I frequently participate in forums on Alignable, asking and answering marketing questions. I occasionally bring bits of the forum here to the blog. Today, I’ll be expanding on an answer I gave to a print company about setting up a business blog.
How can i start a daily blog related to my business and products? should i just do it on Facebook and use my business page as the “blog” or should i create an actual new site for the blog, then share that link on my Facebook/LinkedIn business page?
Like many others, I would recommend integrating the blog with your actual website. If you don’t have a website, or you are looking to revamp, WordPress and Wix are easy to use, very affordable (sometimes free) and have blog integrations. Our current blog and website are set up on WordPress and I love it. It’s very versatile and if you have a bit of time to learn, or a bit of money to hire a professional, you can do some really stuff.
And yes, you definitely need to be sharing your blog posts on social media. You can set it up so that when you publish a post it automatically goes to social channels, but I also recommend manually posting to increase visibility and engagement.
I blog for a print company and have a few additional insights to share.
1) It takes quite a while to see ROI on a blog. I was blogging regularly for about 3 years before I started to see it make any difference.
2) Most likely you will burn out trying to do a daily blog, especially if you have a lot of other responsibilities in the company. I recommend starting with once a week, or once every other week.
3) Pinterest has been the most effective social media platform for promoting our blog. I always put a picture with every post and then put that picture on Pinterest and often get at least 1-2 clicks to our website.
4) In addition to blogging educational articles, I blog about new products with pictures included. I use a lot of key words in these articles and this has really increased our visibility. Many people who call us from the website do so because they saw one of the product articles.
The summer is already coming to an end. Time to pack up the beach gear, get out the school supplies, and get back on a regular marketing schedule. These back to school postcards are a great way to connect with your geographic farm or social list. Your clients are getting back into a routine, time to get back on their radar!
Download Back To School Order Form. Fill it out and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you a real estate agent going after expired listings? Check our latest batch of content ready postcards, with postcards aimed specifically at owners of expired listings. Let them know that you have the tools and expertise needed to get that home sold.
Download Expired Listings Postcard Order Form
Not going after expireds? Not a problem. We also have a new traditional listings lead generation postcard. This “Choose Your Selling Adventure” postcard shows people that regardless of their situation, they need to give you a call!
Summer is in full swing! And we know the beach is calling your name and you’re finding it hard to choose work over Pina Coladas, but it’s so important to keep marketing and prospecting even during the slower summer months. Our content ready postcards make it so easy. Just pick one, give us your info, and we’ll plug it in and mail it on your behalf. So go ahead, download an order form and submit it, then take a well deserved lounge by the pool.
Download the Pool Tips + Whats Your Next Move OSS Order Form
Download the Summer Bucket Order Form
Download the 4 Reasons and Navigate Order Form
Download the Summer BBQ Order Form
Download the HighDemand+SecureHome_OSS-OrderForm
Contests are a great way to engage your audience. Whether you are trying make connections with current clientele, or you are trying to build a list of potentials, a contest is a fun way to get people to notice your brand and take action. Of course, there are hundreds of different types of contests. Below I’ve detailed the four most popular contests you can easily run through direct mail.
Audience: Typically families. Usually kids will want to do the coloring but you need the parents to give permission and fill out the entry form.
Execution: You mail a coloring page with an attached submission form that asks for basic contact information. Participants can make the form back or drop it off at a predetermined location. You pick the winner on a designated date. Typically, there are a few different winners, one for each age group. You can mail the prize or drop it off. Do not make the recipients claim the prize. The idea is to make entering and redeeming as easy as possible.
Your Benefit: You can collect contact information for leads and follow up with emails and/or phone calls.
Execution: This is a very popular one with our real estate clients. They mail out a flyer that details the prize, which is large and relevant to motivate participation. $500 gift cards to theme parks, grocery stores, and home improvement stores are common. The flyer also has a tear off portion that asks for contact information and also asks for a bit more information about the participant (are they interested in selling, do they want a free market update, etc). Participants can mail the tear off portion back, or drop it off at a local office
Your Benefit: You get more information about people on your mailing list, which you can use for follow up emails and phone calls.
Execution: My son subscribes to a children’s magazine. On one edition, he received a postcard with three spaces to scratch off. He did so, and won a small prize which he claimed by mailing the postcard back to the magazine company. This contest works well if you have a lot of small prizes to give away. If you have many winners, you’ll get lots of great response but you have to be sure you’ve got enough prizes and an inexpensive way to get them to the participants.
Your Benefit: You can take the opportunity to gather more information, or keep it simple and just engage your audience in a positive way that builds brand trust and recognition.
Audience: People that live near your brick and mortar business.
Execution: I’ve seen this one done at restaurants a lot, but it could work for any brick and mortar business. Send participants a scratcher or sealed envelope. Assure them that there is a prize voucher inside but that they have to open or scratch it off in the store in order to redeem. Make sure the prize is something they can use while in the store that day, like a discount or free product.
Your Benefit: Brings people into your store and motivates them to purchase that day. You don’t have to pay for return postage.
One Step can help facilitate any of these contests for you by designing, printing and mailing the entry forms. Just give us a call at 949-587-5301 or email email@example.com to get started.
Download the Pool Tips + Whats Your Next Move OSS Order Form
Share important pool safety tips in with this postcard, which also has a strong call to action on the back. Postcards like this are important for building trust and staying top of mind with owners who aren’t ready to sell right now.
You don’t want people calling any real estate agent, you want them calling you! This lead generation postcard tells homeowners why you are the most qualified agent to sell their home.
School’s out and parents are looking for activities. Be a helpful resource with this Summer Bucket List postcard. Choose your county and we’ll provide 5 county specific activities. Or, if you have your own activities, we can plug those in as well.
These postcards are great “sticky pieces” meaning they are likely to stay in recipients’ hands for a while, giving your name and brand repeat exposure.
Download Summer Bucket Order Form
About a year and a half ago, my husband and I switched mobile carriers. We did it primarily to save money, as the one we were with was getting crazy expensive. We knew that coverage wouldn’t be as great, but we aren’t world travelers. So as long as we could text and surf the web within the 15 mile radius in which we live our lives, we didn’t care. We wanted to save money.
The actual plan was significantly cheaper. The phones, however, were not. And by the time you added phone payments, and taxes and services, our monthly payments were the same. This was not properly explained to me at the time of signup. Nor was it properly explained to me that at the end of our 18 month “lease” we would still owe quite a bit of money on our phones. On top of that, our data connection was poor and our phones consistently dropped calls even at our house. These little surprises made me angry, to say the least. But after a couple fruitless calls to customer service, I eventually just gave up trying to get solutions.
I read just the other day that it’s not the customers that are complaining that you need to be worried about, it’s the customers that aren’t saying anything. This is 100% true. I never even talked to a rep about the bad connections because I was so peeved at them for scamming me on price. I just wanted to pay off the phones and switch back to my original carrier. And that’s exactly what I would have done. Except…
Today I had to call customer service. And I was lit. The woman on the other end was very professional. She listened to my complaints. Some she was able to resolve, others she explained more thoroughly so they weren’t AS annoying as I had thought. She brought my anger down from a 9 to a 5 (since the insanity that was the 2016 presidential election, I can’t seem to get it down below that). I don’t love our current carrier. I’m not going to start recommending them to all my friends. But one interaction with a competent customer service rep got me to rethink my decision to leave, at least for the time being.
Readers, do not underestimate the power of one positive connection with a client. Every time you pick up the phone, send an email or type a text, assume that THAT is the interaction that could make or break the relationship with that customer. Also, keep an eye on those silent customers. The ones who aren’t interacting with your brand at all, who are placing fewer orders, who aren’t recommending you the way other clients do. Reach out to them and find out what you can do to turn them into brand enthusiasts.
Have you ever had an encounter with customer service or an account rep completely change your view of a company? Tell us the story in the comments below.