to that reality

Amazon doesn’t have to build native apps — Amazon essentially has no competition. So why do they do it? Any why does eBay, and Facebook, and Twitter, and all the others who pour masses of development dollars into apps that no one needs?

Your customers are checking their phones 110 times a day — do you have a mobile app?

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source: http://blog.flurry.com/bid/109749/Apps-Solidify-Leadership-Six-Years-into-the-Mobile-Revolution