Find Marketing Opportunities in Competitors’ Fails

Find Marketing Opportunities in Competitors’ Fails | Marketing Tip | Asterisk Creative | Marketing Firm for the SoutheastThere’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 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 search in Twitter for your competitor’s name + :(, it will return tweets that contain the two. 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. As a result, 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!

Lead Generation in the Face of the Death of Sales Calls

Lead Generation in the Face of the Death of Sales Calls | Asterisk Creative | Southeast Branding and Marketing AgencyA recent study showed that nearly 90% of consumers no longer answer their phones. This is particularly true if they don’t recognize the number calling. Arguably, the increase in telemarketing and spam robocalls led us here. So if the unsolicited sales call is dead, how is lead generation supposed to happen for a business?

Many attribute success to inbound marketing. This is generating leads by marketing in a way that leads consumers to 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. Businesses lead potential customers to contact them through Facebook ads, boosted posts, and sponsored Instagram posts, for example. By leading clients to reach out – whether through phone call, direct message, or email – the sales close rate 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!

Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Strategist

Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Strategist | Asterisk Creative | Marketing Firm for the SoutheastMarketing 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, they know tactics to 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. 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, 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!

The Power of Color in Design

The Power of Color in Design | Asterisk CreativeWhen it comes to design, color has power. Everything from how your brand is perceived by potential clients to how well your brand stands out amongst competitors is influenced by the colors you choose. So how can you harness the power of color?

First, you need to be aware of what cues colors send. Red, for example, imparts passion and excitement. Yellow sends a message of happiness. Orange screams “high energy”. Greens and blues signal tranquility. Purple is traditionally equated with royalty. Brown is associated with nature. Pink is seen as feminine and romantic. Black ranges from sophisticated and luxurious to sorrowful. White is the symbol of purity.

Once you’ve considered the colors’ meanings, think about what you want your brand and marketing materials to convey. Studies have shown that color can increase brand recognition by up to 80% and that many first impressions about a brand or a product are formed solely on color. So choosing appropriate colors can be just as important, if not more important, than the words you use. If you’re promoting a high-energy dance club, a tranquil blue is probably not going to attract the right crowd. Conversely, if you own a yoga studio that specializes in restorative classes, reds and oranges won’t send that message effectively.

At Asterisk Creative, branding is a specialty of ours. Between our branding team, our design team, and our website developers, we are well-versed in using color to appropriately convey your brand’s messaging and values. We know how to take a competitive analysis and also use color to help you stand out in your crowd.

When you’re ready to harness the power of color, give us a shout and let us help take your brand and your company to the next level!

Top Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Top Benefits of Social Media Marketing | Asterisk Creative | Social Media Agency for the Southeast

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!

Digital Wellbeing for Business Owners

Digital Wellbeing for Business Owners | Asterisk CreativeOn the Google blog, they recently released a post called “Find a better balance with our tips for Digital Wellbeing”. The premise of the article is that, even as technology is making things easier for people, it’s also adding stuff to their plates; Google has put together a course on how to handle the extra stress and take care of ourselves in the midst of all this.

Day after day, we hear these same things from our clients and potential clients. Technology is making the life of a business owner easier in many respects. Social media and company websites allow affordable solutions to getting a business’ message out there. But by the same token, they’re adding items to the to do lists. Remembering to post on each outlet. Keeping up with algorithm changes to keep the website ranked. The new to dos go on and on. So here are a few of our tips for digital wellbeing for business owners.

  • Hire help.
    Yes, this seems like the natural one for us to suggest first. But it’s also the easiest for you. No one person can keep up with SEO algorithms and best practices for the three major search engines, the algorithms and best practices for the ever-growing number of social media outlets, best practices in website design, maintaining relationships with the proper media folks to implement great public relations strategies, etc. That’s why at Asterisk Creative, we’ve built teams of experienced practitioners to tackle all of these items. One person isn’t in charge of all of them. But we work together to put all of our skills to use for you in the best way possible while staying within your budget.
  • Focus, Focus, Focus.
    Whether you’re hiring help or taking on your company’s digital life on your own, our advice is the same: narrow your focus to just the items you NEED. No company needs to be on every social media outlet that exists. They’re all just not a good fit. Not every company needs an 800-page website. Focus your site’s pages to just the information you need the search engines to find (while working with what their algorithms are looking for, naturally).
  • Take a break.
    Put the smartphone down. Walk away from the computer. Even if it’s just for a 10-minute walk at a time, a few times a day, get away. Your brain will thank you. Your eyes will thank you. And your wellbeing will thank you.

When you’re ready for Asterisk Creative to help with your digital wellbeing, give us a shout! We’re here and ready to give you a hand.


Marketing During the Holiday Season

holiday marketing | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's premier marketing agencyThe 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!

Email Marketing + SEO = A Winning Combination

Email Marketing + SEO = A Winning Combination | Asterisk CreativeAs most business owners and marketers know, tying your marketing efforts together makes for a successful overall strategy. An old adage said that consumers needed to see a marketing message three times to remember it. In recent years, as digital marketing has grown and attention spans have lessened, that adage has changed to be that consumers need to see a message seven to 10 times. This is part of why email marketing and SEO make such a great combination!

For starters, email subscribers tend to be more engaged with a company than the average website visitor. Since your email newsletters should contain links to your website, those that receive your emails and click your links are more likely to be engaged with your website. This equates to higher numbers of site visits, lower bounce rates for pages visited, etc. More website engagement signals to the search engines that your website content should be seen more. In turn, this potentially increases your organic rankings.

In addition, most email providers such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, iContact, and others offer links to each of your email newsletters. Adding a “newsletter archive” page to your site can benefit you in multiple ways. Site visitors can see what your email blasts are like before subscribing. This increases your chances of gaining subscribers that actually WANT to receive and engage with your emails. On top of that, each time you add your latest newsletter link to your newsletter archive page, the search engines potentially see that as an update to the page. With fresh website content being a premium for search engine indexing, these updates count as updated/new content. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of keeping your site ranking well in the organic results.

Are you ready to take your email marketing and search engine optimization further? Asterisk Creative can help! Give us a shout and let’s get the ball rolling!

Using Facebook Messenger for Business

Facebook Messenger for Business | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Social Media Marketing AgencyIn 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.

  1. They’re not free. You either have to build your own or purchase/subscribe to one through a service that offers them.
  2. They do not offer personalized messages to your subscribers/those that message you. It’s pretty much canned content all around.
  3. 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!

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!