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Networking Events With Pizzazz

Your brand deserves to launch in style.

Your band deserves to have networking events in style.

Your brand deserves your car and attention.

And, let’s face it most networking events are dull as dirt, with the same format over and over again. Why? Well, the idea is people just meet and swap contracts. But you don’t have to do it that way.

You can break the mold.

Ditch the community halls, skip the business meeting centers. Head outdoors. Of course, you are not going to be looking at a spring or summer event. Which is great, because no matter when you read this – you can start planning.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Networking Events With Pizzazz

It’s All About You-ish

So, you really want your brand to be on everything. From the napkins to the banners. Displaying your brand should be a big focus here. But, remember that you are the host. The comfort and experience of the attendees should come first.

So make a list of the materials that you want. Pens, pencils, notebooks, banners, but how about… cupcakes? Reusable cups? Get creative.

Outdoorsy

A reason to use the outdoors is that freelancers, business owners, and in fact almost everyone works inside. All the time. Getting outdoors for an event is actually a lot of fun. The fresh air, it’s more relaxing, the food choices are much more wide open too. You can have a BBQ and food trucks. So long as the space you intend to use has the correct permissions. If it rains, then don’t worry because one of the first things that you will source is a gazebo that is waterproof – and the correct flooring. This works whether it is super sunny, or adverse weather conditions – meaning you won’t need to cancel unless it is snowing.

Logistics

Not everyone drives, so if you have booked a space that can be tricky to get to, and perhaps you are offering alcoholic drinks – you might want to think about arranging a coach. Look for where the highest concentration of people will be able to get to – make that the drop-off and pick up point.

Food & Drinks

Although it was briefly mentioned above, food and drinks can be tricky. As it is a networking event, people will be shaking hands a lot, so chicken wings might not be the best option as this inhibits personal contact. On the flip side, it is pretty funny when two people are having a conversation but covered in hot sauce. This is really going to depend on your audience. You should look to cater to vegans, vegetarian, meat eaters, and people with allergies – which isn’t a small task. While you are free to make the food yourself if you really want to, it’s better to hire the professionals. They will be able to cater to all of your needs.

Remember that not everyone will want a beer or wine. Networking events do typically offer a drink on arrival – included in the ticket price, but you can be smarter here. When people book a ticket, give them an option to choose a soft drink and have them all labeled up for when people arrive. And, invite a BYOB policy. So that people who have particular tastes can bring their own red wine. Typically people attending networking events are there to make contacts, so you won’t need to worry about someone bringing a case of more significant.

Contact Information

Swapping contact information is the end goal (kind of). You are going to be displaying your brand and so should have business cards in easy reach of every table or seated area. A good idea here is to set up specific tables. One for people looking for graphic designers. Another for architects. You get the idea. So people who fit the bill and leave their card or linger around so they can speak to people directly.

Takeaways

When you are selling tickets, you can have the option to be in the ‘goody bags.’ This is the bag that everyone will take away at the end. It will be filled with branded merchandise. Both yours and that of others. Produce a small magazine for attendees, and in the side have a range of advertisements from those who attended too. Of course, the motive here is networking first and money making the second. So make sure that the offer is out there at the point of ticket sales.

Networking should be an enjoyable experience, people are more likely to be open and chat about what they want – when they are relaxed. So curate the whole, and you are guaranteed success.

Creating A Website For Selling

Website design experts offer the ability to have the perfect shop front for your business. It is so important in this day and age for your business to be found online, regardless of your trade.

If you’re new to the trading world and looking to be a success, then Internet shopping is the way forward and you’ll soon find that you will need an ecommerce site. Building an online shop is not easy for the average business person though; so seeking a digital agency will ensure your site is amongst the best and is going to work for you and your business.

In this blog post, we are going to take a look at creating a website for the purpose of selling in further detail. We hope this gives you the assistance and inspiration you need for your own e-store.

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | Creating A Website For Selling

Some advice and recommendations for new businesses

You have a new business and you have the stock you need, now you just need a multitude of customers. Simple, right? But, where can you find these customers, or more importantly, how can your customers find you? It’s all very well relying on word of mouth, or passers-by if you have a shop front, but why limit yourself when you could reach a worldwide audience? With the use of the Internet, the sky is the limit when it comes to attracting an audience, meaning more potential sales for you, resulting in more revenue. Sounds good? The difficult bit is knowing where to start.

Thankfully, there are professional website design experts who are also eCommerce experts. These experts can build you a bespoke ecommerce site, meaning you can instantly start to benefit from this growing market. If you do it right, ecommerce is the way to go, attracting both men and women of all ages. It’s a great time to be a start-up business in the ecommerce world.

Another advantage of using a website design company to build your ecommerce site is that they are also likely to be professionals in SEO. This means they can ensure that your shop will be found more easily by people searching for your products. They can also maintain your site, ensuring you remain higher on those search engine results. A good SEO agency will have a number of different techniques and tools at their disposal to make your website more visible online. After all, you can have the most amazing website visually, but if no one views it, you’re not going to make any sales, are you?

Have you considered using Shopify?

There are many options for ecommerce sites available, so what makes Shopify the perfect choice? Firstly, the cost. Shopify is one of the more affordable shopping sites to run, with low monthly costs but a reliable website. Businessmen know the key to a successful start-up is keeping outgoings as low as possible, but still keeping the quality high.

Companies specialising in Shopify can ensure this happens. Shopify offers reports on your click-throughs, and even includes features that can improve your SEO. The reporting system can inform you of which search terms have brought the most visitors to your site.

Other tools available on Shopify include discount codes and gift cards, integration of social networking sites, and email marketing options. All of these can improve the success of your site, when used properly. There are more advanced packages available if you are looking for something else specific, such as pop-ups or similar.

Design and imagery can be a big part of a purchase. The layout of Shopify is simple and eye-catching, making it easy for the user to navigate and therefore resulting in a purchase is more likely. Teamed with website designers, your online shop will soon be turning heads. If you’re looking to purely run your business and sell your products, without the hassle of website hosting, payment gateways and software maintenance, then Shopify is for you.

All things considered, there is no denying that there is a lot to think about when you are selling products online. However, we hope that this blog post will help you on your journey by outlining some of the things that you are going to need to do in order to get started.

A Business Blog Should Be 20% Of Your Marketing Strategy

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | A Business Blog Should Be 20% Of Your Marketing Strategy | Business Blog

If you aren’t interesting as a business you’re not an entity that is going to hold the attention of the masses. They want businesses and business leaders that speak to them, share ideas they feel passionate about too and also, just be fun to be around and interact with. Businesses have got to stop being so rigid and focuses on their corporate images. But how do you do this day in and day out? What is the outlet which can give you this space? Your own business website of course. Your business blog is where your personality has to shine through. In the content you must be able to explain your ideas well but also use it as a platform to build links, create new followers and be able to spread your word around the search engines that people use. Just how big a proportion do blogs take up when it comes to marketing?

Make the news before the news

Social media is like a forest sometimes. It’s so full of content, videos, links and viral adverts that you can be intimidated. However, know that the media companies of the world are dying to hear about you. To become viral you don’t need their own platforms and say so. Your business can make the news before the news even knows. This is why business blogs are so powerful. You can release exclusive information on your blog and watch the media report on it in a heartbeat. But you give your customers and interested potential consumers vital information about an update, a patch, a new product a totally new and improved service etc. The blog is therefore used as a news website for customers to come visit and read what you have to say. It’s a phenomenal tool to communicate with the world in this way.

Almost a quarter

Perhaps the best reason for a business blog to exist is that it’s almost one quarter of the SEO world for businesses. Content and a blog for a business amounts to around 19% of the overall SEO duties and marketing strategy aspects. That is huge. It’s about 1/5 of your overall SEO management requirements. The other aspects are link building, Google plus, social media, on page and off page links, keywords, Google AdWords, YouTube etc. A blog is worth so much to a business because it’s the space where all other marketing aspects can exist together. You can add a YouTube video to your blog, create off page links whereby you use evidence by another media or well respect news company to back up your claims.

Active and fresh

A business that doesn’t publish blogs can seem kind of dormant. Unless someone is actually following your business on social media, they won’t be seeing you anywhere else other than the search engine results page. Your blog can appear in the search results with great SEO techniques employed so you cover that base as well.

Content isn’t just about getting material out there, it’s about sharing your personality as a business with the consumer. It’s also a great way to make news before the news reports on you.

What You Need to Know About Trade Show Marketing

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | What You Need to Know About Trade Show MarketingThe First Impression

In a world of e-commerce and online activities, trade shows can be overlooked; however, this offline alternative is far from being unimportant. Contemporary trade shows offer the opportunity for an entire industry to put their best foot forward, attracting potential investors and customers. A myriad of competitors shall be vying for trade show revenue, and the first impression of a trade show stand can make or break a sale. Naturally, the first step in creating an engaging and approachable stall is to have sturdy pop up stands; nothing is more uninviting than a collapsed stand.

Modern trade show stall formats tend to utilise open curved fabric stands as they are approachable from the front, right, and left, rather than the conventional booth or cubical format. The open format permits the engagement of more potential customers, because it’s generally more inviting and interpersonal, as customers are free to come as they please without the barrier of a booth between the salesman and the customer.

The Display

The fascination with a stall begins with what observers can passively see before they decide whether or not to further engage with the stall. Images and brand names are conventional passive marketing materials. A projected video or slideshow, however, tends to generate more interest as it allows observers to passively view a demonstration of a product or service. Passive marketing materials are designed to generate interest and proffer brand awareness, comparable to a giant advertisement.

Gimmick style materials, such as pens and caps, are popular and can be used to promote brand awareness outside of the trade show; however, these should only be handed out after a customer engagement as a reminder of the brand.

Active marketing materials then advance the cause of passive materials and commonly constitute leaflets, business cards, brochures, booklets, and even interactive displays. These materials are designed to engage potential customers on a deeper level by:

  • Building customer relationships,
  • Establishing the expertise of a company or business, and
  • Delving into the question of ‘why’ a company or business is better than its’ competition.

Active marketing materials contain the information a potential customer needs. Interactive kiosk displays and tablet devices generally have higher levels of engagement; however, leaflets and booklets can be taken home for consideration in an environment outside the exhilaration of a trade show.

The Continuation

Trade Shows are merely an entry-point for customers and the attained sales leads must be developed into business. A resourceful method is to categorise sales leads into different priority groups, for example:

  • Group 1 – Very Interested
  • Group 2 – Somewhat Intrigued
  • Group 3 – Hesitant

Each group must be treated differently as resources ought not to be wasted by attempting to convince hesitant customers and allowing interested customers to slip away. Naturally, very interested clients ought to be contacted first for any follow-up processes, followed by group 2 and then group 3.

The Strategy

Prior to committing to a presence at a trade show, a marketing strategy must be created. While potential customers are seeking business, a stall must still outrank its’ competition, and the mere presence at a trade show does not guarantee engagement, nor does it guarantee sales.

What are the primary and secondary goals of attending the trade show?

The objectives of trade show marketing can differ, for example, a business may wish to:

  • Generate sales or leads
  • Build business relationships
  • Build brand awareness
  • Reinforce existing leads
  • Promote recent developments for training opportunities

Attaining a sale or leads is generally the primary objective; however, during a trade show, this may encounter some resistance. As a secondary objective, for group 2 and 3 leads, consider promoting other avenues of engagement, such as email / social media subscriptions, or proffering brand awareness to increase direct engagement with the company when they are considering a business proposal.

Trade show stalls ought to create a lasting impression and a memorable experience.

This is commonly assessed within the first few seconds of an engagement, which is why the first impression is crucial. Sales scripts and pitches must reflect this objective and the different avenues a potential customer could be taken down should be mapped out. This will proffer a smooth experience and when combined with active marketing materials, shall greatly assist in achieving the stall’s predetermined goals.

Trade show events differ; choose one which matches the goals of the business.

Trade shows can be in the form of:

  • Networking events,
  • Industry events,
  • Seminars,
  • Conferences,
  • Sponsored events, and
  • Webinars, amongst others.

If the primary objective of the business is to increase brand awareness or build business relationships, then a networking event may be the most suitable.

Finally, assess the results.

Consider what factors constitute a successful campaign, what was popular and what was not.

  • Were the primary and secondary objectives achieved?
  • Did leads materialise?
  • Are people talking about the brand?
  • How many people subscribed?
  • How many are actively engaging with the company?

Let the numbers do the talking and assess the results. This shall determine whether another trade show should be attended, or whether other marketing avenues ought to be considered.

Master These Vital Aspects To Digital Marketing

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | Master These Vital Aspects To Digital Marketing | Digital MarketingYou really can’t expect your business to get far at all without a good, strong focus on digital marketing. Any digital marketing campaign you have will need to have a lot of focus and drive behind it, and generally you will find that it is important to make sure you are putting whatever effort into it you are able to. Digital marketing will prove to be an essential aspect to running your business and ensuring that it remains popular and continues to grow. But what do you need to think about in order to make sure that you are approaching it in the right way? In this article, we will look at just a few of the essential things that you need to do as part of your digital marketing campaign. As long as you are focused on these, you will be moving in the right direction.

You really can’t expect to get anywhere at all without a decent website, and in fact it is worth putting a good amount of your energy into this before you do anything else for your marketing efforts. The website is where it all comes back to, and as long as you are happy with that you will find that you are going to have much more success with your marketing overall. A good website needs professional designers to ensure that it is operating properly and working as well as possible. Fortunately, these days it is easy enough to find affordable web design which is going to work out well for you, so you should be able to do just that. With a website which you are happy with, you can then start to look at some of the other vital elements to digital marketing.

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Digital Marketing |Master These Vital Aspects To Digital MarketingSocial Media

You will find it is essential to have a good grasp of social media if you are to market your business online successfully, so make sure that you are looking into this as early on as you can. You will want to start building a following on Twitter, Facebook and the rest as soon as possible, and it’s important in particular to focus on actually having decent conversations with people on those platforms. If you do that, and develop a branded voice in doing so, you will find that people are much more likely to respond positively, and this will have the kind of effect that you are hoping to have for your digital marketing. Social media is incredibly powerful, so make sure that you are thinking about this.

PPC

Finally, it’s important to remember too that there are some ways of approaching digital marketing which have a more traditional advertising feel to them, and one in particular you might want to focus on is Pay-Per-Click advertising. This is essentially where you have a banner on websites which people click on to get through to your website or a particular call to action, and it is amazing how effective this kind of method can be. Be sure to make use of it, and you will find that your business has much more chance of success.