Marketing Strategies for the Small Business Owner

4 Must-Ask Questions For A Prospective Advertising Agency

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Must-Ask Questions For A Prospective Advertising Agency

Whether you run a small business large, a large corporation, or anything in between, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to hire an advertising agency at some point. Ad agencies can help your company gain greater exposure through Internet marketing, content production, search engine optimization, and more. Before you hire just any ad agency for your business, however, there are a few important questions you’ll want to ask during an interview with a prospective ad agency.     How is Client-Agent Communication Handled? Find out exactly how you will be able to get in touch with the agents assigned to your account, as this can vary greatly from one agency to the next. Ideally, you’ll want to have direct access–either by phone, email, or regular meetings–to your agents. Unfortunately, with some larger ad agencies, you may not have a direct line of contact to each member and will instead have to work your way through the hierarchy to get your questions answered or concerns addressed. Do You Have Minimums on Billed Time? With most ad agencies, each position within the agency will have a designated billing rate. For example, your SEO agent may have one rate whereas your creative director may charge a different rate. In addition to finding out the rate for each position assigned to your account, you’ll also want to find out if there are any minimums required. For instance, if they’re charging by the hour, will your contract require you to pay for a minimum number of hours each week or month? How Will You Appeal to the Target Audience? Of course, your business has its own unique audience that will need to be targeted by your ad agency. Your ad budget will only pay off if your agency truly understands your target audience and what appeals to them. During your interview, ask for specific ideas regarding how they would advertise to your target audience and be on the lookout for “cookie cutter” answers. They should have a variety of creative tools at their disposal to tailor their marketing efforts to any age group, gender, or other demographic. Are Any of Your Ad Services Outsourced? Last but not least, check to make sure that none of the agency’s services are being outsourced. For example, are they hiring an outside agency to assist with your SEO efforts? If so, then you’re probably going to end up paying more than you need to in addition to having a less direct line of communication with the outsourced agents. For further assistance, contact a local advertising agency, such as ICON Advertising & Design,...

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Is an Airplane Banner a Good Use of Your Advertising Funds?

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is an Airplane Banner a Good Use of Your Advertising Funds?

If you own a small business, you likely rely on a variety of offbeat and out-the-box ways to advertise to potential clients or customers. In your quest to find new and effective ways to gain more business, you may have considered flying an airplane banner at a public event or other large gathering to help reach the maximum number of potential customers at once. While these banners are routinely flown by multinational corporations over major sports events and televised parades, they may not always make sense for every small business. Read on to learn more about aerial advertising to determine whether this is a good use of your advertising dollars. When may aerial advertising be a good way for you to garner business?  Because aerial advertising requires you to pay a pilot for his or her time, flight expenses, and the cost of the banner itself, it isn’t something you’ll want to pay to do for days on end. Therefore, you’ll want to plan your flying time to coincide with an event that will put a lot of people in prime viewing area—an outdoor sports event, festival, concert, or other gathering. Ideally, you’ll be able to choose a gathering associated with your target customer base—a folk music festival if you own a secondhand instrument store, for example, or a soccer game if you own a sports equipment store. You may also want to use this banner to offer a promotion that will help drive customer traffic through your doors. By including a short blurb like “Mention this ad for 20% off!” you’ll be able to track the number of customers who viewed your ad, letting you know whether this was a worthwhile investment (and whether you should do it again).  What are some situations in which you may want to avoid aerial advertising?  Before designing your plane banner, you’ll first want to ensure aerial advertising is permitted in your area. Some parts of the country have enacted ordinances against aerial advertising, although the Federal Aviation Administration states that it remains legal throughout the United States, with certain restrictions and waivers. Utilizing an aerial advertising company in violation of local laws and ordinances could cost you more business than you’ll gain. You may also want to avoid aerial advertising if your business’s structure or purpose doesn’t lend itself well to a logo and description abbreviated enough to fit on a banner. While aerial advertising can be a no-brainer for those in certain industries (like flying a banner for toy store discounts over a holiday parade), in others you’ll need to depend on more personalized ways to approach potential...

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Tips For Purchasing Executive Pens

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Purchasing Executive Pens

Whether you are giving out executive pens to clients in order to thank them for their business or if you’re giving them to highly valued employees that have been with the company for an extended amount of time, you are going to want to make sure that you are getting the most for your money. Executive pens are expensive and you want to make sure that, when you give them as gifts, that they have maximum impact on the person receiving them. Here’s how to make this happen. 1. Spend a Little Extra for the Case The best way to ensure that your executive pen makes a great first impression on the person receiving it is to present it professionally. The easiest method of doing this is to simply purchase the box that goes with the pen from the company that sold you the pen. Doing so will give the person receiving the pen a good place to store it and will show him or her that you spared no expense in getting him or her this gift. By including the box, you can show that you care and are willing to do whatever it takes to continue the business relationship. 2. Get it Engraved Another way to make sure that your pen makes the best impression possible on the person receiving it is to get it engraved with the company that the person works for if he or she is a client, or with his or her name if that person is a longtime employee. By doing this, you can show that you really care about the person getting the pen and are willing to spend the extra money in order to get a pen personalized just for them. Engraving tends to be cheap, meaning that this is a very cost-effective way of showing a client or employee how greatly you value him or her. 3. Find Out Their Favorite Color Finally, if there’s any way that you can find out the recipient’s favorite color, you will want to get the pen in that color in order to show that you care. For an employee, simply drop by their office and look around to see what color most of their office supplies are and get a pen that matches that color. For a client, call his or her secretary and ask that person what kind of color schemes his or her boss has in the office. Doing so will show that you are attentive to the other person’s preferences and that it would be advantageous to continue the business relationship. For more information, talk to a company that specializes in providing executive...

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3 Things to Remember When Hiring a Content Writer for Your Blog

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things to Remember When Hiring a Content Writer for Your Blog

If you are currently working on your blog, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. You can always hire a content writer to help you produce content, and many don’t even expect you to put their name on their work. Hiring one of these writing professionals can be a dream come true, but you should remember a few tips when doing so to ensure that it will work out properly. 1. Skip the Cheap Stuff First of all, you should be nervous about hiring writers who are willing to write articles for pennies. Just remember that you generally won’t get the best quality if you aren’t willing to pay for it. Writers who are willing to provide content for pennies on the dollar often aren’t native English speakers or will rush through the work that they provide you with. This is obviously understandable when you consider the low pay rate, but it isn’t something that you should put on your blog. Instead, consider the fact that high-quality articles will be more beneficial for your site, and chalk it up as a part of doing business. 2. Do Your Own Keyword Research Many content writers spend most of their time honing the craft of writing, which means that they might spend more time on things like perfecting their word choices and grammar. Although many of them are familiar with the world of search engine optimization, many of them don’t know much about choosing keywords. You should also know that different people have different keyword strategies, so your writer might not be accustomed to the strategy that you use. This means that you shouldn’t expect your writers to do this research for you; instead, you should do your own research and let your writers know which keywords you expect them to include in your content. This will help prevent problems between you and the people who write for you, and it’ll help ensure that your content is keyword optimized like you would prefer it to be. 3. Add Your Own Flair You might be planning on hiring a writer so that you don’t have to worry about the writing process at all, but you should still take the time to look over each submission and add your own flair, if possible. If you do, you can help ensure that your blog posts and other content truly match your personality. Using a content writer market to help you out with your blog is smart, but you should still take a few steps to ensure that it will work...

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Tips For Trade Shows And Custom Booths

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Trade Shows And Custom Booths

Going to continued education seminars, career fairs and industry trade shows can be the difference between becoming stagnant as a business owner and taking things to the next level. For this reason, you will need to learn how to best represent yourself when it comes to putting together a booth and navigating a trade event. Read on and learn how to get the most out of your booth and your time spent at a trade event.  Get The Most Out Of Your Booth Your biggest priority when it comes to putting together a trade show event should be to get everything that you need out of the booth. You can get a trade show booth built to a number of specifications, including 10 x 10, 20 x 20 and 10 x 20. Your specific event will have different booth options that you can utilize in order to maximize space and presentation. Regardless of the size of booth you choose, you should make yours stand out as opposed to making it run of the mill. People love free things, so be sure that you have interesting promotional items ready to go and in plentiful supply. This is one of the biggest things you can do to get your name out. To draw attention to your booth, you should also host some sort of game with interesting prizes. This is a great way to get contact information from people you can later market to. Take Proactive Action In order to make the most out of your time at a trade show, you should be thinking proactive rather than reactive. Rather than just having a space to set up, you should be looking to make meaningful, lasting relationships throughout the duration of the event. This will help you to make the most out of your time and energy, so that you are best able to benefit from the event as a whole. Focus On Your Graphics The booth is incredibly important, but you need to put some serious emphasis on your graphical presentations. The size, uniqueness and type of graphics that you use will help to spread the word about you and draw people in. You can also use the graphics to promote some sort of initiative that you are working on. By focusing on these three golden rules of trade show events, you will be in a good position to put your best foot forward. You can also reach out to trade booth creators in order to be sure you are maximizing on their talent and ingenuity, to get the absolute most of your custom booth. Follow these tips, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with a booth contractor who can help you out.  For more information about booths, click this link or do an online...

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Tired Of Boring Fundraising Ideas? Get Items People Want And Need To Buy

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tired Of Boring Fundraising Ideas? Get Items People Want And Need To Buy

If you have a group, team, club or organization and all of your parents complain when it comes time to fundraise, discount gift card fundraising options are the way to go. These are items that make sense, and can help you raise a lot of money. The fundraiser will be for you to sell gift cards to different stores and retailers, and then you get a percentage of the gift card back. Some companies sell bulk packages of cards at a lower rate, so you get the difference when others pay full price for the cards. This is an easy item for you to sell, you don’t have to worry about large deliveries, and some companies allow the people to order the cards and have them shipped right to their home. Here are a few reasons to try gift cards. Everyone Spends Money Not everyone will buy candles, need wrapping paper, or want the other things that you will try to sell. People will always need groceries, gas, clothes and more. People can buy the gift cards to use on items that they were going to spend money on anyway, like their meals and other expenses. A lot of people also like to give gift cards out as gifts. Everyone spends money, so everyone can use a gift card. It’s Easy If you are delivering food, you have to worry about it spoiling or getting damaged, and if you are selling other items, you have to worry about damages during transportation. If you drop a box of candles, or a box of cookies accidentally melts in the car, you have to replace it. Gift cards are easy to order and pass out, and you can mail them to friends and family far away if you want. You can even find a company that lets others order their own online. Wide Selection of Vendors When you have a catalog of cookie dough, magazines, or other sales items for fundraising events, you have minimal selection of items. With gift cards, there are hundreds of vendors to choose from. You aren’t stuck choosing just clothes gift cards, or just toy gift cards. If fundraising around your area is getting dull and everyone is always going around selling the same things, it’s time to mix it up and get something that people really want to buy and use. Talk with vendors that will give you gift cards at a discounted rate so you can get money, or that will give you a percentage of the...

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