Ways to Make Social Media Not So Overwhelming

social media | asterisk creative | southeast's premier social media agencyMost anyone who’s been near a computer in the last 10 years has probably found themselves down the rabbit hole that is social media. Add in the fact that you’re a business owner with a business to run, and thinking of spending time marketing via social media can seem more than daunting. Here are a few tips to help.

  • Focus on your overall marketing goals and objectives.
    Just as you wouldn’t run print ads in every publication in your market, don’t try to be everywhere online. Match the social media outlets where you market your business to your marketing goals and where you’ll reach your audience.
  • Use social media to be social.
    Don’t focus your posts on “me, me, me” and solely talking about your products or services. Focus on the potential clients within your fans/followers. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Use the opportunity to “start a conversation” about how you can help them.
  • Use a calendar and a timer.
    Set aside a specific amount of time each day to work on your social media. Schedule out your posts to make sure you’re posting consistently, but be sure to leave some time to monitor the comments and such your posts are receiving and respond as necessary.
  • Don’t go it alone.
    Understand the value of your time and where your business needs you to be focused. Enlist help to make your social media efforts manageable.

At Asterisk Creative, we pride ourselves on offering the ability to work with our clients’ budgets and create results through social media marketing. When paired with our other services, like public relations and an overall marketing strategy, we can help you hit the mark with your audience and take your business to the next level. Contact us for help today!

How Important is a Competitive Marketing Analysis?

competitive marketing analysis | Asterisk Creative | southeast's premier marketing agencyWhen considering your marketing plan, a competitive marketing analysis is a critical piece of the puzzle. Here’s why.

  • A competitive analysis will reveal your direct competition (those selling the same products/services as you in the same geographic area) as well as your indirect competition (those selling products/services similar to yours – not the same – that solve the same problem for the customer). You’ll need to know and understand both sets of competition to set the right strategy to give you a competitive advantage.
  • Knowing where your competitors are advertising can inform decisions on where you should advertise, too. We’re not saying place ads beside your competitors everywhere they are. But it’s possible that outlets they’re using but you hadn’t considered could be a good fit for you, too. It’s also possible that some of their advertising speaks to a niche market you hadn’t thought of before but makes sense after all.
  • Your competitors’ marketing messages can reveal their strengths and their weaknesses. Playing on their weaknesses, so to speak, differentiates your business from theirs, and this may speak to a pain point for a segment of clients you can help and they can’t.
  • Partnership and cross-promotion opportunities may present themselves. Just as knowing where your competitors are advertising, knowing the types of businesses they’re using for partnerships or cross-promotion can spark ideas for you, too.
  • Knowing which publications cover your competitors gives you a list of publications for your public relations people to target as well.

The marketing team at Asterisk Creative are pros at conducting a competitive marketing analysis for our clients, then setting a goal-focused marketing strategy from the findings. Contact Asterisk Creative and get your marketing analysis started today!

The Basics of Influencer Marketing

influencer marketing | asterisk creative | southeast's premier marketing agencyThere’s a lot of talk these days about influencer marketing and how to work with influencers to promote your brand, products, and services. But what is influencer marketing?

In every industry, there are those that others look to for best practices, up-to-date-information, etc. These are your influencers. With the growth of blogging and social media, influencers can dive deeper into niches, specializing in very specific products, locales/neighborhoods, or both.

Many influencers – and those that fancy themselves as such – reach out to companies they’d like to partner with and offer blog posts and/or social media posts in exchange for goods and services. Some business owners fall prey to these folks throwing big numbers at them, but without asking the right questions, they may as well be handing their wares to Joe Blow on the street.

Instead, business owners need to be checking out the influencer’s blog/social media to see if they’re even a good fit for the brand. If that seems to be a match, business owners dig deeper. What’s the influencer’s average reach per post? How have similar posts done, engagement-wise? How many posts will the business get in exchange for the goods/services they’re providing? What type of editorial approval process is included? Business owners need to stay on top of whether the influencer is honoring the brand and reputation they’ve worked to build…or are they tearing it all down in one big swoop.

Does all of this sound overwhelming to you? Don’t let influencer marketing fall on your shoulders, on top of everything else. Let us put our knowledge and contacts to use for you. Contact Asterisk Creative today.

Asterisk Creative – Your Digital Marketing One-Stop Shop

digital marketing agency | asterisk creativeThere are a lot of components to digital marketing. In general, it is comprised of website design and development, SEO, social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising. Basically, it’s any marketing and advertising that appears online.

Many freelancers and solopreneurs fancy themselves digital marketers, jacks-of-all-trades so to speak. We’re here to tell you that that’s nearly impossible. Keeping up with algorithm changes, privacy laws, best practices, and such across one or two digital marketing platforms can be a full-time job in and of itself. One person may be able to do well across the board, but they cannot really excel.

At Asterisk Creative, we understand this and have a team behind your digital marketing. We have folks that focus solely on social media, solely on website design, solely on SEO – and each knows their specialty inside and out. They work and train to stay on top of the latest and greatest in their field, and they put that knowledge to work for our clients. Additionally, they work together to make sure all of the client’s digital marketing elements are working together favorably and promoting the brand appropriately.

Don’t trust your digital marketing to just anyone. To get your digital marketing going full speed, contact Asterisk Creative today.

A CAN-SPAM Primer for Email Marketing

CAN-SPAM Primer for Email MarketingIf you use email marketing for your business, you need to know the CAN-SPAM law inside and out. This is the federal law that breaks down what is allowed and what isn’t when it comes to email marketing.

Here are a few main components of the law, straight from the government’s website:

  • Your header information must be accurate. Your “From,” “To,” and “Reply-To,” information must be correct and identify the person or business who sent the message. This includes the originating domain name and email address.
  • You should not use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the what the email is about. You should not put anything in a headline that’s sole purpose is to get someone to click the link, but then the email isn’t what the headline promised.
  • Let your subscribers know the message is an ad. There’s nothing specific about HOW you should do this within the law. However, you must disclose in a clearly visible way that your message is an advertisement.
  • Your physical address must be included in the email message. This can be your current street address, a P.O. Box you’ve registered with the USPS, or a private mailbox you’ve rented through a facility like the UPS Store or those types of locations. But it absolutely HAS to be an address currently associated with your business.
  • You must tell recipients how to stop receiving emails from you. Your email must include an explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting emails from you in the future. It must be easily understandable and easy for the recipient to execute. It can be an opt-out link within the email or instructions on whether to email a specific address and what to include in that message.
  • Opt-outs must be removed quickly. Opt-out requests must be removed from your subscriber list within 10 business days. You cannot charge to remove people from your list, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on a website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  • If you have a company doing your email marketing for you, YOU are still responsible for the law being followed by your blasts. Both your company (the company being promoted in the message) and the company you hired that actually sends the message can be held legally responsible.

Breaking any part of this federal law opens your company to the risk of a fine of up to $40,654. That’s not a fee many of our clients could survive. So if you need help staying on top of email marketing laws and best practices, give Asterisk Creative a shout!

How Often Should I Post?

How Often Should You Post? | Social Media and Blogging Tips | Southeast Marketing and Advertising Agency | Asterisk CreativeBased on the things we hear day in and day out, it would seem the biggest question in internet marketing is: How often should I post?

Sharing information that is relevant and interesting regarding you and your brand, whenever that comes up, is important. The caveat here is that some sort of consistency is important. Now that Facebook and Instagram in particular have algorithms dictating a lot of when and how your posts are shown to your audience – and potential followers – you really need to keep your message flowing.

As general guidelines, we typically suggest posting at least once per month on a blog, four to seven times per week on Facebook, at least once per week on LinkedIn, and at least once per day on Twitter and Instagram. Using this as a jumping off point, you can get a feel for whether your audience responds to this frequency or if they want more. You can also use the data provided by each of the outlets to determine what time of day is best for you, what days your audience is more engaged, and what topics your audience responds to more so you can make the most of all your posts, regardless of the outlet.

Need help with your internet marketing posting strategy? Contact Asterisk Creative today.

What is Interactive Marketing?

What is Interactive Marketing? | Asterisk Creative | Southeast Advertising AgencyAgencies throw around terms like interactive marketing as part of their daily jargon. But what is interactive marketing?

Interactive marketing is also known as event-driven marketing or trigger-based marketing. In this type of marketing strategy, an event or trigger (such as a post on a social media outlet) sets in motion a two-way interaction between a customer or potential customer and a company. This one-on-one communication usually happens in the form of comments on posts, and it is deeply dependent on a company’s content strategy and the content that is produced.

Interactive marketing tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and other social media outlets allow these types of engagement and interactions with your audience. The challenges in interactive marketing come not just from creating content that will garner engagement from your audience, but also in the monitoring and maintenance needed to keep the conversation going as well as gathering and combining customer information that is typically siloed to get out the right message at the right time.

At Asterisk Creative, we use our knowledge and experience to help you pick the interactive marketing outlets that are ideal for your company and your audience, as well as to assist you with the content needed for these platforms. Contact Asterisk Creative to get your interactive marketing campaign started today.

Let Us Be Your Storytellers

Let Us Be Your Storytellers | Southeast Marketing and Branding Agency | Asterisk CreativeAt Asterisk Creative, we talk a lot about being storytellers. But what do we mean by that?

Effective advertising and marketing campaigns don’t just market a product or a service. They convey your brand message to your target audience. They authentically communicate the values of your company. In short, they tell your story.

As one of the southeast’s premier advertising, marketing and branding agencies, Asterisk Creative has made storytelling an award-winning business. We understand that in order to grow a brand you must find the genuine values that speak to your target audience, then leverage those in a way that creates new business. We focus on your marketing and branding goals and how they pertain to your overall business objectives.  We take a big-picture look at what is meaningful branding-wise, and we set a clear definition of what success will look like. Our team then gets to work on creating a branding and marketing strategy that is the right mixture of design, advertising, & public relations. All to get your story told effectively.

We have a team of storytellers, creative minds with the capability to create content, design, and experiences that will speak to your audience in a way nothing else can. Contact Asterisk Creative and have your story told.

Why You Need A Marketing Strategy

Why You Need a Marketing Strategy | Marketing Agency | Asterisk Creative | SoutheastAs a business owner, you’re probably used to laying out most facets of your business. If you own a restaurant, you know to lay out your menu, when to order your ingredients, what the high times are for your establishment, etc. If you own a construction company, you know who your preferred vendors are, how to plan a project calendar, which industry groups are important for you to be a part of and those types of things. So why would you leave your marketing to chance?

A marketing strategy takes all facets of your business and looks at where you are now and what your ultimate goals are then lays out a plan to get you there. Without a marketing plan, you could very well be wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars, if not more, getting your name in front of the wrong audience or hitting the right audience at the wrong time. On the other hand, strategic marketing involves intensive research to find the right audience for your business, competitive analysis to gain perspective on what works and what doesn’t, the optimal outlets for reaching your audience and the best times for reaching those folks. With that intel, you can then lay out how to budget for these items and a timeline for deadlines to make sure you don’t miss out on an important outlet.

When you own a business, this may seem like a lot to add to your plate, especially if you don’t know where to start finding some of the information about your audience or the outlets available to you. Asterisk Creative KNOWS marketing strategy, so let us help. Contact Asterisk Creative today.