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5 Simple Ways to Give Your Marketing a Boost

Cao chocolatesDon’t sit back and wait for your customers to come to you. Get the sales you want by getting the word out there about your business.

Coming from a background in both accounting and human resources, I've been able to witness a lot of business lessons firsthand. When I launched Cao Chocolates, I felt fortunate to take some of those lessons and apply them directly to my daily business life, channeling what I had learned in the corporate world into my small business life. One of the areas I've always had an interest in is marketing, and I work hard to find new and inventive ways to bring products and ideas to potential clients.

Here are five rules I live by on my marketing journey:

5 Ways to Make Pinterest Work for Your Brand

pinterest-7-3Pinterest has become hard to ignore. If you need proof, take a look at this article about how Pinterest has surpassed email in social sharing. That’s a major shift.

Coming up with the right Pinterest strategy--or deciding whether to use the service at all--can be a challenge. The good news is that there are a few basic rules you can use to home in on the right way to employ boards for your brand.

6 Brands That Are Killing It on Instagram

IS12-2These six brands are showing how the social media platform's visual capabilities can be used to engage consumers more effectively than other platforms out there.

Having recently turned four years old, Instagram’s user base of just north of 200 million may pale in comparison to Facebook’s 1.35 billion, but the engagement rate for brands on this visually oriented app is hard to beat in the social media ecosystem.

How I Finally Snagged My Dream Domain Name

DN9-18One entrepreneur explains how she was able to get the perfect URL for her startup and what lessons she learned along the way. Last week, after almost two full years of being called S.W. Basics, we finally secured our dream url: swbasics.com. Up until now, the url was privately held, and we've been directing people to a much more clunky website address of swbasicsofbk.com (with the bk standing for Brooklyn). You'd be surprised how difficult that is to spell out for people and how confusing it can be. Not to mention that sometimes I'd lay awake at night wondering how many customers we were losing when swbasics.com didn't lead them easily to us. 

How to Manage Facebook Pages as a Multi-Unit Brand

FB9-19-1If you are a multi-unit business with locations around the world, you can't ignore the need for local pages. Here are some tips for managing your global Facebook presence.

For franchise and multi-unit businesses, managing data and pages on Facebook can be a nightmare. Rogue pages, unseen customer complaints, and inaccurate data are just some of the challenges these businesses face every day. For those particular brands with multiple locations throughout the United States and the world, Facebook offers a feature that links the main brand page to all local pages, and helps maintain consistency across all locations. The feature is called "Facebook Locations" and is often referred to as the parent-child integration, with the main brand page being the parent, and the locations being the children.

New Report Shows Brand Performance on Social, Broken Down by Industry

new report shows brand performance on social by industryWhich industries perform best on social, and on what platforms are they seeing the most significant growth?

These can be key questions when formulating your own strategy – while you can’t necessarily compare your business to others straight up, looking at what’s working in each sector can give you a baseline, while also pointing you to the platforms where others in your market are seeing the best results.

To help with this, TrackMaven recently conducted a study, examining 12 months worth of social data from over 700 leading businesses. They’ve segmented the results into industry sectors, providing more granular data on each – here’s a summary of their key findings.

Six Habits of Great Brand Leaders

brand8-1Having spent 20 years in the CPG world of marketing, I’ve seen almost a thousand Brand Leaders over the years. On the way up, I tried to emulate what I thought were the best traits and avoid what I saw as weaknesses. And at the senior level of marketing, I hired tons of Brand Leaders, promoted many and even had to fire a few along the way. I’ve been a Brand Coach the past few years, working closely with Brand Leaders. And I consistently see these six habits at any level, that separate those that are GREAT from those that are just GOOD.

Habit #1: GREAT Brand Leaders push for focused choices, using the word “or” and rarely using the word “and”.

The social experiment

soc7-22-1Brands are learning that social media is not just a free marketing channel, but requires a content plan and nimble processes to take advantage of the constantly changing platforms.

 

Ever since the advent of social networks, marketers have been striving for the formula to translate online interest into brand objectives. Today, a social strategy that is embedded in the company is becoming increasingly important, given the extent to which customers expect to engage with brands in social media, as well as the constant changes that social networks make to their user experiences and paid ad formats.

What Types of Brand Videos Do Consumers Want to Watch?

LevelsBeyond-Brand-Videos-Consumers-Want-to-Watch-Aug2014Roughly 6 in 10 US adults say they watch videos when they visit a brand website with video content, and 4 in 10 prefer watching a brand video over reading the same information, per results from a survey [download page] conducted by Levels Beyond. The study results add to a growing body of research suggesting that consumers have a healthy appetite for video marketing, with numerous surveys (such as this one) indicating that online product videos boost consumers’ purchase likelihood. But what types of videos do consumers want to see?

According to the Levels Beyond survey, consumers are most interested in how-to, instructional or tutorial videos (67%), followed by: