Category Archives: Social Media

60 DAYS FOR SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY MARKETING

If you’ve already worked through the initial planning stages for a successful Small Business Saturday, here’s what you’ll want to accomplish over the next 60 days leading up to the event!

Small Business Saturday (SBS) is one of the most important marketing events for you to leverage over the next few months. After all, you likely already have marketing plans in place for the fall season, winter holidays, and into the new year, but by taking advantage of this retail-driven holiday, you can bring awareness to your brand that simply may not have been there before. More and more people are in the mindset to shop local, so make sure your business is ready with a successful Small Business Saturday marketing plan.

Create Memorable Touchpoints

With any marketing event comes an opportunity for you to flex your creative muscles and engage with your clients in a meaningful and memorable way. If you operate a physical location or retail storefront, create countdown calendars that can be hung in the store and deliver a new message each day. Include small discounts, promotions, or giveaways tied to the countdown. Anything you can do to keep the SBS holiday and your related promotional offerings in mind will pay off down the road. A simple solution is to add some brand swag – a pen, button, or personalized candy wrappers – to their checkout bag.

Use Direct Mail Marketing

To generate buzz and excitement for the upcoming Small Business Saturday holiday, consider creating a direct mail campaign that will target either those in your geographic area and/or those who have a high likelihood to buy. Add a sales incentive to the mailers, create high-quality images that deliver a professional tone, and include coupons or discounts good for SBS. Use whatever asset you design as a flyer, as well, to hang in your window and where allowed on community bulletin boards.

Leverage Social Media

One way to shine a light on the upcoming holiday is by linking SBS to your social media profile and related posts. Start by creating new blogs that tout the value of Small Business Saturday or demonstrate the importance of small businesses to the economy. Twitter and Facebook can also be used to effectively market your business, and you can embed links that will route back to your landing page or promotional site.

Add Value with Cross-Promotion

Now is the time to focus on the cross-promotion part of the equation. Whether that means you’re driving foot traffic into a location near you, or you’re directing clients to a partner’s website or store front, the tighter the networking web the better off you’ll be. A fun idea is to design themed bags with your company’s logo, tagline, or affiliation with what it means to “shop local.” Also, consider hosting an in-store SBS party with other vendors/businesses offering customers home-baked treats and favors for stopping by.

Get Excited

This is your time to shine, so plan events, activities, and promotions that will draw others to your business. Show how excited you are, and don’t be bashful when explaining how your small business helps the local community. You’d be amazed at how much goodwill you can generate when you put a local spin on something. For example, by simply designating 5% of the profits from SBS to a local school or worthy cause, you may drive in significantly greater numbers of shoppers than you ever thought possible. Not to mention getting into the holiday spirit of giving back to the community.

November 26, 2016 represents an incredible opportunity to grow your business and increase awareness of the importance of small business in America. Get creative in your Small Business Saturday marketing approach, leverage social media and traditional media options, offer customized promotional marketing gifts to reward client interest and loyalty, partner with others, and put a plan in place today that you will benefit from later.

90 Days Until Small Business Saturday – Get Marketing!

This small business-focused holiday can be just the thing to kick-start your company’s sales – what marketing do you have planned?

Whether you’re a fan of Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, small business owners everywhere should tip their collective hats to the latter card issuer, as AMEX created a “holiday” six years ago strictly focused on boosting awareness and engagement with small businesses across the nation. Today, small businesses can now utilize Small Business Saturday marketing to boost foot traffic and sales.

Small Business Saturday (SBS) takes place between Black Friday and Cyber Monday each year, and the goal is simple – let the big box retailers have the Friday after Thanksgiving, and the online sites have the Monday after Turkey Day, but then persuade shoppers to choose local small businesses for their Saturday-after-Thanksgiving shopping needs.

If you own or operate a small business, consider this day as a holiday devoted just to you. To maximize it, you’ll want to keep the following key marketing concepts in mind when November 26th rolls around this year:

1.  Plan Your Small Business Saturday Marketing

Don't Get Caught Without a Plan - Start Today!

Don’t Get Caught Without a Plan – Start Today!

With 90 days to prepare for the holiday, decide how you want to promote your business in conjunction with the holiday. It is important to realize that not all people know about Small Business Saturday, so use the time leading up to the day as an opportunity to fill them in.

Remind your customers of the day by creating flyers and handing out Small Business Saturday promotional items such as pens that can be handed out quickly and easily. A custom batch of postcards, for instance, can (inexpensively) serve this purpose and will remind the customer of your business far beyond November 26th.

Now is the time to start seeing which promotional products you want to use and order in advance for Small Business Saturday.

2.  Cross Promote Your Business

This buzzy-sounding phrase is actually perfectly suited for your Small Business Saturday marketing plan. Find complementary businesses in your area and find a way to boost awareness of both companies by promoting each other!

DoritosLocos-500x229

Picture Provided by Crown Marketers (http://crownmarketers.com/)

For example, if you run an automotive repair business, consider partnering with the car wash down the street to offer discounted washes with each oil change at your shop. You’ll both benefit, and the customers will have an opportunity to learn about both of your businesses.

3.  Prepare Your Social Marketing

Image provided by npo.io

Image provided by npo.io

Clients today are as smart as ever – especially when it comes to using social media tools to add value to their shopping experience. Well in advance of the Small Business Saturday holiday, create Facebook posts or Tweets that encourage others to share information about this special day.

Keep in mind that the Small Business Saturday Facebook page alone has more than 3 million followers. Linking to this site or using hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday or #SmallBizSaturday is a great idea to boost your marketing efforts.

4.  Build upon Small Business Saturday

If you’ve already participated in Small Business Saturday in previous years, make sure you promote it this year to create a snowball effect of new business. Or, if you’re already a vocal supporter of small businesses in your area, use this time to communicate the importance of shopping locally-owned companies by showing the correlation between these businesses and the local economy. Use the holiday as a means to continually remind your local area why “grass roots” is the way to go.

Small Business Saturday is 90 days away, and now is the perfect time to gear up your Small Business Saturday marketing, plan accordingly, and start creating awareness of the importance of shopping locally.

Selfie Sticks: Pose for Success

LTV Selfie StickWe know that your promotional products are a key component of your marketing plan. But here.s why you need to add a Selfie Stick to your repertoire of items.

Likes on Instagram and Facebook have become the ultimate signs of success. What started out as a teenaged fad is now a worldwide phenomenon, and the selfie movement shows no signs of slowing down. Selfies are the new way of documenting your life, showing off to social media what you are doing, with whom, and where. This new form of picture-taking spans further than personal use of sharing photos with friends, however. It has expanded to the business world, opening doors to new marketing strategies that appeal to the Millennial generation and creating unique, visual content.

From a marketing standpoint, selfie marketing is extremely organic. If a consumer posts a picture of themselves with a favorite item, tags the company, and #hashtags the product, their followers and friends see the “review” and generate interest. On a larger scale, well-known social media influencers (celebrities, popular bloggers) are able to endorse products through their high status. Are you wondering how to get in on this selfie-sensation? There are multiple steps you can take. First, you must create social media accounts for your company in order to be tagged and followed. Creating a unique hashtag for your company or product drums up recognition. When your customers take a selfie with your product, they can throw in the hashtag in the description. Lastly, be active in posting to your own social media accounts – post your own selfies!

What started off as an inventive woman attaching her camera to a stick has evolved into an easy way to get a high-quality photos, and is becoming a common photography tool. Having this hot new promotional item will show that your company is with current trends. And who knows? Maybe your company will go viral with #yourcompanyrocks because you are the ones offering the selfie stick.

Do Your Part, Raise Awareness!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer has touched and afflicted the lives of many, and it is during this month that we all should take the time to acknowledge this devastating disease. Whether you are a fighter, survivor, or somebody that has been touched by the disease, we should all take part in raising awareness to promote hope, further, inform those around us, and seek advancement in medicine for a cure.

How can one become involved?

There are many ways this October to become involved in the fight against Breast Cancer. Whether through charitable acts, joining a fundraiser, or simply donning the pink ribbon to show your support, anyone has the power to raise awareness. The most important factor in becoming involved with the cause is to show your support with the kindness of heart and dedication. You can find further information about National Breast Cancer Month at the National Breast Cancer Foundation: (http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month?gclid=CPejhoy71rICFad7QgodgEwAJA). The website gives in-depth information about what the month entails and highlights possible ways to raise awareness and get involved.

National Pen and Breast Cancer Awareness!

We at National Pen extend our thoughts and respect to all of those who have been touched by this dreaded disease. During this month, National Pen is dedicated to informing those who follow us about the importance and significance of spreading awareness. We are taking a first-hand approach through the products we offer (Breast Cancer Inspired!) and our involvement with those who share in our business activities. Our Breast Cancer inspired products allow you, your business, consumers, and others to show support through actively raising awareness. Help combat this disease and raise awareness through our products!

Show Your Support for Promoting Awareness:
http://www.pens.com/October-is-Breast-Cancer-Awareness
http://www.pens.com/site/products/CLX
http://www.pens.com/drinkware/11-oz-ceramic-mug/mug

Also, Check Out Pink NFL Pens:
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Let us all remember to do our part the rest of this month in raising awareness. Each day is another step forward, and through our support and recognition, we can help raise hope to all!

Knowledge is Power

“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.” – Peter Drucker

January 19 is Get to Know Your Customer Day. It seems like we should spend more than a day learning
about our customers, right? Customers are the key to your success so it’s important to get to know them as well as you can. Learn about their interests, needs, and challenges so you can offer the products and services that are best suited for them.

What are the best ways to do this?

Surveys: An easy way to learn about your customers is to just ask. There are plenty of easy-to-use online survey tools that you can use to collect feedback. Ask about their satisfaction, where you can improve, what needs are not currently met. The benefit of doing this online is that customers will speak candidly and let you know the good and the not so good. Also include some questions that can help build your relationship. Do they like to travel or play sports? Do they have kids? You may find you have more in common than just your business relationship.

Personal Meetings: If you’re in the sales field, take your top customers out for lunch or coffee. Instead of just sticking to business, keep the conversation diverse so you learn as much as you can. If you have a retail or service location, consider providing refreshments for an hour or two when you can mingle and chat with customers.

Social Media: The Internet makes it possible to connect to your customers year-round. Set up accounts on Yelp, Facebook and/or Linked In for your business. Let customers know where to find you so you can keep an open dialog with them. The bonus to you is that new customers may find you online, especially when you get rave reviews!

The most important thing about getting to know your customers is taking the time to interpret what you learned. Listen to what they’re telling you, and read through their comments. Based on what you now know, think about what you can do to best meet their needs. Answer that succesfully and you’ll have more customers to get to know next time around! Happy customers tell their friends…

We value your support would love to know more about you and what you think about National Pen. Please let us know how we’re doing!

Yahoo Search Marketing Tries Out Favicons

Favicons are the little icon that shows up in your browser next to the address bar. For example, if you look up at your address bar right now, you.ll probably see this:

That little B in the orange box is Blogger.s favicon. It.s showing up because we are using them to host this blog that you.re reading now. If you visit our website, http://www.pens.com/, you.ll see this as our favicon:

Favicons are an excellent way for brands to distinguish themselves and establish an identity of their own. Yahoo Search Marketing, earlier this month, started a test of showing an advertisers favicon in their Search Marketing ad. This is great because it will let customers know whether or not the site you are going to is the true owner of the brand or company you are looking for. For example, here is Nike.s ad:
Notice the favicon of the famous Nike logo we all know. This way if I was looking to shop from the authentic Nike site, I could. The other listings that show up on a search for Nike are Zappos, Kohl.s, Finish Line, and a few others. They would each have their own favicon.

While Yahoo Search Marketing is just rolling this feature out to certain advertisers during its testing period, I think it.s a move in the right direction. This will help customers when they shop as they will be able to easily identify your brand. Establish your logo, your look, keep it consistent, and use it everywhere. This way, people will learn to recognize you just by your logo or favicon.

On another note, have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Your Business Should Use Twitter and Facebook

Web marketing is a constantly changing forum. Businesses and business owners alike should be up-to-date, focused, and involved in the latest marketing strategies. They should be evaluating the different arenas of web marketing available and develop a plan of attack on how that particular form of marketing can be beneficial to them. It doesn.t matter if it.s email marketing, website marketing, SEO, SEM, media buying, affiliates, or social media. Whatever is out there should be studied and evaluated. Ask the question of how does this work with my business? How about my audience? What does this form of marketing entail? Has it been successful for my competitors? If so, how? I read an article from Forbes today about social networking through Facebook and Twitter for upper management. Today.s post is going to be about how Facebook and Twitter can work for your business if executed correctly.

Here is a little background on Facebook and Twitter for those unfamiliar with these forums. Facebook is a social networking site where people can sign up and connect with friends and others. It is very similar to MySpace but much cleaner and less spammy. Each person has a profile, can share pictures, links, chat, etc. Businesses can also create their own page about their services and products and people can add it to their profile basically showing that they are a .fan. of that company. Twitter is similar to a mini blog. People and businesses can update with short sentences on what is going on. People use this to update their friends and businesses use this to connect with the audience and promote specials.

Things like Facebook and Twitter tend to be overlooked in businesses because the value in them is not seen. In the view of consumers, transparency is good. A business that involves itself in blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media show their transparency. People enjoy knowing that there are people behind the business. By representing a company with a human face, people feel a much more personalized experienced. Being visible in the social networking world allows the company to communicate at a personal level with its customers. It shows customers that these people care and are human too.

Using Twitter or Facebook, a company is able to see what people are saying about their business, products, and services. Businesses will also gain direct access to its customers to poll about new products, evaluate customer experience, and collect ideas for the next great thing.

However, succeeding through these social networking portals requires certain finesse in speaking to the audience. You should never talk badly about your competitors or anyone else. Doing this shows unprofessionalism and may give you a bad reputation. You should also never pretend to comment as someone else. If you are caught, your credibility will go down the drain. Instead, let your loyal customer support you. If your company provides great services and products, the positive publicity will come naturally. If you are getting negative feedback, this is a source for alleviating any problems.

Make sure you do your research before you dive into any social media network. Be positive, personable, and tasteful and you will see the fruits of your labor grow.

Photo courtesy of 7son75

Easily Monitor Your Reputation Online

It.s important to know what people are saying about your company, but searching for your brand name online can take hours and if you want to check up periodically, you.re faced with search results you.ve already seen.

So how can you find out what people say about you online? Create a Google Alert and have new mentions of your company sent directly to your email. It.s easy to do, just visit their Alerts website, then type your company name in quotes in the search box. Select what kind of results you want and how often you.d like to receive them, and enter your email. Hit .Create Alert. and you.re done!

Every time a new site uses your search term, you.ll get notified via email. Of course, if you have a very generic name and pull up too many search results, you may want to try including your city name or your industry in the search as well.

Image Courtesy of keso