There’s a special kind of karma for those that revel in the pain and suffering of others. But there’s nothing wrong with learning from others’ mistakes. Here are a few tips from the team at Asterisk Creative on how to find marketing opportunities in your competitors’ fails. There’s a special kind of karma for those that revel in the pain and suffering of others. But there’s nothing wrong with learning from others’ mistakes. Here are a few tips from the team at Asterisk Creative on how to find marketing opportunities in your competitors’ fails.
1. Check out your competitors’ online reviews like those on Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor, etc. Is there a common complaint you see? Can you fill the void(s) those customers are finding? If so, use that information as selling points in your own advertising!
2. Mine Twitter for intel. If you do a search in Twitter for your competitor’s name + :(, the outlet will deliver tweets that contain the two in its search results page. Since the frowny face typically connotes disapproval, you’ll get a list of tweets that express a less-than-stellar reaction to the brand. Just like with the online reviews, look for common complaints and areas you can tout yourself as offering a better experience.
3. Search Google (and the other search engines) for questions being asked about your competitors. When folks have questions, many search for answers before contacting the company directly. By gleaning what searchers are struggling with when it comes to your competitors, it can give you insight into where you may excel in comparison.
At Asterisk Creative, we offer an in-depth competitive analysis as part of our marketing strategy service. We can help you find all of the areas in which your competitors fall short in comparison, and we build our service for you, in part, around capitalizing on that information and building it into your messaging. Contact us today to get your marketing messaging headed in the right direction!
A recent study showed that nearly 90% of consumers no longer answer their phones, particularly if they don’t recognize the number calling. Arguably, this is due to the increase in telemarketing and spam robocalls. So if the unsolicited sales call is dead, how is lead generation supposed to happen for a business?
Many attribute their success to inbound marketing efforts, generating leads by marketing your business in such a way that consumers reach out to you. In order to be successful, businesses need to expand their prospecting, marketing, and communications strategies to reach their audiences through the channels the audiences prefer. More and more, this is moving toward digital marketing, especially through various social media outlets. Facebook ads, boosted Facebook posts, and sponsored Instagram posts are just a few ways many businesses are leading customers and potential customers to contact them. As a result of leading potential clients to reach out – whether through phone call, direct message, or email – the close rate for sales teams dramatically improves.
Let the team at Asterisk Creative help. We’re skilled in merging the many aspects of social media, email marketing, website design, branding, and public relations to reach our clients’ lead generation goals. Contact us today!
Marketing is a broad field that encompasses a lot of different outlets. Of course, the end goal of all marketing is to increase your company’s revenue. But how do you make that happen? Hiring a marketing strategist may be the answer you’re looking for. Here are a few of the benefits.
A marketing strategist is well-versed in a wide variety of tactics that will make your brand and company more visible, as well as engage current and potential customers. Employing their knowledge can help your business grow in a way faster and better targeted than you trying to go it alone.
Another benefit to hiring a marketing strategist is that they’re knowledgeable of the outlets that exist, and they’re able to narrow down which outlets are appropriate for your business and your budget. This ranges from traditional marketing outlets (like magazines, newspapers, and direct mail) to newer digital ways of marketing (like social media, blogging, podcasts, and more). They also have the resources to research new and upcoming outlets that can help you stay ahead of the game, marketing-wise. Can you imagine having to sort through all of your options alone, without the guidance of those in the know?
In addition, consistent messaging across all outlets is important in establishing your business’ authority in your field. A marketing strategist worth his or her salt is not only going to ensure this happens, but they’re going to make sure the content created for each chosen outlet is appropriate for its audience while staying on message. When it comes to online outlets, they’re also going to know proper image sizes, the correct content length, current best practices, etc to best convey your message in that arena.
Finally, marketing strategists are going to know how to analyze the results of your efforts and use that data to make better, more informed decisions moving forward. While there may be some trial and error involved, in the end, this will save you time…and more importantly, money.
Don’t let things fall through the cracks. Let the team at Asterisk Creative make sure your marketing messages and strategies are on point. Contact us today!
Many business owners understand that social media marketing is a necessity in today’s landscape. However, they don’t necessarily understand what all it can bring them when done right. Here are the top benefits of social media marketing from Asterisk Creative.
- Expanded brand recognition.
Having a presence on multiple social media outlets increases the chances for potential customers to encounter your business. When your branding and your message is consistent, it makes your business recognizable across these outlets as well. There’s an old marketing adage. It says a consumer needs to interact with your message three to seven times before they take action. The more recognizable your brand is across social media outlets, in addition to traditional marketing outlets, the faster they reach that threshold. This, in turn, cuts down on the lead time to a sale.
- Growth in brand loyalty.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, social media has become a customer service outlet, just like phone calls and emails. The more you engage with your audience on social media, the more likely they are to be loyal to your business and your products.
- Insights into Your Audience.
Every social media outlet has its own version of analytics. This information tells you not only how your posts are performing. It also gives you data on your audience that you won’t find anywhere else! You can use this to know not only what to post and when to post on social media but also match it to the demographics and psychographics of other outlets to target your advertising, public relations, and more.
- Increased website traffic.
It should come as no surprise that using your social media outlets to publish links to your website drives more traffic to your site. But there should be a method to the madness. When you publish a new blog post, that can be fodder for social media posts. When you launch a new product, a link to that product on your website can easily drive sales. A targeted social media marketing strategy in this respect can help your bottom line, as well as your search engine optimization efforts.
When done right, social media marketing can bring you more customers, more traffic, and more conversions. If you’re interested in reaping the benefits of social media marketing but feel a bit lost, contact Asterisk Creative today!
The holidays are rapidly approaching. Thanksgiving. Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. Hanukkah. Christmas. Kwanzaa. Diwali. The new year. In fact, people around the world celebrate over 20 holidays between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
Business owners planned their holiday specials a while back and a set a marketing strategy in a perfect world. But if you find yourself a little behind the eight ball, hope is certainly not lost. Here are a few things you can do:
- First of all, studies show shoppers tend to plan their Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday plans during the week before Thanksgiving. If you’re offering a special for any or all of those days, put it out now. Promote it heavily where you can between now and Thanksgiving. Social media outlets are amazing for this! Particularly with Facebook and Instagram ads, they can be set up and running quickly. They can also be highly targeted to work with a tight budget.
- If you offer gift certificates, remind your fans and followers. Target Facebook ads to show to friends of your page’s fans.
- Video is becoming increasingly popular. Therefore, this is the perfect way to showcase your holiday sales items. If you don’t have the resources to create a holiday-specific video, showcase items you’ll have on hand all throughout the winter season or even year-round. There are even DIY video editing options that allow you to put together a video with photos and text.
- As always, go where your audience is. Look at the data provided to you via your Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights, Twitter Analytics, etc. What does it tell you about who your market is? Are there other outlets that target this same audience that you can still get into with a holiday ad?
Don’t let the holidays stall your marketing efforts. Contact Asterisk Creative, the southeast’s premier marketing agency, today to get your holiday marketing up and running!
In our last post, we touched on how adding a live chat feature to your website could add to your company’s trustworthiness. Honestly, we know that that’s not possible for many business owners for a variety of reasons. But if you have a business Facebook page, you have a chat feature of sorts at your disposal.
Facebook Messenger offers customers and potential customers the ability to reach you directly and chat with you in real time, even though it’s not housed on your website. Folks look for this feature at an increasing rate, as it turns out. Studies show, in fact, that the Facebook Messenger app is used almost as much as native text apps on mobile phones.
Additionally, if you consistently respond quickly, a badge goes on your business page that indicates to users that you’re responsive. This is another piece that plays into that trustworthiness factor. (In this case, “quickly” is defined as roughly within an hour or so.)
What’s more, Facebook also offers a chatbot feature for Messenger. Chatbots send an automated response that businesses can use to communicate when there isn’t a dedicated person to do so. There are two types of chatbots for Facebook right now. One is a subscription bot that offers users information (like weather, traffic, etc) when they subscribe to get those messages. The other offers customized messaging such as receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages that pull responses from a repository based on terms in the message from the user.
Chatbots can help get users engaged with your company. And we all know that’s a great thing! However, there are some downsides.
- They’re not free. You either have to build your own or purchase/subscribe to one through a service that offers them.
- They do not offer personalized messages to your subscribers/those that message you. It’s pretty much canned content all around.
- Messages are sorted into one of several inboxes when they come in. If they go to your spam inbox, there’s a good chance both you and your chatbot will miss responding.
As you can see, there are pros and cons with Facebook Messenger bots, as there are with most things. If you’d like to “chat” about whether a bot could help your business or how you could be using Facebook Messenger for business in general, give Asterisk Creative a call today!
Most 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!
When 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!
There’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.
If you use email marketing for your business, you need to know the CAN-SPAM law inside and out. This federal law 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 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.
- You must include your physical addresss 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. One option is an opt-out link within the email. Another option is instructions on emailing a specific address and what to include in that message.
- You must remove opt-outs quickly. Opt-out requests must be removed from your subscriber list within 10 business days. You cannot charge to remove people from your list. You also cannot 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.
- Responsibility lies with you for the law being followed by your blasts, even if you have a company doing your email blasts for you. 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!