holiday_email_marketing_tips

With Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and more eating up all the virtual column inches these days, good old email marketing doesn’t get a lot of attention anymore. Everyone is so worried about whether or not they’re live-tweeting, self-broadcasting, and keeping up with all the other ‘shoulds’ of modern marketing that they forget to perfect their strategy on what remains one of the most effective platforms – email!

With the holidays just around the corner, now is an incredibly important time to optimize your marketing efforts – especially if you sell things online. Even if you don’t, email is a great way to bring people in to your physical store and keep your brand top of mind as people are filling out their holiday gift lists.

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mothers_day_marketing_ideas

Mother’s Day is coming up on May 10th—have you planned your promotions yet? Even if you’re patting yourself on the back for remembering to order flowers for mom this year, if you haven’t planned a promotion for your business, your work is not yet done!

For big brands, turning the wheels quickly enough to get a marketing campaign off the ground in short order can be a challenge, but small business owners still have time pull it off. Here are 10 ways to engage with your audience and make the most of the Mother’s Day marketing opportunity!

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user-generated-content

Does an inexpensive, highly effective marketing tactic that requires minimal time investment sound too good to be true? Well it’s not – and it’s called user generated content (UGC). The best part? Other people do most of the work for you.

Okay, that last bit might have been a bit hyperbolic. While it’s true that a UGC campaign does center on content provided by outsiders, the best campaigns do require some time investment from the marketer running them. There is planning the campaign, and then effectively leveraging the materials that are generated by it, but everything in between is up to brand advocates – your current and potential customers.

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Lead generation ideas

Online marketing is a whole arena encompassing many effective forms of promotion. At every turn you come face to face with a new development, strategy, or platform. Keeping up with this world of digital marketing may sound daunting at first, but having spot-on information about the different ways of generating leads online certainly makes it easier.

Just like the inner workings of businesses differ according to their industry, so too do their online marketing efforts. Knowing how to navigate the different techniques and what to focus on is the root of the strategy. What works for a retail company does not necessarily work for a marketing firm. To help you identify what is out there and what works for your business, I’ve compiled a list of effective methods of generating leads online. Diving into the “what,” “how,” and “why” will give you a better understanding of the different techniques available to attract valuable customers.

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Cyber Monday Email Envelope

Ever since 2005 when the Monday following Thanksgiving became the blessing/curse that we call Cyber Monday, marketers have done their very best to capitalize on the opportunity – mostly through our inboxes. Before I became one of those marketers myself, I saw the inundation of emails as a bit of a nuisance. Now, I see it as an opportunity.

If you market a small business (which you probably do if you’re reading this blog) you should make sure that today of all days you view your inbox not as a consumer, but as a marketer. If its anything like the Promotions tab of my Gmail account right now, it’s a veritable treasure trove of email marketing dos and don’ts.

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Collection of sports gear

Looking for ideas for a fun and engaging promotion to share with your audience this season? Look no further than the world of sports. Fall here in the US is rife with opportunity for sports-related marketing, but no matter what time of year or where you live, there’s always some opportunity to newsjack sporting events and create relevant coupon codes.

The first thing you’ll need to do in order to run this type of promotion is take a look at your target audience. Of the people whom you wish to engage, where do their sports loyalties lie? Here in Washington, DC, we have dozens of area sports teams, so local marketers would need carefully gauge who the majority of their customers are rooting for when planning a promotion. There are, of course, some events – like the World Cup – where it’s safer to assume who your audience is pulling for.

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Email Marketing Icons

Email marketing represents the chance for small businesses of all types to accomplish many goals, from a boost in conversion percentages and repeat customers, to the ability to generate qualified referrals and maximize sales opportunities. Email is a cost-effective, time-efficient way to expand your reach and grow your business – but without a thriving communications list to market to, you’ll likely be left whistling in the wind.

If your business is eager to start capitalizing on the many benefits of email marketing, or if you are searching for ways to gain traction with your current campaign, consider these five fundamental strategies to fill your list with quality leads.

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howto

For today’s installment in our content marketing series, we’re going to take a look at three very different brands doing content marketing in unique and interesting ways. And while these are well-developed brands with a fair amount of capital (human and financial) behind their efforts, the techniques they employ are absolutely accessible by small businesses as well. Let’s dive right in.

1. Saveur Magazine
Of all the types of content you could create, video certainly has the potential to go viral very quickly, and with very little added effort on you part. The key is to create something that will answer a question that a lot of people might have on their minds. Saveur does exactly that with their SAVEUR Basics video series. While there are probably a number of expert chefs consuming the magazine and website, the majority are more the aspirational set. People who cook frequently and want to be able to expand their skills so they can be more like the pros. Enter this series of just a handful of tutorials that are brief, helpful, and beautifully shot. I find these incredibly useful and really make me value Saveur as a brand. And judging from the YouTube details, over 1 million other people feel the same way.

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content_types

In our recent introduction to content marketing, we talked about the established and ever-growing trend of publishing content as a means of drawing more potential customers to your front door – virtual or physical.

Marketing has taken a sharp left turn in recent years away from the old broadcasting style of communication and toward more customer-focused tactics. This provides big benefits from both a human and a search engine optimization standpoint for your business – especially if you’re on a budget. You might not be able to afford a TV or radio spot to get your name out there, but you can probably afford to start a blog and a set up a few social media profiles.

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content1

If you’ve spent any time on this and other blogs related to small business marketing, you’ve probably run across the term “content marketing” more than a few times. And while content marketing as a strategy is quickly gaining popularity in the industry, some people are still not quite sure what it means. In a series we’re starting today, we’ll see if we can help with that.

Content Marketing Institute (yes, that really exists), offers the following definition:

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