Are Business Cards still relevant ?

In this digital age of many of us swap contact details on LinkedIn,by Email and on Twitter.Its instant you can import them easily into your Marketing/CRM software.Is there still a place for using Business Cards in your business dealings?

The answer is yes just as we said in our item on using handwritten communication (HERE) some more old fashioned methods of marketing can add some formality to your digital strategy .

So here’s why Business Cards still work ?

1. Swapping contact information digitally is impersonal.
Networking is about making genuine connections. Sending contact information via text or email on the spot is convenient but it is also extremely impersonal. Engaging in eye contact and actual conversation is how real relationships begin.People buy from people .Giving a business card helps people remember your encounter.

2. They are the most effective direct marketing tools.
Email marketing, search engine optimization and paid media all do a great job of attracting leads and prospects, but they still aren’t as effective as an in-person meeting sealed with a handshake along with a business card exchange.

3. A business card is the first impression of your brand.
When you meet someone that could potentially be a great prospect or connection, don’t you want him or her to walk away with a great first impression? A memorable business card does a lot more than just pass on an email address or phone number.

4. Creative business cards get shared — spreading the word about your brand.
A business card is a physical object that a potential prospect leaves the encounter with. Your brand stays with them. If you hand over a creative business card that makes a great impression that person is likely to show it to other people — putting you and your brand in front of additional prospects.

5. Business cards show you are prepared.
Have you ever had someone write his or her contact information on a cocktail napkin and hand it over to you? How about someone that had a mobile phone with a dead battery? It isn’t the most professional approach.

We are always looking to differentiate ourselves from the competition so here is a great way to do this?

For a free consultation on your Video,Online,Social Media Marketing or even Written Marketing needs or for more information Contact Us for more details.

How to use Christmas to promote your business

Christmas is just a matter of weeks away so it could be time to give your marketing a festive feel.

If you’re a retailer, Christmas is probably a really important part of your year.If you provide services you probably see Christmas as a distraction,a holiday period that disrupts the business cycle or a welcome break.

However many service-based businesses neglect Christmas and the marketing opportunities it brings.

Christmas is an ideal time to develop relationships by engaging with your customer base and providing them with information about your services. Depending on the service you provide you may be able to tie this in with the festive season, whether it is in the way of special Christmas offers or by assisting with Christmas preparations.

If you offer a service that you can’t exactly tie in with Christmas. The festive season is still a great time to engage with your customers, new and old. Some ideas  include:

–          Customised Christmas cards – even though we live in a digital age where messages can be sent and received instantly, there’s still something nice about receiving a printed Christmas card. Unlike an email, it will be there for all to read and may even be displayed, for this reason be sure to include all of your company contact details and a unique Christmas message

–          Christmas eCard – for those who perhaps have a database of email addresses but no postal addresses, why not send out a Christmas card in electronic form? eCards are ideal as they give you the freedom to inject the personality of your brand and can be sent and received instantly.  They are also a good option to consider when there isn’t enough time to design, print and send a printed Christmas card .Its quite a nice idea perhaps to make a donation to charity equivalent to the savings made by going digital.

–          Promotions for the New Year – give your customers a gift they can redeem in the New Year, discount off your services in January works well. Spread this Christmas cheer by way of email and your social media channels

–          A branded calendar or diary – ensure your business is visible to your customers all-year round by sending out a calendar or diary that they can display or use throughout 2014. Again be sure to include your contact details and also a short description of what you do for the benefit of others who may be viewing it

–          Promotional gifts – If you have a larger budget, why not consider sending out promotional gifts to your customers? Whether this is items they can keep such as paperweights or pens, or items they can eat like chocolate Santas or candy canes, this always makes for a nice touch and a way to remember your business.

–          Send a Christmas email to wish people compliments of the season and let them know your Christmas/New Year Opening hours.

–          A Christmas Competition on your Social Media Channels – Many businesses and brands are choosing to run competitions and promotions to give their social media communities a boost before the holidays.

Please Contact Us and let us know if you have any suggestions or if you want any additional advice on how to make the best of the festive season.

Róisín Murphy.

What does your business have in common with Sky,BBC,ITV,Netflix etc ?

Well unless you are a Media business the answer might appear to be not much. In fact you have a lot more in common than you think. The key to great Marketing especially online is authentic original content for your Blog or Website.Essentially this is about having something interesting to say about your business, business sector and or area of expertise.

This means more than just talking about your products and services as great as they may be. Authentic and original (creative) content will attract potential customers to your Blog,Website or Social Media profile. Repeating or copying content from elsewhere will see a rapid drop in engagement with potential customers.

So whats the connection with high profile Media Companies like Sky,Netflix and the BBC? Well they have the same challenge the search for authentic and original content.Whether its the next Game of Thrones,Orange is the New Black or Champions League Football content is critical to their business.

You need to think the way they do and always be looking for your next blockbuster.There are lots of ways to do this and they depend on how creative you are.If you are not you can engage a Content Creator/Curator like me,use other team members and or use Guest Bloggers too.Just remember Content is King.

Contact Us for more details to see how we can help you.

What is the ‘Sharing Economy’ and why does it matter ?

We seem to have a constant stream of change to our economic and business models with the pace of change fueled by the Internet and Social  Media.Just look at the way the big four Supermarkets have recently been caught out by changing shopping trends with the move away from big ‘all under one roof ‘ weekly shops .On a similar theme one really key trend is the so called ‘Sharing Economy’ and its really having an impact.

In simple terms its where individuals share information and services and bypass the traditional providers.For example there is a huge rise in people using the Internet and Social Media to organize home swaps for their holidays rather than use hotels.and travel companies.Another example would be the rise of car sharing/rental schemes that cut out the car rental companies.The Economist Magazine have a published an interesting article on the subject you can see this here,

There are many ways all businesses can benefit from this and other key trends so for more information contact us for a free consultation to help your business grow .

Jeff Bezos of Amazon shows us content really is king !

One of the golden rules of Blogging,Websites and of course Social Media is that interesting relevant and original content is the key to success. Good content attracts visitors and ranks well with search engines . It also keep visitors on your site longer .

With that in mind its interesting to see the news today about Jeff Bezos of internet shoppping giant Amazon buying the Washington Post an iconic US Newspaper .The question is why would any self respecting entrepreneur buy a Newspaper when the newspaper industry is dying on its feet . Many newspapers have experienced a 90% decline in circulation from their 60s heyday with half that fall coming in the last 7 years .

The answer maybe he just wants a plaything to write off tax against or promote his personal and political views. That may be true of course but more likely just part of a race to own great content and iconic newspapers attract good journalists and therefore make great content.

Newspapers and magazines are slowly but surely going up behind paywalls so the race for ownership of content is on.

Jeff Bezos is a great innovator with amazing long term vision so it will be interesting to see what he does with the Washington Post. It certainly shows us that content really is king ?

What do you think ?

To keep up to date with the latest Inbound Marketing News ,Views,Hints and Tips  SUBSCRIBE to our EMAIL UPDATES –You can also find more information on how we can help you on our Website or Contact Us if you want to know how we can help you.

Richard

Groupon’s decline is a salutary reminder for all of us

With today’s news confirming the decline of Groupon and the continuing doubts over whether it is a sustainable business or not.Its a key pointer for small and medium sized businesses and how they need to market themselves. Groupon is all about what I call broadcast marketing a daily blast out to a large opted in email list (no spam please) which over time becomes less and less effective.

This is for two reasons:

1. Your average human today is inundated with over 2000 outbound marketing interruptions per day! However there are more and more creative ways to block them out, including caller ID, spam filtering, Sky+ etc.In short our immunity is growing.

2. Cost :Outbound Marketing is expensive and profit margins are always being squeezed and business is constantly looking to drive down Customer Acquisition costs .

Businesses can see this and are rethinking how they market themselves and are looking for more cost effective ways of reaching prospects .And thats where Inbound’ Marketing  comes in.This is where your business :

-Spends time talking to its customers -visits and calls !

-”helps itself “get found“- by people already learning about and shopping in your industry.

– Has a website that is a “hub” for your industry

– Has a website that attracts visitors naturally through search engines

– Uses the blogosphere to influence market opinion and attract prospects.

– Uses Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook,Twitter and Google+) to engage with clients and prospects

– Builds fully Opted In Email Lists where clients and prospects have asked to be kept in touch with your latest news and information.

– Uses Business Networking to generate ‘Referrals’ from prospects .

These are the ways of the future !

To keep up to date with the latest Inbound Marketing News ,Views,Hints and Tips  SUBSCRIBE to our EMAIL UPDATES –You can also find more information on how we can help you on our Website or Contact Us if you want to know how we can help you.

Richard