Article Archive by Tiffany Weimar


February 15 2011

Top 3 Resourceful QR Code Tactics

by Tiffany Weimar

Did you read the newspaper this morning? Chances are you probably came across at least one black and white barcode-looking image somewhere throughout the paper.  These are actually called QR Codes.  QR codes, abbreviated for Quick Response, are two-dimensional codes that are readable by camera phones.  The popularity of QR codes is increasing dramatically and you can often find them on different collateral pieces, including brochures, business cards, etc… 

How do QR codes work?

When the QR Code is scanned by a smartphone, the user is delivered to a designated mobile landing page that corresponds to the offline marketing message.  QR codes are a great way to drive traffic to your mobile website and also a creative way to drive offline customers online.  A few of the greatest benefits are that they are inexpensive to create and can be placed on any printable surface.  Below is an excellent example of how to effectively promote a program.  The QR code is incorporated onto marketing materials to promote a special Happy Hour Menu.

QR Codes

Wondering how or when to use QR codes for your business? 
Here are the top 3 resourceful tactics when using QR Codes:

  • One of the best times to use a QR code is when you have limited space to
    explain an offer.  If you are a concert venue, placing a QR code on the back of a ticket or on the front of an admission band would allow people to view upcoming concert dates after scanning the code with a smartphone.
  • Use a QR code to create a “mobile only promotion”.  This is a great way drive traffic to your mobile website.  This “value-add” may encourage users to visit your mobile website in the future for additional offers.
  • Leverage QR codes on business materials.  The barcodes create curiosity.  By placing a QR code on a business card, the individual may become intrigued to discover what’s “behind” the barcode.  Not knowing where the QR code will lead encourages you to scan the QR code to find out more. 
February 9 2011

Leverage Video for Conversion and SEO Benefits

by Tiffany Weimar

While recent hot topics have centered around mobile and social media in the interactive marketing industry recently, there are a few marketing tools that have received less attention that are worth mentioning.  One of these is the use of video.   Videos are unique as they can be used on your company site, on YouTube, and through email marketing.  All of these opportunities allow you to drive viewers to your website, ultimately improving your chance of converting a prospect into a client.  Video has proven helpful for boosting conversions and can be a relatively inexpensive marketing tool.  

According to a Nielson report released in August 2010, 70% of global online users watch video.  Knowing that statistic, why not try it out? If your company is using video, you may have noticed that your videos show up in Google search results.  This is because Google actually puts video production into its search placement algorithm.  Frequently adding new video content to the channel will strengthen your rankings in natural search results.

If you are considering video as a marketing tool, here are five useful tips for a successful campaign:

  1. Keep your videos short.  According to Visible Measures, users tend to drop off after viewing 10-60 seconds of a video.  In fact, 20% of viewers drop-off after ten seconds of video and 44% drop-off after 60 seconds.
  2. Optimize your video players.  Increasing the video player and adding action buttons (“Play” or “Click to View”) may increase view-through-rates.
  3. Make sure people can find your video.  To increase the likelihood of your video being discovered, submit a video sitemap to the search engines and leverage other channels to feature it as well.  Using YouTube and Facebook can help drive viewers back to your website.
  4. Don’t forget about mobile.  With the increase of mobile users, many viewers will try to view videos over a small screen.  Therefore, ensure your videos are accessible from mobile devices.
  5. Video content can be educational.  Introducing new services or products through video is a great way to get the word out.  Demos and “How-To’s” can give your company credibility, as people will look to use as a resource.
February 3 2011

Marketing Success; Going Back To The Basics

by Tiffany Weimar

Attention marketers! Are you remembering the fundamentals of marketing? Whether you are in the business of selling physical products or services, going back to the basics helps us to build successful campaigns.  If you studied business in college, you may remember the term “Marketing Mix” or “The Four P’s” (Product, Price, Place & Promotion).  Applying the marketing mix to each campaign in our online efforts (though may seem comical to some) will help in crossing off “to-do’s” on our marketing checklists.

1) Product Decisions

There are many considerations that should be taken into account when it comes to your offerings.  Quality, styling, functionality, brand name, warranty, customer service, and packaging are just a few.  These decisions may seem obvious; however, you may not realize the considerable time required to formulate a successful campaign.  Product decisions need to be strategic from inception (in the creation of the product/service) to the fulfillment and services provided afterwards.  For instance, the quality and packaging of your product should strengthen your brand.  The warranty that you offer post sale should stand behind your brand as well.  Every product decision that is made should relate back to building a credible brand name that helps to grow and foster a loyal customer base.  How do you accomplish this online?

  • Disclose/promote warranties online
  • Be consistent with your brand in your product packaging and all online marketing efforts of it. Email designs, banner ads, paid search opportunities, and website design should all speak to how you would like your brand to appear.
  • Build credibility. Sell your services through building relationships (customer service, no pun intended, is still critical).

2)  Price Decisions
 
Everyone wants a deal.  Having a pricing strategy that identifies volume, wholesale and seasonal pricing is critical.  Will bundling help cut distribution costs?  What deals can your company afford and during what quarters or seasons should they be offered?  If you are an online retailer, seasonal sales are especially important.  Do you offer monthly/seasonal promotions that you are able to fulfill?  Speaking of fulfillment, are you looking into online deal sites like GottaHalfIt.com or Groupon.com? These companies can do wonders for your business, if you have the right pricing strategy that is!  If not well thought out, these online coupon deals can cost you tons of money (if you are unable to fulfill the orders due to high demand).  If you’d like additional insight on “Groupon-like” opportunities, check out our featured Newsletter Article.

3) Place Decisions

Place, better known as distribution, is the channel through which you will distribute your products/services.  How are you covering your market? How are you managing your inventory?  For e-Commerce, you must find the intricate balance between product inventory and sales.  Do you have enough supply to fulfill certain promotions (seasonal or Groupon-like campaigns)?  Do you drive your business decisions according to marketing initiatives or do you market according to business trends?  For example, do you increase inventory levels because you’d like to try a special offer like Groupon (marketing decision) or do you market/advertise or “push” certain products because your inventory levels are high?  This “push” or “pull” strategy leads us to the final “P” in the Marketing Mix.

4) Promotion Decisions
 
Promotion represents the communication strategy you create to formulate a positive customer response (lead generation, sales, etc..).  Your marketing budget, public relations, promotional strategy (push vs. pull), and sales promotions all fall under this category.  A mix of marketing communications in the online world is important. Remember that we are in a period of information overload.  Differentiating yourself through online marketing initiatives is important. Creating email promotions and advertising banners that are visually appealing and compelling will help increase your response (click-through rates, website traffic, and/or lead generation).  Here are some other online promotion suggestions:

  • Offer channel specific promotions for social media, mobile websites, and/or for a specific audience.  For instance, if you are speaking at an event, provide a special offer to that audience on your website.  This is a great way to generate more promising leads.
  • Be strategic about how often you send emails to your database.  A monthly newsletter and an additional database promotion can help individuals stay engaged without being inundated by “inbox overload”. Tracking responses to each initiative will help give insight into whether you should replicate a promotional effort in the future.

Measuring your marketing campaigns is helpful in driving future business/marketing decisions.  By incorporating analytics on each of your online marketing efforts, you will be able to see if a campaign fulfilled its purpose.  Calculating your cost per lead will give you a good idea of the success of each marketing initiative.  Lastly, remember that there is never a “one-size-fits-all” solution to marketing.  Because the online space is constantly evolving, marketers should be cognizant of new, old, and upcoming trends and adjust strategies accordingly.

 

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