Posts Tagged ‘Tampa Bay’

Social Media Goes Beyond Marketing

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Is it time to invest your energy into social networks? 

The advanced benefits of social media go beyond standard marketing strategies. If you run a small business or manage marketing for your company, it may be time to get started with social media.

Social media connects you to people on a personal level. When a potential customer follows your company on a social media site, you are being invited to create a personal connection. How?

  • Share stories about your staff or office
  • Explain the values and vision behind your brand or marketing message
  • Invite customers to share their own stories
  • Offer tips or suggestions that can help your fans see your page as a valuable resource

What are some other good ways to engage fans and followers on a personal level? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Social media helps you reach fans in real time. Advertisers can take advantage of a multitude of platforms to get a message across – but none can do so as quickly and effectively as a simple social media status update. For example, Oreo took advantage of this year's Super Bowl power outage to remind potential consumers that the snack could still be dunked in the dark. Thousands of fans shared the status, and with it, the marketing message.

Social media is revolutionizing communications. Brands and companies can no longer ignore the fact that salespeople who use social media perform better than those who do not. In a recent study profiled in Forbes, the findings are indicative of the national trend: for business, social media presence is shifting from "nice to have" to "necessary."

The Mayo Clinic Story
Learn more about how social media goes beyond marketing at our special event on Friday, September 27, 2013! Lee A. Aase, the hospital social media pioneer and director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, will discuss how Mayo transitioned from the use of traditional news sources to social platforms, as well as the ways that Mayo hopes to improve healthcare tools through the use of social media in the future.

All healthcare and marketing professionals are welcome to attend!

Event Fees:
Members – $30
Guests – $40
Students – $25

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5 Ideas for Sizzling Summer Marketing

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Summer is almost here; why not revamp your marketing plans for the year's hottest season?

When the weather is warmer, everyone wants to be outside to enjoy it. Whether they're going to the beach or an outdoor event, there are plenty of opportunities to market to your audience and gain more attention by doing some extra marketing this summer. Follow these five ideas to make your marketing plan sizzle!

  1. Create something new. Add something to your business that was never there before. Try a new display case design for your products, rent a billboard for the summer or add a new feature/section to your website. Changing things up a little can can make a big impact.
  2. Host an event. Take advantage of the nice weather and host a gathering or party to show appreciation to your customers. Make it a BBQ and include families to let them know that you are grateful for their support.
  3. Update your ads/merch. Freshen up your print ads and your next order of t-shirts, pens, or Frisbees with a fun summer theme. Think of beach scenes, sunglasses or even a 4th of July motif in order to switch things up and have a little fun with your promotional items.
  4. Participate. Many towns and cities all over the US have 4th of July parades that local businesses contribute to. Be a part of the festivities this year and create a float. Or, simply decorate your company vehicle and pass out fliers and coupons to encourage potential customers to contact you.
  5. Get prepared. Take some time in the summer to think about your marketing plans for the fall. Planning ahead for Back-to-School sales and fall sports will put you ahead of the game.

Find out what AMA Tampa Bay is doing this summer by checking the events page on our website. If you have any extra time on your hands, look into the possible volunteer opportunities that are available. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Make Your Marketing “Greener” and Save Money

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

How much do you spend, and waste, on your advertising campaigns? You no longer need to sacrifice trees or finite energy sources to spread word about a business. As more people turn to the internet as their prime source of information, it becomes easier to utilize environmentally-friendly marketing strategies and save a few bucks in your budget. Have you tried any of these suggestions for "green" marketing?

Make Your Catalogs Digital
There is no need to flood your customer's mailboxes with catalogs. It's a waste of paper and money, especially when you think of how many people toss your hard work in the garbage, or receive multiple copies because of a glitch or name change. Moving your catalog online is easy, efficient, and cheap. It also gives your customers the opportunity to buy with the click of a button and post reviews after they have received your product.

Start an Email Newsletter
The quickest way to contact customers about upcoming sales, events, or promotions is to send out an email. The cost of email is minimal, and the paper you save will add up in no time. You can also organize your email list by gender, age, location, household situation, and shopping history, making it easy to pinpoint the right customers for the right announcements.

Try Online Advertisements
Go over your current advertising campaigns that are in print. Are these publications gaining or losing subscriptions? Most publications are noticing that their readers go online for their content, rather than purchasing a printed copy. As the readers move online, so should you. Paying for the expensive ad spaces in a print magazine or newspaper can really drain your bank account. Online advertisements sell at a cheaper price and often reach a larger audience. From an environmental standpoint, these ads use virtually no materials, creating less trash and wasted energies.

Join other marketing professionals as they try to "green" their work while cutting down on their expenses. Share ideas by connecting through our extensive network. Learn more about the benefits of joining AMA Tampa Bay today.

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Best Fresh New Ideas for Email Marketing

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Using the same marketing strategies year after year will result in customers who are deaf to your message and immune to your approach. It pays to regularly review and update the way you interact with and incite interest in potential consumers. Consider these fresh, new ideas for email marketing and start brainstorming some ideas of your own.

Rethink Your Design
You no longer need to avoid using images or video to prevent slow loading times. Unless you are only serving a small local community with limited access to high-speed internet, most people now use cable or DSL connections that can handle a visually-friendly and eye-catching email design.

Get Interactive
Today's consumers have become sensitive to blatant advertorial language; instead they respond to interactive relationships that promote community, rather than just sales. Email marketing can come across as one-sided and self-serving if you aren't careful. Include surveys or an encouragement to join the discussion through social media.

Pinpoint the Right Customers
After getting a couple communications that aren't relevant to their situation or interest, a customer might start hitting the dreaded "delete" button without even opening your email.  Prevent this by directing your offers to specific customers as best you can. When someone signs up for your newsletters, ask for more than just an email address. Ask questions about gender, location, age, professional industry, family situation, and hobbies. If you run an online store, track orders and send emails to customers about other products that complement their recent purchases.

Put Yourself in the Customer's Pocket
Your emails are probably already popping up on smart phones. Take another step in that direction by promoting a mobile application that can detect location, alert customers to localized deals and events, or take payments or orders through the device before the customer even reaches the store. Start including the app in your email's call to action.

What is your most creative email marketing idea? Share it with our network and find more inspiration from other industry professionals. Learn more about the benefits of joining AMA today.

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Top Social Media Marketing Dos and Don’ts

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Have you started social media accounts for your business yet? Setting up an online presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or a blog can create meaningful connections and communication with your customers that promotes loyalty and valuable feedback – but opening an account is only your first step. Make sure you are receiving all the benefits you can from social media marketing.

Don't Ignore Your Followers
Social media runs on user interaction. It is these personal communications that will solidify a loyal relationship with your customers. Stay on top of your Twitter mentions, interact with the conversations on your Facebook wall, and reply to commenters on your blog. If you have a large following, you don't need to respond to every message, but stay involved enough that your readers can see that you are personable and available.

Do Post Frequently
Twitter and Facebook were made for short, daily posts. Try to post at least once a day, and aim for quick statements or links that provide value or promote discussion. Blogs should be updated at least once a week with valuable information that is easily scanned and optimized for search engine crawlers.

Don't Over Promote Your Brand
Most of your audience members are already fans of your products or service. Trying to advertise in every post will come off as distant and self-serving, and this tactic often results in a dwindling list of followers. Go ahead and link back to your website a couple times a week, but the majority of your posts should be interactive and conversational – with no hidden agenda.

Do Watch What You Say
It is extremely hard to erase anything once it has been released to the internet. Hold back when it comes to needless controversial opinions, emotional responses, or embarrassing stories and pictures. You won't be able to take them back.

Looking for more social media advice from successful marketing professionals? Our network can supply you with the connections and resources you need. Learn more about joining us today.

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Tips to Give Your Blog Some “Oomph”

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

What sets your blog apart from the rest? Most online niches are oversaturated with the same information presented the same way day after day. To find more than mild success in the blog-o-sphere, you'll need to step up your efforts and provide some extra "oomph" that not only holds the reader's attention, but inspires them to share and bookmark your work.

Tap Into the Reader's Desires
What is the underlying, pressing problem or desire of your readers? Go beyond information that is just "useful" or "relevant," and really get inside the mind of your audience. What headline would they be incapable of ignoring? Do your research, and write to that. Find blog posts already on the same topic, and then push beyond their suggestions and tips. Offer readers something new; or at least something presented in a new way. Not every post needs to be life-changing, but sprinkle in enough that your subscribers are constantly hoping for an update.

Aim to Inspire
Readers love to share and discuss the posts that tug at their emotions and give them fresh motivation to achieve their goals and accomplish new tasks. Everyone needs to be reminded about something. What does your audience need the extra push to do? These posts are great opportunities to share first or secondhand stories of self-growth and overcoming difficult challenges. You may have a  message similar to a hundred other blogs, but these personal touches will make each reading experience unique.

Exceed Expectations
Browse other blogs in your niche to discover what you can normally expect from a blog in your industry. Now how can you go above and beyond that? Maybe this means doing extra research to make your blog more trustworthy and authoritative. Maybe it means making a larger effort to really communicate with and connect to your regular readers. Other ideas might include offering a free e-book for newsletter subscribers, creating a weekly chat hash tag on Twitter, or even planning and hosting a conference for like-minded readers to meet and interact.

Our extensive network provides internet marketers with new resources and space to trade and brainstorm ideas. Let us help you improve your blog. Learn more about joining us today.

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DIY SEO: Where Do I Begin?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

How much traffic is your website getting? If the visitors you're pulling in are embarrassingly miniscule, or if your numbers have grown stagnant, search engine optimization (SEO) may be the push your website needs to really start working for you.

What Is SEO?
Many SEO practices become easier to understand, even common sense, if you understand exactly what SEO is and how it works. When you optimize your website for search, you are actively giving search engines clues about what you are posting about. The better a search engine can understand your page, the more effective it will be at matching you with the right audience.

Some SEO tactics will also help search engines determine the quality of your site. For example, if a search engine crawls a page that gives little content outside of advertisements, it will typically assume that the page's primary purpose is to make money rather than provide value for searchers.

The Best Beginner SEO Practices
When you're just starting out, try these easy SEO techniques to get your feet wet and grab an initial increase in traffic.

  • Carefully choose your keywords and phrases. Each page on your website should have at least one relevant keyword or phrase that a reader might search for. The best keywords to choose have few existing results in search engines (under 20,000), but a high amount of monthly searches (over 2,000). You can research keywords with Google's keyword tool. Slip in your chosen words or phrases a couple times in a post, but don't overdo it.
  • Evaluate your titles. The most important place to put your keywords and phrases is in the titles of your posts. This is where search engines tend to look first for the best matches for search queries.
  • Update regularly. Websites that haven't been updated in months could be seen as abandoned or outdated. Search engines typically prefer a regularly maintained site that presents the latest information.
  • Don't try any tricks that could be considered dishonest. Don't try to lure in readers with false keywords that don't match what you're actually offering them. If readers are leaving your website too quickly, search engines will notice and lower your rank.

Using SEO techniques on your website or blog is not a one-time task. Moving your site up the results pages and maintaining a good ranking will require many tweaks and trial and error to get it just right. Let us help you. Membership will provide you with new resources and a network of marketing professionals who are willing to share advice and tips. Learn more about joining us today.

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Marketing to Gen Y: Best Techniques

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

If you're hoping to appeal to today's teens and twenty-somethings, you're going to need to develop some new tricks. Although this generation has money to spare – and they enjoy spending it – creating a marketing plan that captures their interest can be tricky business. These consumers turn their noses up at any advertisement strategy that smells of insincerity, but once you've impressed them and gained their trust, they will reward you with loyalty that doesn't waver.

Think Simple
Generation Y is immune to large, splashy displays of advertising bucks. Don't try too hard to get noticed. Instead of adding clutter or hyped-up rhetoric to your campaigns, go for a simple and straightforward message and visual. Sometimes less is more, and when it comes to generation Y, advertisements with ample empty space and few (but powerful) words will always grab their attention.

Relocate Your Advertisements
Finding the right place to market toward generation Y can be tricky. Studies have shown that this generation rarely subscribes to newspapers, doesn't pick up many magazines at the grocery store, and spends less and less time in front of their television sets. When they do watch TV shows, keep up with the news, or read feature articles, they are more likely to do so online. Marketing strategies for this generation are often more successful when ads and commercials are placed on Hulu, YouTube, or popular websites.

Generation Y can also be reached through the events they attend. Sponsoring charity events, marathons, or local venues for sports and music performances is a great way to target a younger audience.

Get Social
This generation is all about social relationships and connection – especially through their favorite online networks. Maintaining an active online presence on Facebook and Twitter can help you gather together your customers and cultivate the lasting product loyalty that generation Y is known for.

Looking for new ways to reach your generation Y customers? One of the best ways to bring in fresh ideas is to seek outside inspiration. Our extensive professional network may be able to help you. Learn more about joining AMA Tampa Bay today.

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Promote & Stay Afloat: Best Ways to Save Money on Advertising

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

An effective marketing plan is necessary for any business to stay afloat, but many traditional approaches are too expensive for small businesses. To successfully market your business you will need to find advertising strategies with maximum results for minimum payment. Sound too good to be true? With a little creative problem solving, persistence, and openness to new ideas, you can find the advertising spots and methods that will best benefit your company – without breaking your budget.

Look Past the Big Numbers
Many marketers yearn to see their company's name splashed across the magazines, television channels, and websites with the highest number of viewers or readers. These advertisement spots are shockingly expensive, and it's time to turn your attention and efforts elsewhere. Not only are high-number media outlets too pricey for most modest marketing budgets, they typically serve a very diverse audience. You may reach a large audience, but your conversion rate will be too low for the high cost.

Target a Specific Audience
Instead of worrying about the quantity of your audience, start focusing on the quality. Aim for smaller niche publications that specifically target the same consumers that you hope to reach. Even if their distribution numbers are a little lower, you will be advertising to potential customers who are far more likely to be interested in your products or services, and you will be spending far less money to do so.

Before purchasing advertising space, make sure you know your ideal customers well. Where do they live? What kind of jobs do they have? Hobbies, needs, desires? This information will lead you to the perfect advertising spots. Don't waste your carefully budgeted allowance in places that your customers won't frequent.

Find more ways to save by consulting our extensive network of marketers. Join AMA Tampa Bay  today and connect with nearly 400 local professionals and 30,000 across the United States and Canada. Marketing students are also welcome to join.

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How to “Captivate” a Captive Audience

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

The best marketers reach out to their audience by locating the places they go and activities they pursue. What kind of ad space could you purchase that your ideal customer wouldn't be able to miss? When you see an advertisement at the airport, gas station, or grocery check-out line, you have become a captive audience member. You cannot help but notice the advertisement, and the marketer now has your attention until you have exited the plane, filled up your car, or purchased your groceries. Create these captive moments for your key demographic, and use these tips to make sure their attention turns into profit. Don't squander some of your best marketing opportunities on ineffective or lackluster advertisements.

Your Secret Weapon
The most important part of your advertisement is the tagline. You want to use a tactic that intrigues potential customers, encouraging them to think about your advertisement long after they have walked away. Brainstorm headlines that are surprising, humorous, thought-provoking, or maybe even controversial. Make sure that whatever wording you choose, it accurately reflects the purpose of your company or product.

Graphic Design
The visual appearance of your ad will also serve a role in how quickly it will grab your customer's attention, and how much it will appeal to them. Bright colors may be eye-catching, but be careful not to overload the ad with busy clutter that takes away from your message.

Create Something Fresh
Too many slogans have been repeated so many times that they stop creating meaning in the customer's mind. Avoid overused phrases and promises. Creativity and crisp clarity is the key to captivating your audience. Use strong, bold language that won't fail to deliver your message loud and clear.

Create Something Memorable
With every captive audience, you have an opportunity to make a memory that relentlessly works to create a loyal customer. Aim for brevity and clever word play. The human brain responds best to patterns, so the use of rhyme, repetition, or alliteration will make your advertisement linger long after its initial contact with its audience.

Learn more marketing secrets from the members of our extensive professional network. Join us today to share ideas and access all of our valuable resources.

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