It use to be easy to answer the question, “Should I advertise my business on Facebook?” When Business/Organization Pages started in 2007, promoting your business or organization was free and easy. Anything you posted had a good chance in showing up on the news feeds of your fans and followers. Today, the likelihood that your post will show up in a Fan’s feed (your organic, or unpaid, “reach”) is pretty small, unless you advertise.
My nephew, Rob Greenfield, is a born marketer and a prodigy when it comes to marketing stunts. His degree is in aquatic science, chemistry, and biology, but he owned his own marketing company, has an enormous social media following, and has been featured in dozens of media outlets.
Rob’s primary goal is to inspire social change, not to sell toothpaste or even solar panels, but he’s also developed an impressive ability to promote himself as a brand. The key to Rob’s marketing success is his use of storytelling and stunts to grab our attention. While most of us are unlikely to take up dumpster diving, we can learn a lot from his techniques.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media channels, especially among young people. Since Instagram is primarily a visual medium for posting photos and videos, many businesses and organizations haven’t figured out how to use it to promote their brand or increase web traffic. Yet, with care, you can pair great visuals with Instagram tools–such as your profile, captions, and hashtags–to grow your business.
FROM THE TOP EGG
I define a “campaign” as an effort to achieve a specific goal during a measurable time period: get someone elected, sell 100 tickets to an event, or get people to choose a designated driver. A campaign can serve as your entire marketing strategy or as one piece of a larger plan. It usually includes a strong creative component that appeals to inner feelings and motivations.
Here’s an overview of our key steps and how the campaign evolved.
The Internet is awash with free websites, applications, and tools to help you save time, increase productivity, spy on your customers, and generally do business better. Plus there are countless webinars, eNewsletters, and blogs serving up neat molecules of free advice. Practically the only thing that isn’t free is your time. Here are my tips for getting the best free advice.
More than 25 percent of small businesses don’t have a website. And that doesn’t even include the millions of businesses with old sites that look dated, aren’t “optimized” to read easily on a cell phone, and rank poorly in Google searches. If you don’t have an up-to-date site, you’re basically encouraging potential customers to go to another business that does.
While I urge you to hire an experienced web designer if you can, there are so many easy and inexpensive–even free—tools for doing it yourself that there are no more excuses for not having a current site. Yup, you can create a good-looking website without having any technical skills or knowing a lick of code. In fact, there are so many resources out there that the hardest thing about creating your own site may be choosing which tool to use.
Ready to get started? Here’s our guide for DIY Websites.
Sure, people have been saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” for at least a century, but images have never been more integral to effective marketing and communications. Facebook posts, Tweets, etc. get much more traction when they contain images. Instagram and Pinterest are two of the fastest growing social networks. Giant background images dominate website design.
What’s driving this emphasis on visuals? Millennials, for one thing. Millennials, who will make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, are digital natives who think in images. And the ubiquity of smart phones, free photo editing apps, and live streaming video apps like Periscope and Meerkat.
Are you ready for your close-up? If not, use our 5 tips for creating better images.
Wait, What Am I Asking For?
The purpose of a CTA (Call to Action) is to inspire your audience to take some form of action. In a sales or fundraising context, this action is also known as an “ask.” It is critical to define exactly what your goal/objective is in order to determine an appropriate CTA. Do you want a larger following online? Do you want more potential customers (leads)? Do you want existing donors to contribute more? Each CTA should inspire a specific action for a specific purpose.
My colleague Julia Shanks, principal of Julia Shanks Food Consulting, is an expert at helping farms and food entrepreneurs create and use business plans and financial analyses to grow their businesses. She’s also a chef and cookbook author. Not surprisingly, her approach to marketing is very analytical. I invited her to write a guest article to share how she measures her marketing tactics.
Understanding how millennials think and what they value is critical to your success as a business or nonprofit. The millennial generation (born approximately 1980-1996–it varies, depending on who’s counting) is creating fundamental shifts in how we all think, learn, communicate, and act.
So if you want to reach people in this digital age, you need to learn to think like a millennial. Here are some tips on how to be more millennialish.