I've been saying this for a while now, but in my own opinion I think Instagram is the best social media platform out there. While it is currently number three (after Facebook which is number one and Youtube which is second) I believe Instagram will be number one and stay number one for quite some time in the upcoming years. Although, it is worth saying that Snapchat is a great social media platform that is continuing to expand and try new things and will probably continue to innovate and challenge Instagram and other platforms. Don't get me wrong, I recognize that Facebook is a market giant and is continuing to grow by 20 million active users a month. However, when it comes to my personal business, I prefer Instagram!
Easy to Connect
The best part of Instagram when it comes to growing your business is that you can message ANYONE within the app. Well, any user that is not private of course. This is a great virtual networking tool that we can use to find relevant clients and personally reach out to them by name and offer them a discount or extend your services. It's like going to a networking event in your pajamas. You don't have to leave the couch in order to make business connections.
Instagram makes it so easy to look up hashtags that make sense for your business and see what others are posting. Not only that, but it makes it easy to find people on Instagram with similar names to what you are posting. Imagine you sell yoga mats and are looking to connect with professionals who have a use for your products. You can search the hashtags #yoga #yogi #yogainspiration and others to find yogis. You can comment on their pages and they'll notice you. You can also search similar words to find influencers, someone in that industry with many followers. It might be worth giving them an DM and seeing if they'd be interested in a discount in exchange for promoting the mat on their insta (provide they like it of course!)
Focus on Less
Since Instagram has made their live feature, businesses can do the same thing they are able to do on Snapchat on one app. Now like I said, Snapchat is innovative and a highly popular app. However, one of the biggest complaints my clients have is that they don't have time to focus on the all different types of social media when they have a business to run! Yet, they know the importance of it so the fact that Instagram Live is available, can cut down the need for Snapchat (when relevant). When starting a small business it can be nearly impossible to dedicate the proper amount of time to social media in order to grow. That's where I come in!
If you're looking to grow your Instagram or other social, ask me for strategic tips geared towards your page. It is an extremely beneficial tool for gaining awareness and clients. Several of my clients have found me through this platform so it's safe to say the time I've put into is worth it. What do you think, will you be using these tips to grow your business?
It's no secret that half a century ago was a different time and their ads reflect that. Although many companies today go for the shock value when creating their ads, including Calvin Klein and Benetton, the ads that are in this post were not even considered daring in their time. I think it is mor than safe to say they wouldn't be widely accepted today. Below are three ads that are not only dated, but offensive! See if you can get through these ads without getting angry!
"Most men ask 'Is she pretty' not 'Is she clever?"
This company, Palmolive, is a soap company that is still around today. This ad is offensive since it is putting a woman's value on her looks and not what she has to offer intellectually. Hopefully, the company no longer believes this!
Men are better than women! Indoors women are useful- even pleasant. On a mountain they are something of a drag. So don't go hauling them up a cliff just to show off your Drummond climbing sweaters...
Its there anything more offensively sexist than outright saying "men are better than women?" This ad is a whirlwind of sexism. I hate to believe that any woman would see this ad and still want to purchase a guy in her life this sweater. It's good to know that this wouldn't fly nowadays!
Is it always illegal to KILL a woman?
The worst part of this ad is that (again) it basically is saying men are better than women and that if a woman is frustrating enough, than it should be "okay" to kill her. To be honest, I don't see how this ad is even relevant to the product. I'm not even sure how the ad promotes the postage meter since you can barely see the product and the main focus is the businessman arguing with his female co-worker. So not only is it sexist, but to me it doesn't even attempt to sell the product.
More often than not, ads from back in the day really show where our country was socially. It was widely believed that women belonged in the kitchen and running the household. Nowadays, we are fortunate enough to be able to have fulfilling careers, start our own businesses, and run a household if we want to. And don't get me wrong, I think men are great too! Luckily, society's ads and social media (or at least most of them) reflect that. If you're interested in starting your own business contact me today.
Don't forget to comment below which of these ads you found the most shocking!
So obviously the term "best" is relative, but I based my judgement of the "best" businesses based on their monetary success, employee satisfaction, and customer loyalty. It's important to look at those with successful companies and figure out what these companies are doing right and apply it to your own.
It's no secret that Apple is an extremely successful company. It is one of the richest company's in the world. The reason? It offers users the newest technology and is always updating and developing it's current products. It's main idea is to provide customers with something no one else can and by the time the competition figures out how to duplicate it, Apple is already onto the next best thing.
What we can learn: Never settle and always continue to improve your product and services. Success happens outside the box!
Starbucks conquered the employee turnover when the recession happened in 2008 and the company worked to build an internal structure to keep employees happy and working hard. This included giving positive feedback, valuing opinions of employees, and benefits. Now the company listens to what employees want such as giving them the freedom to wear their clothing rather than a set uniform (something that was considered the most wanted job perk!), and changed the names from "employee" to "partner" to show worth. Starbucks dedication to keeping its "partners" happy has lead to a high retention rate, plus is the reason for the smiling employees you meet when you go in for your caffeine fix. That, or could be the free coffee!
What we can learn: Keeping your employees happy is the key to any successful business. Imagine keeping the training costs down and having a team of people that know what they're doing, and want to be doing it!
If you've ever ordered from Zappos, it was probably a great experience. That is because the company prides itself on keeping its customers happy, no matter what. Besides free returns at any time, the company intends to provide an emotional connection by creating a rapport with customers so the customers will have a great experience and share with others, in fact, word of mouth is how the company gets most of its new customers. Employees are given points for positive exchanges and once a month those with less than 50% positive have additional training. Those that have high points are rewarded with paid time off and other incentives.
What we can learn: Training isn't just in the beginning of employment, you can always be working to improve how your employees do their jobs. Also, rewarding employees for positive customer interaction will keep both parties happy and that's how you retain customers and employees!
Even the smallest businesses can learn from the big dogs. After all, that's how they started out too! So learn from them and come up with your own creative ideas to keep your customers and employees happy. You don't always need to provide a high raise in salary for your employees to do so either, you can give a day off, buy a small gift, or even just use kind words of appreciation! As for customers, most are happy when you provide them with an amazing customer service and if you do get complains, listen and try to fix it.
Comment below how you keep your business at its BEST!
The four P's of marketing are no new concept. In fact, it's most likely the first thing you learn when taking a marketing course. These four "P's" are essentially the four pillars of a successful marketing plan. When you're developing your new marketing campaign or updating your plan, it's essential to keep these in mind and keep your company on track. These four letters, all standing for another facet of marketing, make up something called the marketing mix. Which is in part how I got the name for my company, since the marketing mix is so important to, you got it, marketing! Let's got through the four P's with a popular brand, Budweiser, to make them more digestible.
This means the tangible product or the intangible service that is offered to customers. It's vital to understand your goods and services fully before marketing it so you know what makes it unique. In this case Budweiser is a tangible product that is American made. That face that Budweiser is made in America is an edge they use in it's marketing campaigns. Check out the commercial below:
Price is fairly clear cut. How much do you need to charge in order to get a return on investment? Also, are you appealing to the masses or is your item a luxury brand that is exclusive to those with a fat wallet? In Budweiser's case, it appeal to the masses. The company produce a beer that is affordable to everyone and it's claim to fame is it's drink-ability. Basically not only is it widely affordable, but it is widely liked by beer drinkers.
It's true in real estate and its true in marketing...it's all about location, location, location. Where and when you put your products/services out there will affect your outreach. For Budweiser, you KNOW the company is going to have at least one Superbowl commercial since the Superbowl is a huge american event and it is watched by millions of beer drinkers. Superbowl ad spots are crazy expensive since so many people see them and discuss them afterwards. Comparatively, a 3:00am slot on a local network would cost pennies.
Promotion includes everything and everything the company can do to get the word out. This includes social media, videos, commercials, billboards, ads, and much more. It looks at the best ways to reach it's specific target market. Budweiser's main focus is television ads and "swag" at bars. Let's face it, a bar seems like just about the perfect place to find Budweiser customers.
Starting your own business seems like a daunting task. There's so much to do from creating a logo, developing packages, and officially registering it. Not to mention getting the word out and find clients and customers. However, the work is worth the reward. Below is just a few of the many reasons why you should start your own business.
1. Make Your Own Hours
Imagine a world where you can make a dentist appointment without using PTO, or stay in bed with the flu without using a sick day. Or even starting work when you're ready, whether that means 6:00am or 10:00am. This is not to say starting your own business would be less work than your standard nine to five (in fact I think I mentioned in a previous blog post that it is typically more work) but I think we can all agree that freedom is a beautiful thing!
2. Be Your Own Boss
Similar to being able to control your hours, being your own boss gives you freedoms within your work environment that you wouldn't typically have. Not to mention in most corporate jobs unhappy employees out number happy employees 2 to 1. Forbes believes that this is due to the employer not being involved and seemingly not caring about the employee's professional development, among other things. Being your own boss means being able to make important decisions, see the value of your work, have a worthy job title, and taking your opinions into consideration. Basically, everything a driven person wants out of their job!
3. Do What You Love
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. - Confucius
This may seem like a foreign concept, especially in today's society where making money often outweighs chasing your passion. However, I personally believe the early years of hard work, long hours and occasionally donating your time or product is worth having a successful company that you love working at. Not to mention, every positive review or new client can be directly linked back to you and your hard work. That's a reason to start work with a smile on Monday if you ask me. Did you know that on average we spent 1/3 of our lives at work? Imagine thinking back on your life with regret or worse, being bitter from all that time spent somewhere you dreaded going to. No paycheck is worth that.
4. You Can Do Anything
When we're young we're always told we can do anything and be anything we want. Why is it that after we graduate suddenly words like "outlandish" and phrases such as "pipe dream" are occasionally used to describe our goals? We don't hear it enough anymore but we can do anything. So get inspired and get started. There's no reason to make excuses because you can do it!
Being your own boss doesn't have to mean doing everything the company needs (i.e. accounting, marketing, etc.) on your own. In order to be a good boss, you have to know when to do something yourself, and when to outsource it. If you have a small business (or even a big one!) and you need help with marketing, contact me today. Let's chat.
One of the hardest things about marketing is you can't always tell how an audience will take something. If you make a bold statement will they agree or be offended? If you attempt to make a joke will they laugh or take it to heart? Market research is a vital tool to help avoid these mistakes but occasionally companies mess up and sometimes, they use poor taste or poor judgement. Below is a list of a few.
1. Pepsi- Harrier Jet Commercial
This is one mistake that led to a lawsuit. Watching the commercial, you gather that you can collect Pepsi Points the more you drink and redeem those points for various items. It ends showing a jet and saying it would be 7,000,000. One man, John Leonard, had 15 Pepsi Points and paid ten cents for each of the rest of points (as stated in the rules) and then attempted to claim his jet. Of course, Pepsi wasn't offering jets in exchange for the points, it was more of a exaggeration and ended up with the courts ruling in favor of Pepsi as no reasonable person would believe a company would sell a $23 million jet for $700,000. Arguably, this is more of a mistake for Leonard than it was for Pepsi since the won the case and if anything, it gave them more publicity.
What we can learn: That fine print you can put at the bottom of the screen? USE IT.
2. McDonald's- Carry On Commerical
This video, which shows McDonald's signs after public tragedies such as 9/11 and the Boston bombing along with personal events such as anniversaries and welcoming babies into the world. The ad was was meant to depict the fast-food giant as an necessary part of local communities across the country. The ad, which aired during the 2015 Golden Globes had a few supporters but mostly received backlash. Most people were saying it is insensitive and tacky.
What we can learn: McDonald's was later quoted as saying that they expected a divide on the interruption of the commercial and the company was unapologetic. From a marketing perspective we can take away from this that if you have an ad that might be controversial, just warn your boss and have the PR ready with a statement.
3. Pepsi- Kendall Jenner Commercial
Here is another Pepsi ad that caused controversy and this one is much more recent. The ad showed Kendall Jenner posing for a fashion shoot while protesters run by holding signs demanding unspecific change. Jenner eventually rips of her blonde wig and joins the movement where a police officer accepts a can of Pepsi from her, setting off raucous approval from the protesters and an appreciative grin from the officer. Let's just say people did NOT approve. The ad has been called sick, trash, and tasteless and has caused celebrities to support a boycott of Pepsi products. It sparked major criticism for making light of current political movements, including Black Lives Matter and Women's Marches. Jenner has not spoken out about the ad and has removed all social media posts promoting it.
What we can learn: Focus groups are a thing for a reason and sometimes what you think is a good idea, isn't. Even if you aren't a huge company that can afford to conduct focus groups, you can ask a few honest friends and get the same results.
4. Burger King- Connected Whopper
Burger king recently came out with this 15 second ad which depicts a burger king employee who asks “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?” Essentially, a burger king commercial was hi-jacking people's Google homes devices by triggering a response. At first, google would take from the Burger King Wikipedia page and in real time read the ingredients. Then people began editing the wiki page adding "cyanide" and "human flesh" and other jokes. Eventually, the execs at Google made it so google home doesn't register the audio on the commercial.
What we can learn: While it's a great idea to incorporate modern technology and partnerships, when you want to partner with a company, ASK! Perhaps this mishap could've been avoided if Burger King approached google before creating a now useless ad.
In the end, creating an ad that is widely talked about and everyone loves isn't always easy and sometimes you can't have both. While these ads created quite the stir, I think it goes back to the old saying "any press is good press" but to keep in mind the cost of losing customers and producing ads that can't run. What do you think? Would an offensive ad cost you brand loyalty? Comment below and let's chat.
Don't forget to share this blog with you friends and read what other's have said about Marketing Mix by Michelle.
Facebook has likes, LinkedIn has connections, and Twitter and Instagram have followers. Across all social media platforms it doesn't matter what you call them, but you there's a dedicated group of people and companies that essentially are "followers". As you grow as new business and start to develop your social media, it can be disheartening have no followers or to post and get just a few likes. It can be tempting to "buy" followers. These are typically fake accounts that will follow you back to inflate the number and make your company seem like it has a bigger following than it does. Below are a few reasons why organic followers (users that participate based on your content and engagement) are the way to go.
Real followers are going to like, share, retweet, and comment on your posts. Fake followers, which are bought, are simply there to increase the number of followers in your profile. Have you ever seen a profile that has 10,000 followers but gets about 10 likes on their posts? I'm not calling anyone out in particular here but that has always raised a red flag with me. To be fair, they could be experts in growing followers but lacking at getting them engaged.
They actually like what you're selling and promoting. Think about that for a second. Wouldn't you rather have 5 people eager to listen to you then 100 who don't care? Having fake followers is equal to giving a speech to a room full of mannequins. Also, by having organic followers who want to see your posts, it's like targeting your ads, for free!
There's a reason YouTube and Facebook target their ads. Have you ever googled something and realized it's suddenly an ad for you on Facebook or that the YouTube ad relates to the video you clicked on? That's for good reason, and you should follow their lead. Since these users like your products and services, they're more likely to actually make a purchases. Isn't that the reason your company is on social media in the first place?
Even though it is typically a slower growth period, it makes sense in the end for your time, company, and money. Most small businesses neglect social media because, when done right, it takes up several hours a week and sometimes a day. I have to say it is so worth it! I can speak from experience when I say I have gotten leads and customers from social media. Want some help doing this for your business? Let's chat.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions!
Blogging (when done correctly) is the number one thing that can draw attention to your business. Both small and big businesses alike use it to promote their services and products. A few of my favorites are REI, Coca-Cola, and Whole Foods. REI has a great blog because it balances things its consumers would like such as making an an Adirondack Chairs out of skis, with ask an expert articles that are super helpful when doing outdoor activities that could be dangerous. Coca-Cola's blog is an awesome one not only because of its adorable name (Unbottled: the Coca-Cola Story) but because it fuses its products with current events and political issues. I love Whole Foods' blog because it gives tips, tricks, and recipes which give the read knowledge and also promotes its products. Basically its a win-win. In case you need more of a push, below is a list of 46 reasons to blog.
2. Provide advice to those who need it
3. Improve SEO
4. Show your expertise
5. Gain trust from readers
6. Improve your writing
7. Exposure to new clients
8. Inspire readers
9. It's free
10. Increases confidence in your products and services
11. Create your own website content
12. Engage with readers
13. Improve communication
14. Potentially monetize your blog
15. Promote your services
16. Grow your business
17. Meet new people
18. Connect with like-minded people
19. Showcase yourself for future job opportunities
20. Organize your ideas
21. Voice your opinion
22. Reflect and learn from your past
23. Dedicate yourself to a timeline
24. Challenge yourself
25. Build your brand
26. Document your life
27. Face our fears
28. Confidence boost
29. Stand out
30. Expand your business network
31. Find your purpose
32. Leave your legacy
33. Develop consist habits
34. Improve conversation skills
35. Financial freedom
36. Increase credibility
37. Opportunities for freelancing
38. Prove you're an expert
39. Creative freedom
40. Opportunities to vent
42. Become an authority in your industry
43. Develop an online portfolio
44. Easy to start
45. Tell your story
46. Anyone can do it!
Did that inspire you to start your own blog? I hope so. It truly is a great tool to gain clients, customers, and ultimately profits.
Need help figuring out how to blog in order to vastly improve your SEO (search engine optimization)? I develop SEO plans for your blog that teach you how to gain traffic in a way that's easy to understand. Let's chat!
Twitter is currently one of the main platforms of social media. It's unique because unlike Facebook, it limits you to 140 characters. And unlike Instagram, it isn't just about the pictures. Twitter is it's own form of social media, so we should treat it that way and tailor your posts to make sense to this platform.
"Be a Sweetie, and Retweetie"
I would argue that one of the best ways to get exposure on Twitter is when your tweet gets retweeted. If you're at all familiar with Twitter, you know that when this happens, it shows your logo and tweet on someone else's profile. Which is amazing exposure and often leads to more followers for your page. The best way to show someone some love on Twitter? Retweet a relevant tweet. More times then not, those people will follow you (if they haven't already) and perhaps retweet one of yours which will cause their followers to engage with you.
Take Advantage of Advance Search Options
This is a great feature that allows you to refine your search to be more specific, target a certain area, and exclude keywords you don't want. You can even search by date and account. You can use this to your advantage by finding relevant articles to share on your social media, inspire you for your own blog posts, find your customers, and so much more. I don't think you could ask for an easier way to keep track of your brand, customers, and competition.
Put a "Pin" in it!
Twitter also allows you to "pin" a tweet. When someone looks at your profile, this will be the top pin. You can update it as much as you want so you can keep it relevant and pinned twitters are typically used to promote something. You can use it to direct viewers to your book, blog, products, or services. Check out my current pinned tweet below or on my twitter.
A Picture Says 1000 words
Unlike your character limit on Twitter, which is 140, an image can say 100 words. Did you know that tweets with images are more than twice as likely to be retweeted? It's as simple as dragging and dropping your image onto the tweet. Test this one for yourself and I'm sure you'll find that tweets with an attached image get more engagement than one without. Keeping this in mind, it looks way better when you have an image that fits. If an image is too big, Twitter will crop it so that you can't see the whole thing unless you click on it. If you're super active on twitter, maybe you haven't formatted all your tweets and retweets to fit properly. However it is something to keep in mind as it does look more professional.
Hashtags are an important part of pretty much all social media. It will help your tweet get found by relevant accounts which drives up engagement. It will improve your change of getting found in a search. If you use "#marketing" for example rather than simply "marketing" twitter will boost this tweet higher!
As an entrepreneur, you know that work isn’t always nine to five. In fact, when you’re building your own business it’s safe to say that it’s NEVER just nine to five. Most of us do work on the weekends, early in the morning and late into the evening. Sometimes the best way to make a big pile in the old to-do list is to throw on a motivating playlist and lose yourself in the work. You won’t even notice that the hours flew by! Music is amazing that way because it simultaneously helps us focus and lose track of time. So what are my top picks for songs to pump you up to do some of your best work? See below.
1. Taking Care of Business
Hi there, it's me, Michelle! Welcome to my blog. It’s a deeper look into my business and marketing tips for you.