Marketing Myths and Why You Need to Nurture Your Relationships

Marketing Myths and Why You Need to Nurture Your Relationships

Why is marketing important? A primary benefit of marketing for your company is that it engages customers (current and potential) and helps them decide whether to purchase your goods or services. Without marketing, your potential customers may never know about your business.

Even though marketing is crucial, business owners frequently slash it first when recessionary worries are pervasive. You might be surprised to learn that reducing your marketing spending during a downturn is one of the worst things you can do for the long-term success of your company. You are putting your company at risk of losing market share, even if it might initially seem like the appropriate decision.

Let’s dispel a few of the most widespread myths about marketing.

#1. I don’t need to do any marketing because I’m so busy and have plenty of clients already.
This is a myth because marketing must be consistent, and the pendulum can swing the other way at any time. For example, if your primary marketing strategy involves billboards, don’t suddenly disappear! Consider your current strategy – are you mostly online or in printed marketing material? If you are investing in a good social media program, remember that social media is all about connecting and staying connected. This is a social marketing strategy and effective to keep and grow relationships.

Think of it this way. You’re too preoccupied to socialize right now. But what about in 6-12 months when you aren’t as busy? Without nurturing and connecting, your relationships will have faded, and you’ll be scrambling to re-establish yourself in the minds of your customers, spending a lot of time (and money) trying to reconnect.

#2. I need to save money, and marketing is an unnecessary expense.
Marketing is more than just an expense. It is a primary source of revenue for most successful companies. One of your company’s objectives is to generate a certain amount of revenue.

During a recession, it is more important than ever to remember that loyal customers are the most reliable and long-term source of cash flow and organic growth. Marketing is not an option; it is a priceless “expense” that is a must for helping to continue generating revenue.

If you spend your marketing dollars wisely and consistently, you will always be the first business that comes to mind when a customer needs your products or services. If you reduce your marketing, someone else’s business will be the first to come to mind. When something is out of sight, it is out of mind.

#3. I have my own website. Someone will find me if they want to.
Ask yourself these questions: How will people find you if you only have a URL and a website? How do you get people to visit your website? SEO alone will not result in a sale. You must have an online presence in more than one location – the internet is a traffic jam.

As we mentioned in a previous blog post, social media provides a ton of opportunity for engagement, allowing you to rapidly react to and reply to customer comments and queries, as well as urge followers to visit your website for more information. Using social media to enhance the human aspect of your business generates an emotional connection, which builds relationships and nurtures trust and loyalty.

#4. For referrals, I only need word of mouth.
Without a doubt, word-of-mouth marketing has numerous benefits. When satisfied customers enthusiastically recommend your company to their friends and family, it helps grow your business.

It’s crucial to keep in mind, however, that many people in today’s culture conduct their own research before even contacting a service provider or making a purchase! Marketing plays a significant role in increasing customer satisfaction as well as boosting awareness and loyalty for your company.

It is beneficial to align good customer service with your marketing efforts to achieve your company’s long-term objectives. Excellent customer service may encourage someone to leave an online review and getting more positive reviews increases a company’s credibility. Remember, much of today’s “word-of-mouth” happens online!

Social media marketing is invaluable for boosting your business’s reputation as well. Simply listening and responding to posts about your company on social media can help you improve customer satisfaction. Businesses that communicate with their customers can increase customer loyalty.

#5. I can handle it myself.
You realize the necessity and value of marketing. However, most people believe that social media is as simple as creating an eye-catching post. Be warned: this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Customers may stop following your social media profiles if you don’t create engaging and unique content. A good mix of blog posts, videos, GIFs, customized graphics, and curated content (content from reliable sources that you want to share) will keep your content fresh and engaging. Your content should be closely related to your overall marketing goal.

Many businesses struggle to create engaging content that reaches their target audience consistently. To promote your products or services, build a community within your target audience, and drive traffic to your website, it takes time and patience to thoroughly research and then create or curate content for social media platforms. An effective social media marketing plan should involve strategic planning, proofreading, and editing before any content goes out on your social media platforms. Choosing which platforms to publish on should also be researched.

We can help you develop and execute a social media plan that works for your business. For more information or contact us online. We’d be happy to email you our guide to planning your social media strategy.

Over to you

A recession can be worrisome, especially for small businesses. However, it can also provide a unique opportunity for them to focus more than ever on their marketing strategy and gain a competitive advantage. Those companies that continue to market themselves during a recession will remain at the top of the minds of their customers. When customers require immediate assistance, they’ll know where to go.

Why Your Business Needs Social Media

Why Your Business Needs Social Media

Establishing social media marketing goals is an important step in growing your business. Having an active and engaging social media presence is an important tool to invite customers to contact you. Social media platforms play a role in identifying and directing interested potential customers to your website and that is invaluable to any growing business.

Here are three major reasons why social media should be a non-negotiable component of your business’ marketing, brand communications, and online presence strategy:

1. Social media provides the same opportunity for brand visibility, regardless of the size of your company.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from social media’s levelling effect. Each is given the same amount of online space, as well as the same options for using appropriate and successful keywords, verbiage, eye-catching images and ads to reach their audiences online, regardless of its size or revenue.

By making it easy to display your brand and offerings online, social media platforms provide one of the most effective marketing and communications strategies for your business. What’s even better? Social media is an inexpensive and convenient way to highlight a company’s online presence. This is especially good news for smaller businesses with limited marketing resources. When users are asking their social media community for recommendations, your business is easy to find, to tag and to recommend!

2. Let’s Talk About Social Listening

Businesses that use social media to listen online rather than only broadcasting all the time will find the platforms are extremely beneficial. Social Listening helps a company gain firsthand knowledge of the issues that are important to their audience and future clients. This information then helps them make decisions, take effective action, and make a positive impact.

As well, businesses are more likely to gain their audience’s trust and loyalty when they remember that social media communication requires both engaging with and listening to their audience! Businesses that consistently concentrate on developing genuine relationships with their followers may end up closing more deals than they would have done by sales calls and advertising alone.

3. Social media improves your company’s visibility, both online and off.

Every day, social media assists companies in enhancing not only their online presence but their offline presence as well. In many cases, a large percentage of consumers conduct online research on potential purchases before making a final purchasing decision. If you want to attract these potential customers, you must strengthen your online presence by creating and maintaining your business social media platforms.

Establishing social media marketing goals is an important step in growing your business. Having an active and engaging social media presence is an important tool to invite customers to contact you. Social media platforms play a role in identifying and directing interested potential customers to your website and that is invaluable to any growing business.

Here are three major reasons why social media should be a non-negotiable component of your business’ marketing, brand communications, and online presence strategy:

1. Social media provides the same opportunity for brand visibility, regardless of the size of your company.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from social media’s levelling effect. Each is given the same amount of online space, as well as the same options for using appropriate and successful keywords, verbiage, eye-catching images and ads to reach their audiences online, regardless of its size or revenue.

By making it easy to display your brand and offerings online, social media platforms provide one of the most effective marketing and communications strategies for your business. What’s even better? Social media is an inexpensive and convenient way to highlight a company’s online presence. This is especially good news for smaller businesses with limited marketing resources. When users are asking their social media community for recommendations, your business is easy to find, to tag and to recommend!

2. Let’s Talk About Social Listening

Businesses that use social media to listen online rather than only broadcasting all the time will find the platforms are extremely beneficial. Social Listening helps a company gain firsthand knowledge of the issues that are important to their audience and future clients. This information then helps them make decisions, take effective action, and make a positive impact.

As well, businesses are more likely to gain their audience’s trust and loyalty when they remember that social media communication requires both engaging with and listening to their audience! Businesses that consistently concentrate on developing genuine relationships with their followers may end up closing more deals than they would have done by sales calls and advertising alone.

3. Social media improves your company’s visibility, both online and off.

Every day, social media assists companies in enhancing not only their online presence but their offline presence as well. In many cases, a large percentage of consumers conduct online research on potential purchases before making a final purchasing decision. If you want to attract these potential customers, you must strengthen your online presence by creating and maintaining your business social media platforms.

Over to you

Are you ready to incorporate social media into your business’ marketing strategy and improve your brand’s marketing and communication strategies? MYOB is here to support you in your social media marketing.

Do giveaways on social media build customer loyalty, followers, and increase business?

Do giveaways on social media build customer loyalty, followers, and increase business?

Do you want to increase the visibility of your brand on social media? Are you dissatisfied with the amount of engagement you’re currently receiving on social media? Running giveaways through social media is one of the best ways to get your products or services in front of new customers. People LOVE free stuff, so giveaways create a win-win situation for both you and your followers. They get something for free and you’re able to promote your business. Here’s what you need to know.

What Exactly Is a Social Media Giveaway?

In exchange for a chance to win a prize, brands, influencers, and businesses encourage their followers to complete a task on social media, such as tagging friends, following accounts, liking, or sharing posts. Because winners are selected randomly with no purchase required, everyone who enters the giveaway has the same chance of winning.

The Advantages of Holding a Giveaway

Running a social media giveaway is an excellent way to boost traffic to your website, gain followers, and increase business. Here are just a few of the advantages of holding giveaways.

#1. Expand your clientele. Giveaways can help increase client engagement and grow your client base. Giveaways also have the potential to attract new readers who will visit your website. You’ll have more chances to interact with potential customers on social media and build strong relationships with them! Views are fantastic, of course. However, engagements are a sign that you’re developing long-lasting client relationships.

#2. Increase customer loyalty and brand awareness. Social media giveaways may help boost brand awareness and client loyalty for businesses of all sizes. If you provide exciting prizes and opportunities, your followers will be interested in hearing about more in the future. Invite them to stay tuned!

#3. Boost the number of people who see your products or services. Giveaways allow you to market your business while introducing more people to your offerings. Instead of just giving something away for free, you can offer any product (or service) you want as part of a giveaway. Then, after the giveaway ends, you’ll have a new customer who is already acquainted with your business and what it offers.

How To Manage a Social Media Giveaway

Now that you’re aware of the benefits, let’s go over the steps for launching a social media giveaway. Sprout Social recommends the following steps for giveaway success:

  1. Decide whether you want to gain more social media followers, generate more leads, keep customers, or raise brand awareness. Have a giveaway that fits your goal.
  2. Set a budget and a prize or prizes.
  3. Remember to keep your target audience in mind when selecting a social media platform for your giveaway.
  4. Planning, then conducting your giveaway are the next steps.
  5. After the giveaway is over, take some time to consider your results and decide whether you succeeded in achieving your original goals.

Source: Sprout Social

Be sure to review the rules surrounding giveaways on the platform you are choosing. One important no-no on Facebook and Instagram is that you may not ask people to share things to their personal pages as part of an entry requirement. You can, however, offer this option as a bonus entry. It is important to note that you will not be notified or able to see a share from anyone who has a private profile.

Over to You

There are so many ways to conduct a social media giveaway, and each one has advantages from a strategic standpoint for your small business. More importantly, your customers are enjoying themselves while you’re having a good time, too. Launch a social media giveaway, and let the fun begin!

Keep an eye on our MYOB social channels for some upcoming giveaways!

Written by Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Social Media Etiquette For Business

Social Media Etiquette For Business

Social media is all about interacting with others, especially as a business. Your goals should include engaging with customers, building relationships, and staying at the forefront of their minds. That is how you achieve repeat and referral business. Using proper social media etiquette is just as important as the other elements of content creation and engagement. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to acing social media etiquette.

Separate Your Personal and Business Accounts

Most people primarily use social media to stay in touch with friends and family. Of course, many businesses use social media to raise brand awareness, drive traffic to their websites, and even generate sales. Perhaps you find it annoying when friends use their personal accounts to promote their businesses. By running separate accounts for your business, you are respecting your friends who are only interested in what’s going on with you. On the other hand, using your business account for personal use could make your company appear unprofessional.

Avoid Misrepresenting Your Company

There are many good reasons for a business to establish a positive social media presence, such as reputation management, growing a base of devoted customers, and gathering feedback. However, it is critical that you represent your company openly and honestly online to build trust with your audience. Even seemingly minor embellishments to make your company appear better can cast significant doubt on the overall integrity of your business.

Respond Mindfully

It makes sense that you may get annoyed if someone disrespects your business or leaves a negative review on your social media channels. But keep in mind that you are speaking for your organization before you react and respond. An explosive or negative response could give prospective clients an unfavourable impression of your business. Before responding, take some time to collect your thoughts. Remember to be as gracious and kind as you can when handling critical feedback. Making that extra effort helps to build and maintain trust with current and prospective customers.

Refrain From Sharing Too Many Posts

Regardless of your social media goals, delivering value to your audience should be top of the list. Some businesses make the error of thinking what is valuable to them is also valuable to their audience. As a result, they exclusively use their social media platforms for advertising and sales. Being informative versus annoying is key.

It matters how frequently you publish on social media, and your profiles may be affected in various ways depending on how often you share posts.

Neil Patel states it well in an article from Forbes:

“If you post too infrequently, your audience will forget that you exist and you will quickly fade into the deep dark recesses of their minds. However, if you are posting too often, you will become a complete nuisance and they will dread seeing your posts overcrowding their feed.”

Always Review Your Posts for Grammar and Spelling

This past April, we explored the topic of grammar in our blog post, “Grammar & Brand Messaging for Your Business.” We mentioned that improper grammar can completely affect the interpretation of what you are trying to communicate. In other words, your company’s overall message is at risk of being confusing and even completely misunderstood. Because business social media accounts are public, many more people can see any mistakes. Simply double-checking a post before you send it out can save you a lot of embarrassment!

Over To You

We hope these pointers will enable you to engage in more fulfilling social media interactions. Are there any you would add? Please keep in mind that if you need help creating and managing social media for your business, we are available to help.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Beat the Block: Tips For Dealing with Writer’s Block

Beat the Block: Tips For Dealing with Writer’s Block

Have you ever found yourself staring at your screen, wondering what to write, but the words just won’t come to you? Or perhaps you’re creating a post for social media that you believe to be original, but you can’t help but feel like you’ve written it before? If so, you might be experiencing what’s commonly referred to as “writer’s block.”

What is writer’s block? When writers are stuck for ideas, it is known as writer’s block. It affects writers at all phases of their careers, and if ignored, it can prevent you from writing for days, weeks, or even months.

The good news is that you can avoid writer’s block and keep your writing fresh! Here are some ideas for “beating the block” and staying in the zone.

Keeping content ideas fresh

Every content writer faces the challenge of keeping their content fresh, informative, appealing, and on brand. It’s essential to give your readers the kind of content they want. Consistently doing this will have a significant positive impact on your readership. What’s new? What has changed? Think about offering a new perspective to your readers.

If you’re stuck for ideas, give one (or all!) of these a try:

#1. Be the customer. Take a step back and observe your company from a customer’s point of view. What questions do you have? Share answers to those questions in your writing.

#2. Solve a problem. When you are networking or talking with other business owners, what are the common topics of conversation that keep coming up? Do they want to learn more about topics like cash flow, marketing, how to handle challenging clients, or how to target a particular demographic? What problems can you help solve?

#3. Discover what’s happening in the world. Take a few minutes to browse social media, respectable news outlets, YouTube, and even TikTok! Or, if you find yourself with even more time to spare, binge-watch a popular TV series, attend a concert, or spend an evening at the movie theatre. Find out for yourself what people are talking about right now and incorporate it into your content.

#4. Take time to prepare and plan. Make a “special-days” calendar or check out fun holiday ideas from sites such as HootSuite. Tuck away testimonials from emails or recommendations from social media. These great reviews make uplifting content to easily inject in an e-newsletter or in social media posts.

#5. Do you think you’re funny? Try your hand at creating memes! We subscribe to imgflip.com and have a lot of fun (and even internal company competitions) developing memes.

#6. Go behind the scenes. Show your readers who you are. Humanize your brand by taking candid shots of staff at work, celebrating your team members’ birthdays, and sharing staff recognition.

#7. Create a poll or survey on social media and ask people what they want to hear about. Current Revenue Canada regulations, deadlines, or news? Trends on social media? The Pantone colour of the year if you’re considering rebranding or refreshing your website? Everyone has an opinion and they’re usually happy to share it!

#8. Build a list of FAQs. Which questions do your clients, readers, or prospective consumers often ask you? Make a list of the questions and respond to each one, providing examples when possible. You can also create a few case studies.

#9. Interview experts within your industry. Interviewing someone within your field is a great way to establish an emotional connection between your company and its audience. The content you capture during the interview has the potential to supply material for your blog and social media for some time. You may even consider recording your interviews and converting them into podcasts for even more content. (https://www.myobontario.ca/podcasting-101/)

#10. Become a savvy content curator. There will be days when you’d rather not reinvent the wheel, and that’s fine. As you know, there is already a ton of content out there on the internet. Look for interesting, relevant, and timely posts and share them with your followers from time to time.

Over to you

We hope these suggestions help you get your creative juices flowing again. Do you have a tip to add to this list? We’d love to hear what works for you when you’re experiencing writer’s block.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

How To: Using GIFs in Marketing

How To: Using GIFs in Marketing

If you have been using GIFs for a while, then you’re already aware of their power to spice up your online conversations. Although they’re considered to be light and funny like memes, GIFs are becoming a growing trend for business marketing in recent years.

You may be asking yourself, “Why should I utilize GIFs for my business”? In a nutshell, GIFs are a quick and easy way to add eye-catching animations to your social media posts, emails, landing pages, blog posts, and more! Here’s what you need to know about implementing GIFs.

What Is a GIF, exactly?

GIF is an acronym that stands for Graphics Interchange Format. Merriam-Webster defines GIF as “a computer file format for the compression and storage of visual digital information; also: an image or video stored in this format.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/GIF

GIFs were invented in 1987 by Steve Wilhite, a U.S. software developer, to use animated images that did not have excessively high file sizes. So, GIFs have been around for more than 30 years—longer than the internet itself!

In the simplest terms, it’s a small graphic that moves like a video, but plays on a loop.

The advantages of incorporating GIFs into your business content

Now that you know what GIFs are, the next step is learning about their marketing capabilities. Here are three benefits you may be interested in:

#1. They grab more attention than images.

GIFs have eye-catching motion and more energy, which makes it easier for your content to stand in social feeds, emails, ads, and more. GIFs are perfect for quick-moving social media feeds because they often last for a few seconds. This means they can quickly grab your audience’s attention while effectively communicating your brand’s message.

#2. Your customers love them.

GIFs are more popular than ever! They are also a great way to insert popular culture into your content. Perhaps you’ve seen some GIFs from your favourite TV shows – The Office, Schitt’s Creek, or Friends. Chances are many of your customers like those shows too! This incorporation will allow your followers to engage with content they can relate to. GIFs are also easy for people to share onto their own social media accounts or in emails.

#3. They are mobile-friendly.

GIFs can be used instead of videos, which might slow down your site’s speed and negatively affect the user’s experience. With their smaller file sizes, GIFs will help maintain a fan’s video engagement without requiring a significant bandwidth.

Ways to use GIFs for business

Before using GIFS, you should first determine whether they will be relevant to your audience. However, for most brands, they will be well-received, particularly if you are targeting a tech-savvy demographic. You also need to determine what mood, or vibe you want your content to relate – GIFs can be excellent for conveying a feeling when you pick the right one!

Social Media Examiner offers fantastic ideas to consider for incorporating GIFs into your marketing strategy:

  • Tutorials and How-To Guides
  • Product Spotlights and Uses
  • Company and Team Introductions
  • Awards and Accolades
  • Sales and Discounts
  • GIF Collections for Customers

Source: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-marketing-gifs-in-your-campaigns/

When it comes to using GIFs in your company’s branding, you have more possibilities than you might think. Naturally, you’ll want to share them on social media. You may also consider adding them to emails, blog posts, and even your website. Here at MYOB, we occasionally sprinkle GIFs into our clients’ content. We also recently updated a client’s website with GIFs for their “Meet the Team” pictures. https://verto360.com/about/  The unique GIFs not only enhance their website, but also add a humanizing touch.

How to make GIFS of your own

Now comes the fun part – making a GIF! It turns out they’re quite easy to make and much simpler than creating video files.

There are numerous apps available for creating your own GIFs and many are free. With the help of these tools, you can upload photographs and make a GIF from scratch. You can use interesting extras like text overlays, filters, backdrops, graphics, emoticons, and other customizations in addition to your own photos. Perhaps you already have a video that you want to turn into a GIF? There are video-to-GIF converters online as well.

If you’d prefer not to make your own GIF, there are dozens of GIF search engines and libraries that house billions of them. One of the most popular sites is Giphy, which has more than 700 million daily users — and those visitors watch more than 11 million hours of content on Giphy every day. (https://giphy.com/about)

Over to you

GIFs can be a terrific business marketing tool and a fun way to bring energy to your content and messaging, and they’re here to stay!

If you’re interested in learning more about how we help businesses grow through social media and content, we’d love to talk to you about it! Feel free to call or contact us through our website.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger