Build your own audience!

The conversation hasn’t changed, but where it takes place, has!

If you can bring social media down to it’s lowest common denominator it would all come down to ‘word of mouth’. Till this day, ask any business owner what generates the most leads or business, and you’ll still hear those three words.

When you place an ad on TV, radio, newspaper, etc, what you’re really doing is renting their engaged audience. They have the ‘reach’, you have to pay for that, and the more you pay the more frequency your ad will achieve. The problem is, each time you want to reach that audience, you have to start the process all over again.

Social Media is an opportunity for you to build your own audience. That’s the most simple way that I can explain it. Never before have you really had an opportunity to build your own loyal, engaged audience to interact with, build trust and loyalty and have conversations on a one to one basis. That’s the power of social media, and when your own ‘friend’ talks about a positive experience, that’s as good as any referral you can ask for.

As your own audience continues to grow, you will build your own base of loyal customers, family and friends and see a higher return all of your traditional marketing and advertising efforts.

Talk to us to see how we can help you build your own audience, and the effect it will have on your bottom line!

John Garcia
Digital Director
bdigitalagency.com

How ‘social’ is the Auto Industry?

Have you purchased a car recently or know somebody who has? Did a pic of the new vehicle make it to the Facebook wall?

Increasingly sharing these lifestyle events on social media are becoming more popular. Let’s face it, purchasing a new vehicle (even if its not new) is a big deal and one that many people would like to share with their friends and family. In fact, I’d like to share some recent statistics from the dealer.com website.

No other medium lets you enter into the conversations your customers and prospects are having quite like social media does. These slide prove that this segment continues to grow, and the sooner you understand it, the better you will be able to leverage it, and compete.

Are your business practices in line with your consumers buying habits?

We recently launched a new product to help companies in the Air Conditioning business generate more leads. The program is simply called BestACQuote.com and it’s based on the same premise that has made Lending Tree and other similar sites so successful.

 

For the most part, if you give consumers the opportunity to gather all of their information in one place, and that place delivers quality and trusted options, that will often be the preferable choice. For example when you look for the price on a plane ticket for an upcoming trip – do you visit each individual airline site, or do you go to Expedia or Kayak or a similar site?

This business model on the internet continues to grow in popularity as the sites become better at delivering valuable results in less time than it would take you to do the research. These results are very often competing on price, as it allows the consumer to ‘shop’ more easily.

I understand that most businesses don’t want to compete on price. Everyone would prefer to deal with consumers who are interested in the best ‘value’ for their money and bottom line pricing is not the ultimate deciding factor. However, reality in the marketplace weighs heavily in favor of the consumer shopping first for the best price, then looking at the value.

It was somewhat surprising to me at a recent air conditioning trade show, how many AC companies did not want to compete on ‘price’. They often stated that their not looking for that ‘type’ of customer, and that they were not the ‘cheapest’ guys out there. Really?

Value is all about comparing the price of something to what you’re getting in return. If I pay for one AC system that last me 5 years and pay $2000 or buy 1 AC that last me 10 years but pay $3,000, which one is the cheapest?

All that aside (basic best-selling practices), the bottom line is that the consumer does prefer to make decisions based on price, and if you’re not able to enter into that arena, how are you going to be able to enter into the value conversation?

I was in the music industry many years ago, when we would actually sell records. Records are these vinyl discs that would spin in a turntable or record-player and music would come out the speakers! I say this sarcastically because when things went digital (MP3 if you will) in the music biz, everybody pushed back, and everybody wanted to sue everybody.

Well, now iTunes is just a way of life…I mean, when was the last time you visited a record store? The point is when you don’t embrace technology, and learn how to leverage it and make it work for you, it will run you over and run you right out of business.

Get comfortable with www.bestacquote.com and www.lendingtree.com and www.expedia.com and any other site that comes along and delivers the needs of the consumer in the fastest and most reliable manner, because that is how business will be conducted online for many years to come.

The Five Keys to Increase Lead Generation.

The ultimate goal of a direct response advertising campaign is to generate new leads, and close more deals. As marketers we look at many different angles and forms of persuasion as possible, but business owner look at one metric: ROI. If you’re putting a direct response campaign together, these five steps are crucial to the success of your campaign:

#1 The Offer: In any direct response campaign the offer has to be appealing enough to capture the interest of the audience in a 2 to 3 second window. This doesn’t mean you have to include the word ‘Free’ or ‘Buy One Get One’ or ‘half off’, etc – it means the offer needs to be clearly understood and offer value beyond that of the competition.

#2 The Delivery System: Whether you use traditional media such as TV, Radio or Print, etc making sure that you have a ‘tradigital’ approach is key in today’s marketplace. Tradigital is using traditional media to drive digital for maximum results. A very small percentage of consumers choose to ‘call’ as their primary response to an ad. An overwhelming majority will prefer to email, text or visit a website, which is why you need to clearly communicate the preferred response option in your ad. Our best advice is to use a landing page online or ‘vanity URL’, that speaks clearly to the offer and only asks for name and email opt-in to redeem it.

 

#3 The Process: Far too often the creative overpowers the call to action, or the offer is cluttered in other messages and agendas. Keep the message to one clear offer, and just as important, one clear way to redeem it or take the next step in the process. If the ‘call to action’ is not clear, you may have a good offer, or a clever message that only a small percentage of people actually act upon.

#4 The Response: If the consumer does not immediately get a reply when asking for information or redeeming an offer, you can forget about making that sale. There are too many competitors and too many other opportunities and options for that consumer to wait for you. Whenever you can add a ‘personal touch’ to that response, it only adds value and increases conversion rates.

#5 The Follow Up: So the fact of the matter, not every inquiry will result in a sale – which is why we have email marketing. Don’t think of 5 new customers out of 500 emails a failure, think of it as 495 new prospects that may need a little more nudging or encouragement, or maybe just a little more time to come around. A sound e-mail drip campaign will dramatically increase your conversion rates as email remains a very strong closer for those on the fence.

Keep these five steps in place and you will see significant increases in the results of your advertising campaigns. For help with this tradigital marketing strategy to increase leads or any other marketing challenges, please call as at Baldrica Advertising and Marketing Group, or our digital agency, ‘b digital’. Thank you.

Is a simple landing page all you need?

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, in many cases (especially with direct response campaigns) a landing page can be a much better option for generating traffic and increasing your conversion rates, then promoting your website or home page.

I still get those terrified looks from advertisers, weary that promoting a ‘landing page’ that is not on their existing website will waste precious page views. The fact is that, even in the case of our accounts who market to an affluent audience, the landing page has delivered amazing results, and well beyond the expectations of our advertisers.

I can give a slew of reasons why a landing page, (customized to reflect the offer in the advertising campaign) is a more effective tool in collecting leads and increasing conversion rates, but I believe the biggest reason for the success is this: the overall comfort level and growing acceptance by the end user.

What I mean is, now that the internet is basically a part of who you are and what you do, visiting a page to get more information, rather than a website is no big deal. In fact, many more people appreciate the simple and straightforward access and information of a well-crafted landing page offers, and are more likely to be engaged and interact with it.

Our latest endeavor for a small custom jewelry company with, get this, no website – only a Facebook and Twitter page, send all their traffic to a landing page, which has received 1,115 visits with 83 leads converted for a conversion rate of 7.44%! This is a clear indication that a professional landing page, with a strong social media campaign can build the trust and comfort level with its audience, so that the landing page is really all they need to generate a profitable business.

Promote the Heck out of it…Build it and they will come!

Oh, but how often do we ignore that first little line…Promote the Heck out of it…and just go right to the building part.

Back in my good ‘ol days, well before I ever had a ‘real’ job, I was a ‘DJ’. Any DJ worth listening to was also a great promoter. Any great promoter also had a team of promoters, insuring that thousands of flyers, were given out, by hand (this is before Facebook and MySpace, heck before the internet!) so that everyone knew when the party was, where, what time, who was DJing and of course, how much you had to pay to get in!

Thanks to all of those efforts we had many successful events, and long lines of people waiting to get in, even on those frigid winter nights in Jersey. That’s what I call social networking!

Sometimes I forget those lessons I learned, and what it really takes to create a buzz, and get enough excitement built around something so that a significant amount of people make it a priority on their busy social calendars.

One thing is for sure, I would never DJ at a club unless I was absolutely sure that the ‘street team’ as we called it, was in full force, handing out thousands of flyers, and submitting guest lists well in advance.

 

That one lesson could serve so valuable to so many new businesses that open up each day, without any fanfare or following to speak of. It seems they all think that they can simply open the doors and the people will come, and more often than not, their doors close within a year. To think that you can spend all of your money getting your new business ready to open and not have any budget to properly promote and market it, is a recipe for disaster.

As an entrepreneur myself, I know how anxious I get each time I have a new idea and want to bring it to market. I’m working on a new project right now and I just want to get the show on the road, BUT, a big part of getting the show on the road is the pre-show.

It doesn’t mean that you’re not moving forward, it just means you’re laying down the best foundation possible and opportunity to succeed. This entails many different tactics that in today’s world including PR on the web, social media, YouTube videos that go viral, events, sampling, endorsements, and so on.
Don’t wait until you’re open to start promoting, you should get your street team together and start promoting six months before you open. Set up a landing page, and offer a VIP invite for anyone who signs up, and they will also receive a special something on your grand opening.

Akin to a famous Abrahm Lincoln quote: “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax”…if you have a new venture on the horizon, spend most of the energy getting the word out, to insure a successful opening and a strong foundation for the future!

“Does your creative pass the test of time?” The Five questions you need to ask.

I heard a reporter say “People are pretty patient…for up to 2 seconds” this morning on NPR news radio. He was reporting on a story about how YouTube was looking into its video server technology and ways they could improve load times. The study showed that as soon as video began to delay because it was buffering, attention spans dropped dramatically. After only 10 seconds of buffering, most people left the page!

I think this point can be expanded to the overall mindset of today’s highly wired, and highly mobile society. We in marketing know that if you can’t capture a person’s attention in the first few seconds, they probably won’t stick around to hear your offer.

That ‘first impression’ window continues to close, and soon it will be called the ‘instant impression’ and you won’t have much more than a second to compete for your audiences’ attention.

What does that say for your website, or sales collateral or your presentation? Why not gather a few friends, outside of your business circle and put them to the test. See how they answer these questions after visiting your website, or viewing your ad and see if you pass the test of time. For the best results, ask them to only spend a few seconds viewing the material and then answer these questions: (you could test yourself, but we are often not good judges of our own work).

1. What was your first impression?
2. Did you feel compelled to move beyond the initial message?
3. Was there something in particular that caught your eye?
4. Can you clearly recall the offer or concept being portrayed?
5. Would you consider the offer and returning?

This 5 second, 5 question test can be brutally eye-opening but if we’re to break through the clutter of millions of messages and offers bombarding the public each and every day, you need to pass the test of time!

Ironhorse Country Club Case Study

This case study features Ironhorse Country Club of West Palm Beach. The manager Jason Hayes was challenged to increase membership by at least 25 new members in the 4th Quarter. Our Trenchant Marketing partners lead by Brittni Weiss and Kathryn Bulman met with Jason, and developed a campaign that delivered 91 new members and generated well over $300,000 in new revenue! Click on the jpg files below to see how we did it.

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If your business is struggling to achieve the results from your marketing and advertising campaign, call us for a free consultation.

How many of your 2013 business resolutions are influenced by digital?

“That’s it, this year I’m going to fix my website, figure out my SEO and SEM strategy, and keep consistent with building my email database and sending out great emails, and getting all my social media right and doing a better job following up on my leads!  Oh yeah and get a mobile site, and make sure my site looks good on a tablet…”

Many of us tasked with marketing our companies have a list like that and may include many of the above tasks.  Unfortunately, it may look very similar to last year’s list, and most likely the list for the past 3 to 5 years.  One thing is for sure, ‘digital’ continues to grow in importance and command more of your attention, but are you focused on the right tasks?

 

The reason that list keeps getting longer, and your results keep failing  to deliver positive results, is that you’re caught up in the digital wave of hype and want to make sure your Facebook page has as many ‘Likes’ as your competitor.  At the end of the day, are you generating more qualified leads?  If the answer is no, than you may want to shift your focus to a marketing campaign that focuses on lead gen.

How do you do that?

Implement a ‘tradigital’ strategy that starts with a  well-crafted traditional advertising campaign that asks your viewers, listeners, readers, etc. to visit a web (landing-page) to complete the process, receive the offer, get more information or whatever you call to action is.

Stop giving out phone numbers, stop printing coupons, stop sending people to an outdated website that doesn’t’ capture leads and does not even feature the offer that you’re currently promoting.

We’ve proven time and again, that a good offer, advertised in right media will drive up awareness, search activity and increase traffic.  When this traffic generated lands on a professional landing page you will convert that traffic to leads.  Any traffic not converted to leads become prospects that you will continue to engage through social media and emails.

We make it sound simple, and really it can be.  Implementing a tradigital strategy will keep the focus clearly on generating leads, and cut down on a lot of the costs associated with getting your ‘digital house in order’.

Call or email us for a free ‘tradigitial’ consultation today.

Lessons in marketing from 2012… “Pivot or Persevere”

This year was a complete blur to me. Moving out of a corporate job to launch my own agency and all of the lessons that I learned, really came at me fast and furiously.

Safe to say our ‘plan’ went out the window in a little less than three months. We set out to teach the world how to use digital marketing and advertising and how ‘inbound’ was the answer moving forward. Only to find out that ‘outbound’ is still very much in control of the equation and learning how to properly craft that outbound message, with proper ‘inbound’ tools and resources is the way to deliver maximum results.

We realized quickly that we had to ‘pivot’ from our original plan, rather than persevere through it. If we did not, and simply kept pounding our ‘digital’ initiatives, we would have never discovered what we coined as a ‘tra-digital’ initiative.

Even as we named our agency ‘b digital’, we came to understand that the only way to be digital, (for a very large portion of our prospects and accounts anyway) was to learn to be ‘tradigital’ and learn how to properly leverage traditional media to drive digital.

Now that we are at this point, we are set to persevere as we teach others how to implement this strategy for maximum results, and we have had great success in doing so. However, we will remain alert and ready to ‘pivot’ again if we see there is a better way to reach and maintain positive marketing results.

I learned a lot of things this year, but this ‘pivot or persevere’ is easily my most enlightening moment. It’s clear to me that a business, especially a startup, has its best chance to succeed, not based on how much capital it has, but based upon how many times it can successfully ‘pivot’ to meet the actual demands of the marketplace, and not the ‘perceived’ demands you set out to initially conquer.

As you look at 2013, and put your plans in place do so with an eye on the horizon, and ask yourself, at the end of each day, “are we doing what our customers and prospects are asking for, or are we forcing a product/solution on them?”

On behalf of everyone here at Baldrica/b digital agency, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a ‘Pivot or Persevere’ New Year!