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The Holiday Marketing Guide for Small Businesses

The Holiday Marketing Guide for Small Businesses

The holidays are fast-approaching. Are you ready? If you’re not, it’s time to get started. Shoppers are most active during holidays and eagerly looking for the best propositions every year. And small businesses that are ready for it will win out over the stragglers. Besides getting an early start, here are some other ways to make sure this is a successful holiday season for your small business: Marketing for Small Business: Optimize Your Mobile Site: Mobile holiday shopping increased by 59% in 2015 vs. 2014. Marketers are arming themselves with mobile strategies and there’s no reason why small businesses shouldn’t be on board. Here are some important factors in mobile optimization: Loading time. People have less patience on mobile than they have on desktop, and that’s already not very much. 50% of smartphone users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less. Make sure your photos and images are light enough for fast mobile-loading so you don’t risk shoppers skipping over your slow site for a faster one. Make sure your check-out process is geared for mobile. Enable autofill and keychains, use drop-down menus and ask only for the most essential information. Mobile shoppers are prone to interruptions from the very devices they’re using to shop, so the more seamless you make your mobile checkout, the lower your cart abandonment rate. Prepare Early: Online shopping means that customers don’t have to wait until businesses pull out their Christmas merchandise. Holiday shopping is starting earlier and earlier with some retailers courting shoppers as soon as August. In 2015, 56.6% of shoppers already started making purchases by the beginning...
9 Sales & Marketing Buzzwords to Avoid

9 Sales & Marketing Buzzwords to Avoid

We’ve all fallen victim to a sales pitch or a marketing email chock-full of buzzwords. You don’t have to admit it, but you may have even been swayed to make a decision because of some cleverly used buzzwords, or in desperation used them yourself in a sales or marketing pitch. Don’t worry, we won’t fault you for it. You see, sometimes those buzzwords really do work! And a subject line that simply reads ‘FREE FREE FREE’ might just win over a potential customer or two.  But, there’s only so many times you can send out that catchy email before your network or customers gets smart to it and realizes what game you’re playing. And no one likes feeling like they’re being played by a salesperson or a service they’re paying for, right? So, in an effort to kill the use of buzzwords, we polled our sales and marketing team to ask what buzzwords they avoid in their pitches, or their emails, or their advertisements and why. Their answers may surprise you, but you’ll understand right why they picked it and you might just want to add it to your own Banned Phrases list in your sales and marketing efforts. The Worst Buzzwords: If you do a quick search for some of the bigger offenders in the world of buzzwords, you’ll find plenty of lists of offenders and why sales teams or marketers really dislike using them. And to be entirely honest, most of these buzzwords are fairly evergreen. Sure, new ones crop up every year and get added to the list, but the same ones tend to stick around,...
Everyday Holidays to Use in Your Marketing

Everyday Holidays to Use in Your Marketing

Here at Contactually, we’re well aware that it’s #NationalCoffeeDay ☕️ …although if we’re being honest, almost every day here is Coffee Day. And yes, that’s capitalized, we love our coffee. But while you scroll through your social media feeds, or see the hashtag trending on the sidebar of your Twitter homepage, do you think twice about how these ‘special’ holidays come into being, and how you could possibly utilize them for your own marketing? We’ll all agree that your network is a group of people that need to hear from you on a fairly regular basis in order for you to stay top of mind with them, right? But, if this group of people aren’t ones that you’re currently doing business with or are friends that you don’t see each and every weekend, you may find it difficult to come up with something to build a conversation or even a quick email around when you go to reach out to them. Thanks to social media, we’ve all become very aware of all these special days and as the National Day Calendar website points out, it gives us a reason to celebrate even the littlest things on each and every day of the year. But doesn’t it also give you a very good reason on nearly every day of the year to reach out to your network, to those long-forgotten friends, or cold leads? If you’re looking to stay top of mind in a thoughtful, fun and creative way with our network, we’ll break down a few of these special days in different ways to get your contacts’ attention and...
5 Steps to Upgrading Your Instagram to Business

5 Steps to Upgrading Your Instagram to Business

Social media marketing is proving to be a major key to succeeding as a business today in 2016. Social media marketing itself is all about presenting quality and relevant content in a professional manner. And we’ve talked about how to make your brand Instafamous before and how that fame could be attainable for all of us, but now it’s time to take it a step further. Since then, we have upgraded our own Instagram account to the new business profile. Our profile now features a contact button and a hyperlink to our headquarters’ address, which goes well beyond what a basic Instagram profile generally displays. Along with the new look, we now have a new set of Instagram’s native tools for assessing how exactly our posts are performing. The tools include statistics on posts and followers, as well as an easier way to promote posts. So how do you upgrade your profile? Below are the five easy steps for getting your Instagram profile to business official and a few reasons why it may be beneficial for you and your marketing efforts.  Upgrade Instagram to Business There are upwards of 500 million monthly active users on Instagram. Yes, we know that’s a lot of people…as if you didn’t have enough to worry about when you posted a picture on Instagram…But think about it this way, that’s a pretty big number of possibilities of people who could made aware of your business. And what’s better than more exposure for your business? The biggest perk of upgrading your account is that it puts your address and information front and center on your profile,...
Am I Doing This Right? 5 Social Media Best Practices for Your Business

Am I Doing This Right? 5 Social Media Best Practices for Your Business

So, you’ve signed up for Twitter, or Instagram, or even Snapchat, and you’re staring at your phone or your computer screen wondering what the heck you’re supposed to do next or how you should utilize each platform…especially when it comes to your business. We’re here to tell you, when it comes to social media and figuring out the best practices, the etiquette, and the best way to utilize it for business marketing, you’re not alone in feeling confused or bewildered. The world of social media has become a wild one and figuring out where you fit in on each platform can be a daunting task…that might even turn you off from using it all together. But before you go running away from even trying your hand at it, we’ve got a few best practices you should follow to keep you on track, especially if you’ll be utilizing social media for your business. 4 Social Media Best Practices: Take it step by step, no one becomes a social media mastermind in a single day, just like anything else in your business, it needs to be built up. We’ve lined up the 4 best practices for getting your business up and running on social media, because at the end of the day, the online community is where more and more people are turning to discover more about the businesses they love…and you don’t want to be ‘unsearchable’ in this day and age. Defining your purpose: Why are you on social media anyway? Before you post a single thing, you need to figure out exactly what platforms you’ll be using and why you’re...
5 Invoice Marketing Opportunities You’re Missing Out On

5 Invoice Marketing Opportunities You’re Missing Out On

As a small business owner, investing days or weeks into crafting a marketing strategy is out of the picture.  What you really want to focus on is your product or service, the thing you’re really passionate about. You’re still getting a sense of who your target audience is and can’t afford to spend money on channels that might not get you any new clients. Why not turn work you’ll already be doing into your most effective marketing tool? The trick is to look where most people don’t: your invoicing. 60% of marketers already consider personalizing the customer’s experience to be their top marketing objective and it’s projected that by 2020 customer experience will beat out both price and product as the key brand differentiator. Invoicing remains one of the easiest and most powerful ways to do that. It is sometimes looked as a simple task that needs to get done efficiently, but using it as something other than a black and white copy listing services owed can be more effective to your business.  How to send an invoice to drive customer engagement It’s non-invasive. Your customers are already flooded with emails and newsletters from companies seeking their business. What you need is a way to keep your message from getting lost in an unopened email. In fact, most email campaigns are ignored over 90% of the time. In contrast, the least successful invoicing efforts are ignored a much smaller 13% of the time. An invoice effectively puts your communication into stealth mode. It’s something your client is both expecting and sure to open up immediately. What better place to...