Add Pinterest to Your Marketing Strategies

Add Pinterest to Your Marketing Strategies

As a savvy business owner, you’re probably already using multiple marketing channels — such as printed media, ads, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter — to get the word out about all that your company has to offer. But you may be overlooking one of the most popular and fastest-growing social sites of all: Pinterest. 

If you think of Pinterest as simply a place to “pin” cute pictures of your dog or the handmade decorations from your kid’s latest birthday party, think again. A 2014 consumer trends report from ShareThis shares a few (very) interesting Pinterest trends that should make any business owner who wants to take advantage of all possible marketing channels stand up and take careful notice, such as:

  • Pinterest users grew by 58 percent in 2013, making it the fastest-growing sharing site, even beating out Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Pinterest is the third-largest social sharing platform.
  • Sharing on Pinterest has outpaced sharing through e-mail, an especially notable development given that the platform has only been around since 2008.


And if that isn’t enough to convince you, consider a 2013 study from Piquora that found that:

  • Pins are 100 times more likely to go “viral” than tweets.
  • The average pin drives $.78 in sales, a number that’s on the rise.
  • Pins continue to drive sales for 3.5 months, much longer than Facebook posts or tweets.

Piqued your interest yet? Here’s how you can incorporate Pinterest into your print and digital marketing strategies and use this up-and-coming platform to drive traffic to your website, enhance your brand’s online image, and boost sales. 

Get Verified
First step: Verify your business. Not only does Pinterest’s simple verification process prove that you are, indeed, who you say you are (i.e., adds to your trustworthiness), but it also allows you to take full advantage of Pinterest’s on-site analytics features. Analytics provide an easy way to track what your customers are looking at and repinning, as well as what’s getting repinned from your website. These metrics help your marketing team determine what’s working and what needs improvement. 

Visual Marketing
Using the right images is key to Pinterest success, so choose your pins carefully. Choose visually striking images that grabs viewers’ attention and inspire them to repin. And think twice before using images that include faces; studies find that users are almost 25% more likely to repin a brand-related image if it doesn’t include a face. Also of note, users tend to prefer images that are:

  • Colorful
  • Predominantly red, brown, or orange, rather than blue
  • Of medium lightness, rather than very dark or mostly black

On a similar note, keep your pins focused on images you know will appeal to your target audience. One way to figure this out? Use analytics!

Targeting the Audience
Speaking of target audiences, another easy way to figure out exactly who’s out there is by doing a bit of sleuthing on those who follow your business. What else are they pinning? What types of content are generating comments and conversation? These trends make it easier to pinpoint your ideal audience.

Another great tool: Following other boards with the same images. Pinterest allows you to “follow” other users that pin the same images on their boards — and prompt them to follow you, too. Remember, the more you pin, the greater the chances of this happening. 

User Friendly
Focus pin content on information that’s useful to your target audience. Whether this is an industry infographic, a well-done video presentation, or even a great marketing book that you just finished, providing your audience with content that offers a solution or helps your customers will keep them coming back for more. 

Finally, provide easy ways for your users to interact with you. Adding questions to your descriptions fields, such as “What could this be?” or “Have you ever used one of these?” opens up a conversation with your potential clients and helps build brand recognition and loyalty.

Social Media: American Idol for Small Businesses?

Saying the truth on social media, is in how you respond to the negative.

Saying the truth on social media, is in how you respond to the negative.

For thirteen years, American Idol has entertained the country by bringing would-be singers to the center stage and giving them a fair shot at becoming the superstars they believe they can be. Countless people have auditioned before a panel of very strict judges. Out of the masses, one singer rises to the top to win each season. It’s from this show that popular stars such as Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood have found their way to fame.For most of these stars, American Idol really changed the game. Without the nationwide audience and opportunity to get in front of the camera, many would have struggled to find their “big break.”

Most businesses can relate to this mentality. In the past, small businesses struggled to get their brands and names known within their community. The idea of finding a nationwide platform remained a pipe dream for the vast majority of companies. But just as American Idol has provided a new avenue for struggling singers, social media has changed the landscape for small businesses, too.

Social Media: A “Star” is Born
Social media offers small businesses the exposure they need to break out and become “stars” in their own right. With the rise of ecommerce, many companies can now do business with people thousands of miles away. Through Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Google+, and the rest of the common social media channels available to them, these businesses are getting their message out and building relationships with potential customers across the globe.

Learning the Ropes
Unfortunately, not every company that sets out on their journey is going to make it to the top. The singers who audition for American Idol cannot just walk up to the judges and tell them, “Hi, I’m a fantastic singer. All my friends say so. You need to give me a ticket to the next round.” Similarly, small businesses cannot just sign up for social media and expect customers to come pouring in to use their services. In both cases, people must sell their talents. The singers must prove to the judges that they have the skills needed to compete on the nationwide scale, and businesses must prove the same to their potential customers.

Rolling With the Punches
One of the factors that made American Idol so popular was the extremely harsh criticism that Simon Cowell famously dished out to nearly every competitor. Many people noted that while his words might even be described as cruel, they were rarely untrue. He said what many people thought but were too kind to say. It was the responsibility of each competitor, especially those who received his critique but remained on the show, to take what he said and learn from it before they sang again.

Many small businesses have quickly discovered that in social media few people feel much inhibition in making their opinions known. And some of those critiques would even make Simon Cowell blush. Learning how to respond to such criticism is an important skill to master. A key part of that response is deciding what feedback to take to heart and then making the changes needed to better serve customers.

Social media has given small businesses across the country the opportunity to reach clients in an unprecedented way. No longer are they confined to their local market, with distant hopes of one day striking it big. Just as American Idol has provided singers with a new way to showcase their talents, social media has done the same for companies looking to grow their customer base. Understanding how to take advantage of this opportunity and learn from it can make all the difference

Don’t Overlook SMS: Why Your Marketing Strategies Should Incorporate Text Messaging

smartphonesMobile text messaging, also known as SMS (for short message service), may just represent the next frontier in mobile marketing. Why? More than 4 billion people worldwide — and 75 percent of Americans — regularly send and receive text messages. With the recent announcement that social media giant Facebook is acquiring WhatsApp — an SMS platform that allows users to send free text messages on smart phones of all kinds — texting’s popularity isn’t likely to decrease anytime soon.

Here’s why you should take advantage of this growing market and add SMS to your marketing strategies. 

The Power of the Personal

In Internet years, text messaging is a virtual grandfather; after all, the technology has been around for more than 20 years. In fact, it’s been around so long that a (mind-blowing) two-thirds of the Earth’s population has access to it. Perhaps due to the well-established nature of SMS, many companies have bypassed it as a marketing strategy, probably in their rush to drive customers to the mobile-optimized versions of their websites.

However, as any marketing guru will tell you, customers respond best when a campaign engages them personally. That’s where text message marketing comes in. Stats from Techipedia reveal that: 

  • 98 percent of all sent text messages are opened
  • 83 percent of text messages are opened within three minutes
  • SMS marketing campaigns boast response rates of up to 45 percent, as compared to email campaigns, which average a 6 percent response rate

Given these high response rates, using SMS seems like a no-brainer. Just send out a few well-worded messages to leads, and watch the sales grow — right? Of course, there’s a catch. 

In order to be successful, text message marketing requires thoughtful implementation.

Effective Implementation of Text Message Marketing

Consider how annoying you (probably) find telemarketing calls, spammy-sounding emails, and all of that other marketing stuff you’re constantly bombarded with but didn’t sign up for. Same goes for SMS; no one wants to receive random or irrelevant text messages all the time. Add in the fact that some mobile users have to pay for each text message they receive, and the importance of only sending texts to those who’ve opted in becomes crystal clear. It’s all about relevance. 

Speaking of relevance, one of the most effective uses of text message marketing is keeping in contact with your existing customers. They’ve already tried your product or service and decided they like you. SMS offers a cost-effective way to keep in touch. Whether you’re announcing a special event, sending a coupon code, or implementing a loyalty program, the judicious use of text messages keeps your company in your customers’ consciousness.

SMS can also enhance your customers’ experience. Text messages containing reminders, schedules, notices of last-minute availability, and even customer satisfaction surveys provide value to your customers while saving them time and hassles.

Appropriate Uses of SMS Marketing

Here are a few ways to incorporate text messaging into your marketing plan in a way that customers will appreciate.

Promotions and Sales: Send promo codes, coupons, and special event notices. Consider geo-fencing to send offers to opted-in customers when they come near your place of business.

Receipts: Sending receipts makes it easy for customers to keep track of spending.

Surveys: Customers can fill out surveys about their experience, providing you with valuable feedback.

Loyalty Programs: Make it easy for customers to join your loyalty program via text, and get information you need to develop detailed customer profiles that help your marketing strategies.

No matter what you’re using SMS for, the key lies in creating an opt-in program and focusing on content that provides value to customers. Text messaging shouldn’t be used to generate leads; instead, it should provide relevant information to interested customers.

Top Tips for Generating Customer Reviews

Ask us how we can help you with surveys, via email blasts, direct mail and follow-up...

Ask us how we can help you with surveys, via email blasts, direct mail and follow-up…

If you own a business, you probably know how important great online customer reviews can be to your bottom line. In fact, one 2013 study revealed that eight out of every 10 customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

So how do you go about generating online feedback? Here are some simple things to get you started:

  • Get social: If you don’t have a Facebook page and Twitter account, now is the time to get one. If you already do have Facebook and Twitter accounts, make sure you’re checking them regularly for comments. You need to keep a close eye on your social pages and respond to customer comments — good and bad — as they arise. And of course, you need to make it easy for people to find your social sites, so include links on your website and in your emails.
  • Get your game on: Ever heard of gamification? Basically, that term refers to websites that incorporate some sort of game play into their design to make it more fun for customers to engage. You can get as complex as you want, but even a simple thing like adding virtual badges or trophies for customers who leave reviews can increase feedback.
  • Be generous: Everyone likes to score something for free, and offering a free sample or free trial period can be really effective at getting customers to leave reviews.
  • Follow up: A customer just made a purchase. Is that the end of the transaction? Not if you want to generate some (generally positive) reviews. Once a purchase is complete, touch base with the customer to discuss both the item they purchased and the purchase experience in general. When you get positive responses, ask if you can share them as testimonials on your site.

OK, so those are just a few ways to generate reviews and feedback, but what should you do if some of that feedback is negative? First, set aside your anger and indignation, and don’t stress: Every business is going to catch a little flak once in a while. Don’t ignore negative reviews; instead, reply politely to deescalate and help soothe the customer. Try not to get into a debate on your social page; instead, invite the customer to contact you by phone or email, or offer to contact them. Be sure to thank them for their feedback and apologize for any inconvenience they’ve felt. And of course, if the feedback is on target, use it to make needed improvements.

Engaging customers and generating positive reviews takes work, but it’s work that can yield big returns. Take a few minutes today to think about how your business can improve feedback and start building its own base of dedicated fans.  Then give us a call and we can help you get the ball rolling!

The 9 Best Business Blogs You Should Be Reading


Ever feel like you’re missing out on the latest buzz from the business world? We get it: The sheer amount of info out there can seem overwhelming, but whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or manager, it’s essential to keep up.

Now, here’s the good news: We’re here to make it easy for you to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry. We’ve searched the web for the best, brightest, and most innovative business blogs out there. Add these top blogs to your reading list for a simple way to stay in the loop!

1. You’re the Boss (http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com)

This New York Times blog is all about small business, from best practices to breaking trends. Written by entrepreneurs, business owners, and experts from a range of fields, You’re the Boss provides a place for small business owners to connect, share their successes (and mistakes), and compare notes from the battlefield.

2. Seth Godin’s Blog (http://sethgodin.typepad.com)

Seth Godin, a.k.a. marketing guru extraordinaire, provides a wide range of tips, ideas, advice, and general musings on a range of topics. The best thing about Godin’s, blog, however, is simply his quirky, creative writing style, which allows him to be motivational, inspirational, and insightful without ever slipping into cheesy territory.

3. Workshifting (http://www.workshifting.com)

Not only is Workshifting beautifully designed, but its content is hyper-focused on its readers’ needs and interests. Content melds work and lifestyle topics relevant to today’s on-the-move workforce, with an emphasis on the issues that affect work-from-home, flex schedule, and other employees who work outside the office environment.

4. She Takes on the World (http://www.shetakesontheworld.com)

With accolades from sources such as the Stevie Awards, Inc., and ForbesShe Takes on the World offers tips of the trade with a focus on female entrepreneurs. Along with content from founder Natalie McNeill, this blog offers content from a series of guest bloggers, expert advice from industry leaders, and articles about work-life balance. Yes, it’s geared toward women in business, but hey, it’s got a lot of great content for guys, too.

5. Pando Daily (http://pando.com)

For the latest in news from the tech front, turn to Pando Daily. Founded by Sarah Lacy — formerly of TechCrunch — this comprehensive blog serves as a journal of record for Silicon Valley. Its focus on start-ups, the tech industry, social media, marketing, and almost everything else that impacts the business world makes for interesting reading, as do its interviews with and features by industry insiders.

6. Naked Capitalism (http://www.nakedcapitalism.com)

Naked Capitalism offers a no-holds-barred look at the current state of the economy and the financial industry, and how it affects business. Economists, investment bankers, political advisors, and journalists make up the contributor list. Expect to put on your critical thinking cap when you sit down to read this thought-provoking blog.

7. Anita Loomba (http://anitaloomba.com)

For a clear picture of the confluence of digital marketing and social media, turn to Anita Loomba’s blog. Offering helpful tips, best practices, success stories, and the latest in industry news, Loomba covers the ever-changing, always increasing influence of social media and business marketing in her accessible blog.

8. How to Change the World (http://blog.guykawasaki.com)

Author, former Apple marketing guru, venture capitalist, and all-around smarty Guy Kawasaki offers hands-on advice to entrepreneurs in his How to Change the World blog. Expect to be motivated and inspired, but in a practical, realistic way.

9. Peter Shankman (http://shankman.com/blog/)

Finally, for a dose of humor to lighten the workweek, give Peter Shankman’s blog a read. An angel investor and entrepreneur, Shankman has a, shall we say, creative approach to the world of business, and his entertaining writing style reflects it. Plus, he’s got some good advice — so give it a try.

What, Exactly, is Content Marketing?

What, Exactly, is Content Marketing?

You’ve probably heard all the buzz about content marketing, yet may still be wondering what, exactly, it is. Content marketing is simply the new form of marketing that uses informative content, rather than blatant sales pitches, to attract potential customers. Instead of proverbially bashing people over the head with whatever you’re trying to sell, content marketing entices them to come to you to learn more about your product, services, and brand.So, how the heck do you do that?

I dont knowCreate a two-way conversation.

Old-school advertising was pretty much a one-way street with the company doing all the talking. Content marketing turns it into a two-way conversation by actively engaging the audience. Do this by encouraging comments on your blog posts and social media sites, holding contests, or otherwise reaching out to your audience for input.

Keep up your end of the bargain.

Asking for audience participation is good, but it’s not so good if you do nothing with the information you gleaned. Reply to audience comments; respond to their requests and needs. Perhaps a certain aspect of your website keeps getting the same complaint. Hold up your end of the conversation by acknowledging the issue and perhaps even tweaking what ever’s wrong to better fill people’s needs.

Make it easy to find you.

Of course, you won’t have any conversations at all if people can’t find you. In addition to a user-friendly company website, you should set up a blog and accounts on your chosen social media platforms that all easily link back to your website. When you share a blog post or add new information to your website, share the link across your social media channels.

You don’t have to go nuts and join every single social media platform out there. Instead, focus on the ones where your target audience is most likely to tread. Learn more by analyzing the social media habits of your target demographic, then go where those folks go.

Fuel your audience with quality content.

Keeping your audience engaged means keeping up a steady flow of quality content. Again, you don’t have to go nuts trying to post something new and exciting every five minutes, but you do want to add fuel to your content marketing fire with fresh content on a regular basis.

Note the keyword “quality” here. Provide content that’s polished, informative, compelling, and even entertaining. While text may make up a good chunk of your content, also take advantage of the power of pictures and videos. Include them in related posts, or let them fly solo if they say all they need to say on their own.

Since people are none too fond of reading the same stuff again and again, make sure you cover a variety of different topics that are relevant to your audience.

Don’t bombard your audience.

Bombarding your audience can consist of that aforementioned strategy of beating them over the head to “buy, buy, buy” with every post you create. But it can also include posting at such a rapid and fanatical rate that your audience has no time to absorb, respond, or even breathe.

More is not necessarily better, especially if the more is of poor quality. Over-posting can not only mar your reputation as a professional, but it can backfire in a big way. Instead of being attracted to your company, you may instead find your audience fleeing in droves, leaving you with no one left to talk to but yourself.

Mastering the art of attraction is just one aspect of content marketing, but it’s one of the most essential for eventual success.

Increase Your Facebook Following

Increase Your Facebook Following

Even though Facebook has more than one billion active monthly users, many businesses still aren’t using it to its full potential. Here are a few easy ways to use Facebook to increase exposure, communicate with customers, and grow your business:

  • Offer Facebook fan-only specials that are promoted to fans who currently “like” your page. Encourage them to stay tuned for future deals as well.
  • Use Facebook as a quick way to spread the word on exciting flash sales that have short time windows to act.
  • Run contests via your Facebook page. Remember to read Facebook’s contest rules first, though, so you don’t violate any inadvertently.
  • Ask thought-provoking questions, create quizzes, and post survey links to encourage fan participation.
  • Add a Facebook social media widget that enables users to like your page without having to search for you on Facebook.
  • Include a Facebook link in your email signature, on your website, and on printed pieces such as business cards, receipts, statement stuffers, table tents, and newsletters.
  • Share exciting news about your company by posting updates on your Facebook page.
  • Don’t forget that Facebook is a social website. Use it as a way to communicate with your audience, rather than simply to promote your brand. Post interesting content you think will be relevant to your audience, and encourage people to share your posts and to comment on them.
  • Post photos from company gatherings, including grand openings, customer appreciation events, staff outings, and other celebrations. Encourage fans to tag themselves in the photos. This will allow their friends to see the photos and increase your exposure.
  • Request input and involve your fans in product decisions, such as new product launches, celebratory events, and preferred customer rewards. Share responses on your wall, and thank fans for their contributions.
  • Schedule posts in advance to be published at a later time to ensure your messages are delivered at the optimal time to reach your audience. Check out thisFacebook help center post for step-by-step instructions on scheduling a post.

Like most types of marketing, Facebook requires dedication. While immediate results are unlikely, a well-nurtured Facebook account can help many organizations strengthen relationships and grow their business.

After Sale Marketing

print consulting

Follow up with your customers after the sale is done.

Following up after a sale provides an opportunity to offer a heart-felt thank you and ensure customer satisfaction. It also lets you discuss additional services and improve a customer’s probable return to your business. Here are a few follow-up tips for after-sale marketing:

    • Show your gratitude with a free offer that complements the original purchase. For example, a hair stylist could show thanks by offering a voucher for a free hair styling product. Include specifics, such as a $15 maximum value redeemable within 60 days of postmark.
    • Boost sales by providing a coupon for free shipping or 25% off their next order. Encourage customers to pass it on if they don’t need to use the offer themselves.
    • Suggest complementary products or services that will enhance the initial purchase and increase the customer’s satisfaction and loyalty. Consider creating an affiliate program with non-competing businesses to expand your offerings.
    • Reward customers for providing referrals. Offer an exclusive discount to both your existing customer and a new referral to increase the number of referrals you receive.
    • Highlight your contact information on an item your customers will keep, such as a business card, calendar, customized notepad, magnet, or pen.
    • Become a resource to your customers by encouraging customers to sign up for an informational newsletter with industry tips and tricks. You might also consider providing valuable tutorials and training classes.
    • Consider using the 10-10-10 follow-up pattern (or even a less-aggressive 30-30-30). Send an initial thank you within 10 days after the purchase. Contact them again after 10 days, then a third time after another 10 days. Vary your method of communication, such as a hand-written note, email, and phone call. Include an offer in all communications, and build on the urgency in each contact.
    • Ask for feedback about the customer’s recent purchase or send a survey with an incentive to respond. Many customers will be eager to discuss their experience or may even have questions.
    • A new idea might be to consider thanking them on Facebook or other social media.

If you need creative print ideas to stay in touch your customers, give us a call today. Our creative team is full of ideas to ensure your customers come back for more, and bring new customers with them!

Spreading the word about your website

So you’ve got your brand spankin’ new website, and you’re wanting to get some traffic to it to drum up business? We decided to come up with a multitude of ideas to help set you on the right path. While there is some overlap with some of my previous articles, the refresh will be useful, as each aspect, especially in the online section, synergize very strongly.

Direct Mail

One of the more traditional methods of marketing, creating a direct mail piece allows you to advertise directly through conventional mail systems with a postcard advertisement of some sort, whether it’s to alert customers to an event, or a new special. It’s best if you specifically target your mailing database’s demographic to something that is relevant to your industry.

For example, say your business is a pet store and there’s a coming sales event going on at the store in the coming month. To advertise for it, you could specifically target neighborhoods near your business, and within those specific demographics you could further break it down such as  by houses containing a pet owner, or by income levels of the property. Targeting a specific demographic like that would allow you to cut down on the cost of the mailing piece, removing people from the list that would be unlikely to find your piece of advertising useful.  (We have a whole class dedicated to this topic).

Local Signage

A fairly cheap method of marketing, yard signs are a good way to get started on increasing local exposure to your website. You can create yard signs, flyers, bulletin board pull tag signs, for example, to increase spread the word; you can even place a sticker in the your rear-view window. As a side tip, placing these in areas where people would be interested in your services or field of influence will increase your sign’s effectiveness.

This strategy is great to get an initial batch of visitors to your website, and is especially effective if your business is oriented locally. On the other side of the coin, this form of marketing is limited by your geographical range of the sign placement, as well as the time involved with the placement.

Search Engine Optimization

Content is King! One of the more important aspects of content creation for a website is knowing how important it is to properly infuse the site with content that will relate to Search Engines (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!) what your website is about, whether it’s lawn-mowing, cake-baking, or industrial excavation.

When you start thinking about your website content, think about what a customer would be visiting your website for. Ask yourself not what product they’re looking for, but rather what the solution you’re providing with your product or service is. If you cater your content to relate how you will solve your client’s problem, you’ll have a better chance of achieving stronger SEO.

You can do this by brainstorming words and phrases your customers would be trying to search when looking for solutions to the problem you’ve set your sights on optimizing for. For example, a website that sells hiking gear could list out all the products in their catalogue and approach SEO from purely selling their products. It’ll probably work, but it won’t be nearly as effective as if they also were able to convey through the use of their keywords and phrases that their products solved issues specifically related to hiking and how they solved those problems. If they were able to correctly convey that information to google, when people searched up how to solve those issues with hiking, then their hiking gear website would come up more often than just the straight catalogue site.

Now, this doesn’t touch the surface of SEO, and if you’re serious about working on improving your site’s SEO, I’d recommend researching the topic further. There’s a lot of intricacy to it, and it is constantly evolving, so it’s good to learn as much as possible about the topic. For example, searching a term like “hiking solutions” will output different results than “solutions hiking” (for the sake of clarity, it’s because the term in the front of the search phrase is given more weight than words at the end of the phrase). You might not know that unless you are familiar with the functionality of a search engine.

For more information on SEO, please check out SEO class and or read this introductory SEO article by SEO Moz.

Social Media

Taking advantage of Social Media can be a strong persuader of people to use your services. Create a public page on a social media site, and begin posting topics that are relevant and useful to your customer base. Don’t try and sell your services through these pages, but rather use it as a place to say “Hey, we think this information is really fun and useful. Oh, and by the way, if you’re interested, you can take a look at our products and services here”. Try and keep the type of posting to a 33% insights, 33% personal and 33% about the business.

This creates a no-pressure relationship that will naturally build stronger if the customer finds your content sharing intrinsically valuable. The power of Social Media kicks in when you have a number of these customers that value your social media efforts. When you make a post, you’re increasing the chances of others that value your content will share it, which is free advertising, as well as an implied endorsement of your products/services.

This can also be sweetened by rewarding subscribers through various promotional deal systems offered through social media websites, but that’s getting into a little more detail than is needed for an idea article.


Blogging operates on a somewhat similar level as Social Media, but also helps greatly with SEO, and integrates strongly with both tools (this article being an example). We discussed earlier in the SEO section about how conveying to your customers how you solve their problems is one of the better ways of converting them to a customer, this is one of the better ways to accomplish that.

A blog is often a side-section of a website where companies post both formal and informal publications about topics related to their business and industry. It can be fun, silly, topical, or product related, but it needs to be informational, useful, and concise for your customers.

The reason why this is such a great place to develop your business’ marketing is that each article you post becomes a part of your website’s content that gets related to search engines. To use the hiking gear example above, you could make a post about regional openings of trails in the region, showing pictures of the trails taken by employees in their free time, and their experiences on the trails would be great ideas for content creation. This also works well as a way of sharing the company’s passion for their industry as well.

If you see a post online on another website that is related to a blog post from your website, you can make a comment on their blog describing your article and why it’s relevant to their article with a link.  The key is not come off as trying to sell or drive people there, but rather that you’re trying to share information to be helpful. A take-it-or-leave-it approach is especially important on the internet, as people quickly become dissuaded when they feel pressured by salesmanship.

Online Newsletter

Supplying articles and information rich in relevant content to your customers is a great method of establishing a loyal customer base. This can be done in a physical form, but you can capably make newsletters online for your customers. There are restrictions in regards to how one can send these online newsletters. You can find the guidelines for a well-operated newsletter at the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s website.

We tend to use a service called Mailchimp for our newsletters, as it helps automate the process of subscriptions and message delivery. We also offer to help perform newsletter creation and delivery for you at a nominal charge, but you are able to do it yourself with some tech savvy, time, and effort.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising, such as pay-per-click ads, are useful tools to supplement your more organic efforts at online marketing (SEO, social media, blogging). They are also more expensive from a monetary perspective. The other major drawback is that you can also spend a lot of money and not get a very big return on your investment unless you’re careful.

It’s best in this arena to start out small. Try making two variations of an ad on a small budget, and see how well the two of them perform. Make two variations of the version that performed better and see which of those variants worked better in round 2. You can repeat this process ad nauseum until you have a specific.


Admittedly, this is a bit of an exhaustive list, but it’s meant to give you ideas that you can implement right now to promote your business’ website. It barely touches the surfaces of these topics, however, but you can research these topics further on the internet or stop by and ask us for further help. We’re called “You’re Marketing Resource Center” for a reason, you know! You can learn more by searching these topics on Google, or by taking a look at our available classes in the near future.

Take Advantage of Your Business’ Facebook Timeline

By Scott Prindle.

The new timeline layout for Facebook gives you a lot more freedom to be expressive with your business page, but also comes with a new set of hurdles on how to effectively manage your page for customers. In this article, we’ll go over a couple of the new major items, and how to use them effectively.

Cover Image

The largest change on the facebook profiles is the advent of cover images. These are large masthead images that allow your business to establish your visual branding directly on facebook. It is not, however, meant to be used for promotional uses, such as deals, sales, etc, as facebook has structures in place already for promotions. Some of the big no-no’s include:

  • No promotions
  • No contact info, including phone numbers, emails, etc., which is meant to be placed in the about section.
  • No call-to-actions or text trying to engage the user to interact with facebook’s user interface (liking and sharing for example).

These aren’t all of the guidelines, but the larger principles to go by for your cover image. To find all the details, visit Facebook’s help section on cover image guidelines for business pages.

No More Fan-Gating

Facebook used to have a rather nice marketing feature through the facebook apps that allowed you to hide away specific content based on whether the user accessing the page was a fan of the page or a new visitor. But with the new timeline, you’ll no longer be able to hide content on the homepage in the same fashion. This is to promote Facebook as more of a social network, and keeps people from feeling like they are being bombarded with ads everywhere they go on the site.

You’ll still be able to deliver subscriber specific content through the use of the tabs, though. Tabs are the new area for businesses to add in facebook apps, google map embeds, and other extras. Using these tabs, you can add fan exclusive content using facebook apps incentivizing visitors to like your page. The difference between the old and the new versions being that the user must make the leap to that fan gated content, rather than being presented with the gate from the get-go on the landing page.

Those tabs, however, have static locations (urls), allowing you to link directly to those pages from your website, newsletter, or other social networks. You can use this to your advantage by directly linking users to these fan-gated pages, rather than to the default landing page in order to convert them over to customers.

Pinning posts

You’ll now have the ability to pin specific posts that you’ve made at the top of your timeline, in order to put more of a focus on it. The post will remain at that spot for 7 days before returning back to its original place chronologically. This is great for posting your deals, or major upcoming business events.

As well, you can re-pin an event, and there is not a limit to the number of times that can be done. This will allow you to keep an event posting at the top of your page for as long as needed (provided you’re cool with some menial re-pinning).


This barely scratches the surface of your timeline’s capabilities, but these are just a few tips to help you better utilize your Facebook page to better cater content to your customers. Thanks for reading.

Further Information:

Facebook Timeline Marketing Tips and Ideas

Facebook Timeline for Business Pages – 21 Key Points To Know

3 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Page’s Visibility

5 Ways to Use Facebook Timelines for Your Brand

4 Marketing Tips for Facebook Timeline

Previous Older Entries