Which is easier: going to the customer or getting the customer to come to you? Instead of reaching out to customers, maybe you should consider ways to get them to reach out to you. This is considered inbound marketing, and spending marketing dollars to get customers to come to you is a wise use of resources and even easier to accomplish as part of your digital marketing plan.
On the surface, digital marketing and inbound marketing seem similar. Both occur primarily online, and both focus on creating digital content for people to consume. However, the broad term “digital marketing” doesn’t differentiate between push and pull marketing tactics or what we refer to as “inbound” and “outbound” methods. Both still fall under the umbrella of digital marketing.
Digital outbound tactics aim to put a marketing message directly in front of as many people as possible in the online space – regardless of whether it’s relevant or welcomed. For example, the banner ads you see at the top of many websites try to push a product or promotion onto people who aren’t necessarily ready to receive it.
On the other hand, digital inbound tactics use online content to attract their target customers onto their websites by providing assets that are helpful to them. One of the simplest yet most powerful inbound digital marketing assets is a blog, which allows your website to capitalize on the terms your ideal customers are searching. If you post videos or blogs to your business social media sites, you are engaged in inbound marketing.
Ultimately, inbound marketing is a methodology that uses digital marketing assets to attract, convert, close, and delight customers online. It creates and develops content for your websites that will increase brand awareness, nurture and convert new leads, increase customer loyalty and retention and hopefully maximize brand advocates who can tell others about your brand.
At Riley & You, we know how to create interesting content that will attract customers to your online channels. We take the time to understand your brand and your market so that we can help you create content for effective inbound marketing. Our team of experts have all the tools they need to transform your digital marketing strategies from pushing messages out to pulling customers in.
You have heard of millennials and you may have been annoyed by them, but who are they and why should you care? Millenials are people born between 1977 and 2000, and older generations have been annoyed by the younger generations that follow them for centuries. However, there comes a point in every generation when you must begin to accept your differences and learn to embrace them. If your brand plans to be around long enough to serve the next generation, you need to know how to market to them.
From a marketing perspective, you can’t ignore them and their buying power. According to Millennial Marketing, millennials make up 25% of the U.S. population and spend over a trillion dollars each year on discretionary purchases. It’s also true that brands that stand for more than the bottom line receive more millennial love and dollars. This is a segment of your market that you can’t ignore.
The values and habits of this generation have already drastically impacted marketing plans in three key ways.
- Social Media is key. Previous generations called a friend or asked for references before making a major purchase. They also relied heavily on brand names that they had heard of before on television or in print advertising. Millennials reach out and ask over 200 friends with a single post. According to Millennial Marketing,”Millennials are about three times more likely than other generations to reference social media networks when making purchase decisions.” In other words, if you aren’t on social media and interacting with consumers, you could miss this segment of your market.
- Authenticity matters. Millennials have a built-in immunity to traditional advertising methods and messages, and authenticity matters more than content. According to Matthew Tyson from Huffington Post, only about 1% of millennials say that a compelling ad influences them. In your online postings, you need to find ways to engage people in the conversation that involves listening as well as talking. Becoming authentic means that you become more transparent and find ways to meet needs that your audience already has, not trying to make them feel like they need something from you.
- Shopping is about the experience. Millennials are spending an average of 25 hours online each week according to Hubspot. While online, they are not only looking at social media, but they are also shopping. They are not just looking for products; they are looking for experiences. “Young consumers increasingly see the act of researching and browsing for a purchase as more compelling than the purchase itself,” says Meaghan Moraes. This phenomenon has been coined as “Fauxsumerism” because people think about buying products and pin them to their Pinterest pages, putting off the urge to buy impulsively. Do you know how to position your product to give them the experiences they are looking for?
Riley & You understands the shifts that are happening in both traditional and online marketing as millennial consumers take an ever-growing share of the market. Let our experts help you navigate a new generation of marketing for your business.
Whether you know it or not, you already have brand advocates. A brand advocate is someone who loves your brand and is eager to tell others about it. Sometimes you find them through social media or through your blog or maybe even in real life. But once you find them, do you know how to use them to promote your brand?
In the past, marketing strategies have sought to use online influencers to promote their brands. However, utilizing brand advocates has benefits that influencers do not. For example, brand advocates are actual customers who have already used your product or service and have given it a positive review on social media. They are just average, every day people who believe in your product. Influencers on the other hand are typically bloggers or celebrities who already have a following online. They are using your brand to build their audience and typically asking for some kind of incentive to do so. Brand advocates often work for free and don’t have a hidden agenda.
In the past it was relatively easy to control your brand’s image and message. However, this is one area that has drastically changed with the onset of social media. MarketingWeek.com states, “A brand’s reputation is increasingly informed by what others say about it rather than what the brand says about itself. This means marketers need to find new ways to persuade customers and influencers to explain the values and benefits of brands to others.” At Riley & You, we can help you determine and shape how your brand is perceived online.
We know how to find brand advocates and use them to build your brand. We have experience building an online presence that will drive customer engagement. We also help our clients manage their online outlets and respond quickly and efficiently to reviews, both positive and negative. We know that you already have brand advocates, but we also know how to help you find creative ways to engage them in promoting your product.
Social media has become all the rage. Everyone has a Facebook page and a Twitter account, or even Instagram and Snapchat. Many companies have increased their search advertising and online ads. But what if you are missing one of the most powerful digital marketing tools available to you? What if there was another format that could take a $10 investment and turn it into $4,000 in sales?
Email. It’s the only digital platform where you have complete control of your message. You control who gets it, when they get it, and what the message says. It’s one of the things that most people access every day. In a recent survey, 72% of people said they prefer companies to communicate with them via email. You may have heard that Millenials aren’t using email as much, but that research suggests that they prefer email for one-to-one contact and retail advertising.
Email is one of the most effective tools advertisers have to reach their consumers, and it has the highest ROI of any digital marketing channel at a 38-to-1 ratio. Econsultancy reported it as the fastest growing area in digital marketing. However it’s one of the last line items in the marketing budget. Companies that invest 20% of their marketing budget into email are more than eight times likely to see sales increase by 50% or more.
At Riley & You, we know what it takes to use email as an effective marketing tool, and we have some questions for you:
- Are you using email effectively? We can shape content that fits your audience and personalize the emails to increase the open rates. We can help you create a survey to ask your consumers how they want to use email and help you tailor your name, subject line and preview content to make your readers want to open the email.
- Are you keeping up with the changes in email marketing? One of the biggest changes is ever-changing mobile platforms that affect how your content is viewed. We know how to create and check content across all platforms, so that your audience can get your message no matter where they are.
- Are you measuring the success of your email marketing efforts? We can help you monitor open rates and click-through rates that will help you know what kind of content your audience wants. We use automation tools to help make everything run smoothly and keep track of how your customers are accessing email.
If you are ready to start transforming the power of email into increased sales for your company, we are ready to help. Our experienced project managers know how to make this digital platform work for you, and our team of designers and content creatives has the experience to make great content no matter what kind of business you have.
At the beginning of the year, it’s the perfect time to look closely at the year stretching out in front of you. Making a tradeshow a part of your plans is a great way to expand your business. You probably have the basics down for tradeshows, but Riley & You can help you take your tradeshow experience to the next level by helping you take measured risks that could have big payoffs.
Starting the Process
We always want to start with the end in mind. For many tradeshow experiences, you are not writing up orders or striving to accomplish any deep selling with customers. Your focus must be on the impact or impression you want to make on the audience at the tradeshow. Additionally, we help you format your booth and presentation with the goal of customer engagement. We’re not only interested in talking about customer engagement at the booth, but also the art of getting the customer to take that important next step of visiting a showroom or making a commitment to an appointment following the tradeshow. It’s very important to keep your goals in mind throughout the process.
Take a Measured Risk
We don’t recommend going out and hiring a clown or a person that will be a walking billboard across the tradeshow floor. We recommend taking measured risks like creating a different kind of booth that sends a different kind of message. If your competitors are focused on their products, then you should consider focusing on the customer support you provide after the sale. If competitors are focused on showing the end result, then you should focus your booth on how you simplify the process. If you take a risk and go a different route in your presentation, it will be remembered, and it will pay off.
Measured risk is about engaging with creative teams who attempt to think differently with you about your presentation. While backdrops and other advertising materials may be necessary, you have other questions that must be considered: What message brings someone to your booth? What are the main issues that drive them to your solutions?
Unique Ideas for Tradeshows
Gathering information from customers is important, but the ultimate goal is to treat the customer to an experience unlike the competitors that surround your booth. We can help you display your notable message in a way that meets the needs of your audience by making your booth scream your message. Too many times companies assume that customers already understand what they want. However the truth is that the customer really just understands their issues and is still trying to discover the solutions. We can help you bridge the gap with your message so they see that you “get it” and draw them to you, like a bee to honey.
One last idea that we implemented successfully at a tradeshow: if you have something great to share with consumers like fresh-baked cookies or food, then share it with the booths around you before the floor opens. This creates great camaraderie with other companies so that they can direct people to your booth when someone asks them where to find the cookies or what direction is your type of product located at the show. It really works!